THE IMPACT OF† INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE ETHICS OF PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGEMENT IN THE THIRD MILLENNIUM
Cranfield School of Management
University of Western Sydney-Nepean
Phillip Reeves Knyght
University of Canberra, Australia
Cranfield School of Management
This paper explores the troublesome and in-escapable fundamental question posed by Socrates: "What ought one do?" in the context of public policy management of change and innovation from an ethical perspective within the emerging "realities" of socio-economic life. The opportunities posed by advances in information technology (IT), the† changing† demands† of the public for improved service delivery and the convergence† between †the† characteristics† of† public† and† private sector organizations† and employment create an ethical dilemma for many public sector actors bound by public policies laden with the legacy values and† socio-economic† morality† of† the second millennium (a sense of public duty;† loyalty;† probity;† neutrality;† universalism).
The proliferation of "soft-core"† crises (crises that do not result in catastrophic, destructive or† life-threatening† changes† to the victim's environment); the continuous re-drawing of the boundaries of what constitutes "the public service"; the† increasing demand for "gifted" actors who are confident in their own abilities and are prepared to call ethical judgements dis-passionately against personal interest, even in the absence of an external threat; the "new professionalism"; as well as the need to deliver technological benefits within a framework of social justice, have created a trend towards the codification† of† ethical† conduct† within† both national and international bodies† of† public and private sector organizations. Contemporary ethical incidents of public sector praxis and policy design are used to illustrate current dilemmas. It is argued that the achievement of ethical conduct within the new morality of economic life† remains† a† difficult† problem† for† the† public sector and cannot be overcome by the mere codification of ethical behaviour.
The troublesome, and impossible to escape, question posed by Socrates "What† ought† one† do?"† (Plato, 1984)† projects† the same multitude† of† ethical dilemmas onto decision makers of today as it may have done† to philosophers in ancient times.† For Socrates, the force of his original† question† lies† in† the fact that it demands some sort of account from actors as to why they choose one "good" over another. In fact, at its deeper level, Socrates' question requires actors to articulate some sort of founding vision of what they consider to be "good".
Socrates,† Plato, Aristotle and Kant promoted a virtue-based approach which emphasized† the† will,† intentions† and† character† of† the individual. The virtuous actor behaves according to inner conviction and strength, irrespective of the consequences of the action and its impact on any relationship - whether it be based on kinship, professional or friendship ties.† This focus on the individual as the† pillar of ethics has the advantage that the onus is clearly allocated; but it has the disadvantage of being rigid and presuming, wrongly, that all that is needed to achieve an ethical† society† is for its members to act according to subjective notions of virtue.
Ethics is a philosophical term.† Germane to effective leadership in organization is the philosophical definition of ethics as derived from the Greek word† ethos, meaning character or† custom.† It connotes an organizational code conveying moral integrity and consistent values in service to the public. More formally defined, ethical behaviour† represents that† which† is† morally accepted as "good" and "right" as opposed to "bad" and† "wrong"† in† a particular context (Simms, 1992: 506). The challenge of what† constitutes† ethical† behaviour lies in a "grey zone", where clear-cut right versus wrong and good versus bad dichotomies may not always exist. Ethics is concerned† not only with distinguishing between the dichotomies but,† also, with the commitment to do what is right or what is good. As such, the† concept† of† ethics is inextricably linked to that of values; enduring beliefs that influence the choices actors make from the available means and ends.† While some values (wealth, success) have relatively little direct connection with ethics, others (fairness, honesty) are, in essence, concerned with what is right or good and can be described as ethical values (Kernaghan and Langford, 1990).†† The critical link between ethics and values† is† that† ethical† standards† and† principles can be applied to the resolution of value conflicts or dilemmas.
Notwithstanding† that† a number† of† ethical† theories have been developed (utilitarianism; justice; rights; cultural relativism), much of contemporary work on ethics is built on two major philosophical perspectives - theology and deontology (Cavanagh, Moberg and Velasquez, 1981; Tsalikis and Fritzsche, 1989). These two philosophies† have† been† pivotal† in† the development of numerous theories emanating from these perspectives; leading to other theories aimed at their synthesis - all of which can give rise to moralities (so understood).
The teleological philosophy has its origins in ancient Greece and centres on the final causes of human action (Fulton, 1967). The teleological philosophy of ethics links the moral worth of human actions with their consequences, thus giving rise to consequential or teleological theories (utilitarianism, egoism)† (Pettit,† 1993).†† Hence, behaviour itself has no moral status: moral worth attaches with the consequences.† Conversely, the deontological philosophy maintains that the concept of duty is† logically† independent of the concept of good† and that actions are not justified by the consequences of the actors; insisting on the importance of motives† and† character† of† the† actor† rather† than the consequences actually† produced by the actor - sparking the non-consequential theories of ethics (Bauchamp and Bowie, 1983).
The Teleological Perspective and Consequential Theories
††††††††††† The† two most influential consequential theories to date have been born out of the very nature of the teleological perspective: whether the consequences focus on the outcome of the individual or collective behaviour - egoism and utilitarianism. Egoism focuses on the individual's long-term interests (Reidenbach and Robin, 1990). Philosophers supporting† egoism contend that acting against one's own interest is actually contrary to reason. Egoism, as a means to the common good, a view shared by Adam Smith (1976), maintains that under some conditions the best way of promoting the common good is to promote† individual good and well being. Rational egoism centres around the idea that it is always rational and always right to aim at one's own greater good.† Ethical† egoism,† derived† from† accepting† the premise that what is ethical† must† be† rational,† and that since acting out of self interest is rational† and, therefore,† also† ethical,† holds that conventional morality is tinged† with† irrational† sentiments† and† indefensible† constraints on the individual† (Beauchmap and Bowie, 1983). Hobbes (1962) implied this to both rational and ethical rationalism. Egoism has no way of solving conflicts of egoistic† interests and,† thus,† does† not† satisfy† the† goals† of ethical philosophy; the development and maintenance conditions that allow actors in a† society† to pursue a stable and happy life (Reidenbuch and Robin, 1990). Ethical† egoism is criticized on the basis that it ignores what most actors would agree are blatant wrongs (Reidenbach and Robin, 1990).
††††††††††† Utilitarianism, like egoism, is teleological in structure with the main difference between the two schools of thought being the subject of the decision.† Utilitarianism focuses on a society's long-term interests and is concerned with the consequences of corporate decisions to society at large, in†† economic†† or† non-economic† terms,† that† may† be† applicable† to† any stockholders† and measured by net costs and benefits (Boal and Perry, 1985; Frederick, Davis and Post, 1988). It is rooted in the thesis that an action is right if† it† leads to the greatest good for the greatest number or to the least possible balance of bad consequences (Beauchamp and Bowie, 1983); its telos (purpose or objective) is popularly characterized as the greatest good for the† greatest† number† (Shaw† and Post, 1993). Utilitarian theory proposes that† the† actor† should evaluate all outcomes of an action or inaction and weigh† it†† against† another to determine what is best for society in terms of its social consequences (Reidenbach and Robin, 1990).
††††††††††† In† its† purest† form, the utilitarian standpoint would argue that the actor should calculate the amount of both good and wrong in an action and reach a conclusion† on† whether to carry it out. Utilitarianism is further branched into† act† and† rule† models.† Act utilitarianism deals with each and every† action† a† person† takes† (no act is wrong in† itself); Rule utilitarianism† deals† with† the† matter of consistency in the way an actor acts in different† situations† (rules† for† what† to† do† regardless† of situation).† Act utilitarianism holds that in every situation one ought to act† to† maximize the total good, even if this means rules are violated. On the† contrary,† rule† utilitarianists† develop rules they believe are in the public's† interest (Wiley,† 1995).† The† utilitarian† standpoint† is† most famously† associated† with† Jeremy† Bentham (1789)† and† John Stewart Mill (1969),† who† argued† that† businesses operating in their own self interest would produce the greatest economic good for society† through an invisible hand metaphor. Fascination with this theory is prominent amongst economic rationalists (Kouzmin, Leivesley and Korac-Kakabadse, 1997) and those interested in cost/benefit analysis - both dogmas rapidly having been accepted by business.
††††††††††† Act utilitarianism focuses on how right an† act is in terms of it producing the† greatest† ratio of good to evil for all concerned; Rule utilitarianism advocates that the actor should try to formulate a set of rules for ethical conduct† and that those rules should be evaluated according to the ratio of good† versus† evil which is produced for all concerned, whether the rule is obeyed or disobeyed. This teleological doctrine differs according to how the conception of good is specified (Neitzsche, 1976; Aristotle, 1982). If good is† taken† as† the† realization of human excellence in the various forms of culture,† it† is† perceived† as† perfectionism† (Rawls,† 1971). If a good is defined† as† pleasure,† it† is† perceived† as† hedonism;† if† as happiness, eudaimonism,† and† so† on;† or,† in† utilitarian† terms, the satisfaction of (rational) desire (Rawls, 1971: 25).
††††††††††† Many of the criticisms levelled at utilitarianism comes from deontologists, whose† primary argument is that some actions are inherently wrong and could never† be† justified† as† a† means† to† happiness or a good, maximizing end. Utilitarianism has difficulties dealing with the choice† between actions or rules† which† provide† much good for a few actors or little good for many actors (Abelson and Nielson, 1967). The weakness lies in determining how one† ever knows what is, in fact, the greatest good for the greatest number (Hansen,† 1992);† hence,† it ignores actions that are wrong in themselves as long† as the end justifies the means (Tsalikis and Fritzsche, 1989; Hansen, 1992).† Thus, although equality is a key component of utilitarian calculus, the†† focus† is† on† the† consequence or ends - labelled end-point-ethics; often† in† ignorance† of† the† means by which these ends were achieved.† It could† be† argued that utilitarianism's pre-occupation with maximizing good is† overly †focused† with† efficiency† and† is† indifferent to distribution considerations† involving† merit† and need; in some instances favouring the adoption† of† actions† which† violate† the† actor's† basic sense of justice (Abelson and Nielson, 1967).
The Deontological Perspective and Non-Consequential Theories
††††††††††† From† a† deontological† perspective† there† is no need to justify duties by showing† that† they† are† productive† of† good;† the† philosophy focuses on universal† statements† of right and wrong. However, where exceptions exist, philosophers† have† suggested† that† prima† facie† universals†† allow these exceptions† in† certain† situations† (Robin et al, 1989). The principle is always† to act so that everyone, faced with the same situation, should take the† same† actions.† From† the† deontological (or duty-bound) philosophical perspective,† the† moral† system† of† thinking† is† based† on the view that particular† types† of† action and/or behaviour are intrinsically ethical or unethical,† within† rights and justice principles (Robin and Reidenbach, 1987).†† For† example,† cheating† is† always† dishonest† and,† hence,† always unethical; the behaviour or action being wrong is not mitigated by how good either† the† motive† behind† it† or† the† consequences flowing from it are.† Deontological assertions† are† not† found in observable phenomena but in a priori laws and† reasons (Kant, 1909), "divine law" (St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, quoted in Nitsch, 1990) and "intuition" (Scheler, 1963). Kant (1909) was the first to develop an unambiguous formulation of a deontological theory of ethics (Olson, 1967a; 1967b). He considered that both† contextual† parameters† (Kant's† external† world) and human behaviour (Kant's† internal† nature)† have to be formed, organized and dominated by rationality (Kantian understanding and† reason)† as well as rationality-guided volition in order to make them safe (Kant, 1909). The Kantian† (1901;† 1909)† categorical† imperative, or the "formalism of moral rights", is the† leading example of deontological ethics with an universal approach; where "reason", in Platonic and Kantian traditions, is interlocked with† the notions of truth as correspondence, of knowledge as the discovery of essence and of morality as obedience to principle.
††††††††††† Deontological (non-consequential: duty, justice, Kantian theory) ethics have been criticized for being overly reliant on over-riding moral principles dictated by reason† (Abelson† and Nielson, 1967); hence its weakness in explaining away exceptions to universal truths (Tsalikis and Fritzsche,† 1989).† Criticism† of† Kant's† theory (1901; 1909)† from† a consequentialist perspective† contends† that if consequences are dis-regarded, the actor ends up with a blind acceptance of duty regardless of any consequence.† Problems in† the† business arena may centre around conflicting duties and loyalties, as well as the dis-obedience of duty† to overt. unpleasant consequences (whistle†† blowing† being† an† example)† (Dancy, 1994; Pence, 1994). Accordingly,† the "fundamental moral rule" (Kant, 1909)† has a limited capacity† for dealing† with clashes of duties and rights; providing little assistance in situations where the fundamental rules are in conflict or the rights of two different groups, or actors, cannot both be met by any of the actions or rules which might apply.† The rights may both be legitimate according† to deontological ethics.† However,† the ethics do not† aid conflict resolution between them - incising the right of some actors,† through the Freedom of Information Act, to have access to information held by government agencies may decrease the rights to privacy of other actors, groups and corporations.
††††††††††† Notwithstanding that ancient and modern approaches to ethics aspire, at least indirectly, towards justice in society, where "justice" is a cover-all term to describe the end-state of those other attempts to perform good, the justice perspective first gained recognition during the social movements of the† 1960s. The justice perspective has been developed from the writings of Aristotle (1982: 257), who held that "just" means is 'that which is lawful and that† which† is† equal and fair and unjust means that which is illegal and† that† which† is† unequal† or unfair'. Hence, an actor has been treated justly† when† the† actor has been given what is due or owed, what the actor deserves or can legitimately claim (Aristotle, 1982). What is deserved may, however,† be† either a benefit or a burden (Beauchamp and Bowie, 1983: 40). Justice in the contemporary† context† is† concerned† with† the† fair distribution† of† benefits (and handicaps) within society; characterized by an† economic† focus† in† terms† of† interaction (context and relationship). Justice† is embedded into the social landscape; "embeddedness" referring to the fact that† economic† action† and outcome, like all social actions and outcomes,† are† effected by the actors' dyadic (pair-wide) relations, by the† structure of the overall network of relations† as well as the context and relationship of the interactions.
††††††††††† Justice components (distributive and procedural) are based on the principle of† equitable distributive† means;† social† benefits and burdens should be borne† by different groups, where the basis of equity may be needs, rights, efforts, contributions, merit or the equal distribution of efforts (to each actor† an† equal share; to each actor according to individual need; to each actor† according† to† that† actors† rights;† to† each† actor† according† to individual effort; to each actor according to societal contribution; and to each actor according to merit) (Beauchamp and Bowie, 1983; Frederick, Davis and Post, 1988; Hansen, 1992). Where the rights principle calls for the prevention of harm† or† protecting† the rights of others affected by actions (individual, group,† business),† procedural† justice† depends upon the outcomes that may take† three† distinct† forms: pure, perfect and imperfect (Reidenbach and Robin, 1990; Hansen, 1992).
††††††††††† The† main† criticism† of justice ethics has been by† utilitarianists, †for overly† focusing† on† the† rights† of† the actor, where the basic needs and rights of actors, as individuals, are more important than the maximization of overall† good† (Abelson† and† Nielson,† 1967).† Right† theory† rests on the assumption† that† every† person has basic rights in a moral universe. These rights† include† the right to free consent, the right of privacy, the right of freedom of conscience, the right of freedom of speech and the right to due† process (Wiley, 1995). In addition to individual rights, rights can be granted† to certain entities; the state has the right to enforce the law if someone† breaks† it. Thus,† although rights imply the actor has power all the time, this power can be taken away when bad choices are made (Wiley, 1995).
Theoretical Synthesis: Theories of Multiple Rule Non-Consequentailism
††††††††††† Both† teleological and deontological perspectives and, thus, consequential and non-consequential†† theories†† have†† been†† equally† accused† of† "ethical absolutism":† the† belief† that there is one true ethical code or guide for behaviour† (Tsalikis† and† Fritzsche,† 1989), leading to the emergence of a hybrid of the two former perspectives attempting to achieve a theoretical synthesis† (Ross'† prima facie duties, Rawls's† maximum† principle of justice, Garrett's principle of proportionality, ethical relativism). Garrett (1966), for example, tries to synthesize consequentialism and non-consequentialism. He† proposes† the† principle† of† proportionality,† postulating† that moral decisions have three elements: intention, means and ends.
††††††††††† In a similar manner, Ross (1930) attempts to join aspects of utilitarianism and Kantianism in his theory of prima facie† duties.† Ross (1930) contended that there are duties and obligations (fidelity;† †gratitude;† justice;†† beneficence;†† self†† improvement;† and non-injury) which bind actors morally and in making an ethical decision an actor should† weigh† up† all† the† duties† involved† and† their† options - determining from there which duty is most obligatory or prima facie.
††††††††††† Rawls's† (1971)† justice-based† theory† of ethics attempts to use a classic "multi-method" approach†† to ethical† theory:† using† the† strengths† of consequentialist† and† non-consequentialist† philosophies whilst avoiding their weaknesses. Rawlsian (1971) social justice (Rawlsian utilitarianism) is† based† on the view that actions which produce the greatest good for the greatest† number† are† ethical† and are so because the objective measure of good† is more reliable than other approaches, as it is based on realism to ensure an ethical society. He proposes two principles: the equal liberty (impartial and equitable administration of rules which defines a practice) and the† justice† principle.† For† Rawls† (1971), a just society is one in which inequalities† can be justified. Rawls (1971) specified under what conditions the equal liberty principle can be violated.
††††††††††† Ethical relativism maintains that decisions concerning what is ethical are a† function† of† a† culture or individual and, therefore, no universal rules exist† that† apply to everyone (Reidenbach and Robin, 1990). The relativist perspective† has† its† roots† in† the† great† thinkers† of† ancient Greece; Protagoras† in† the† fifth† century BC held that moral principles cannot be shown† to† be† valid† for† everyone† and† that† people† ought to follow the conventions† of† their† own grouping. Cultural relativism posits that moral standards† cannot† be† universally† valid,† because of value differences in culture. †Hence,† moral† norms† are culture-specific, where each culture and society† has† its† own† norms -† morality† is† a matter of conforming to the standards† and† rules acceptable in one's own culture† (Brandt, 1959; 1983; Hansen,† 1992). Moral views are simply based on how an actor feels or how a culture† accommodates† the desires of its actors, not on some deeper set of objectively† justifiable† principles† (Beauchamp† and† Bowie, 1983). From a relativist† perspective,† a† moral† standard is simply a historical product sanctioned† by† custom (Beauchamp and Bowie, 1983; Hansen, 1992). Hence, an actor's† initial position is bound to be the dialectical situation in which the† actor† experiences† in the temporal period in which the actor resides - the† problems †of† the† actor† reflect the truths and virtues the community generally accepts, excluding societal deviants (Dewey, 1930).
††††††††††† Extreme relativism (Robin, 1980) asserts that since there are two sides to every† moral† dilemma,† and since every individual is entitled to their own system† of† values,† neither† side† is† more† correct† than† the othere. The relativist† weakness† is† the† assumption that, deep down, there is no real difference† between† moral† beliefs;† that if analysis probes deeply enough into the decision-making processes, one would reach a point where the basic rationales were the same; not satisfying ethical philosophy (Reidenbach and Robin, 1990).
††††††††††† The† moralities† (and they are varied) are contextually constructed through the† history† of† the social landscape. There are a multitude of† contexts: Christian; Jewish, Islamic;† Buddhist;† Hindi; Confucian and so on. Each milieu† has† something† distinctive† to convey, although they may all share certain† things in common. The similarity between ultimate moral principles or† Kantian† categorical† imperatives (Kant, 1909); between the Confucian rule† of† reciprocity - do unto others as they should do unto you; and the Jewish "golden rule"† -† 'what is hateful to you do not do to your neighbour,' are† obvious and significant. In a sense, contemporary deontological ethics are† centred† on reason and the individual, being a re-statement or "ghost" (MacIntyre,† 1981)† of† the traditional Judeo-Christian morality founded on the divinely-revealed commandments.† However, some common components may also† have† different† values† attached† to† them; although many culturally different† milieus† have† common† meaning† of† time (for example, mornings, midday, evening,† night),† they† often† view time differently. Most western cultures have† a† pre-occupation with time† - to be late for an appointment is regarded as† rude,† thus† unethical.† Setting† a deadline is quite acceptable and is indicative† of† the† urgency of the activity or its relative importance and, thus,† considered† ethical† behaviour.† However,† time† takes† on† different meanings† in† other† parts† of† the† world.† In many parts of Africa or the Pacific Islands, time is viewed as flexible, not rigid or segmented; people and friendship come ahead of time. If an individual is pressed for time and hurries throughout a meeting, agenda or negotiation, they will generally be suspected of cheating and, thus, unethical behaviour (Hawkins, 1983: 50-51).
††††††††††† An† actor's† morality† (moral† personality) is mediated by their own motive force† through† duty and obligation (Kant, 1909).† Consequently,† motives undermine morality, teaching individuals 'to make a better calculation' and in this calculation remain indifferent to the separation of virtue from vice (Kant, 1909: 15:61).† The† social† process† (organizational decisions) both†† socially†† structures† and conditions the internal psychological processes of individual† actors† and,† as such, the actor's decisions.† However, within† Western† utilitarianism† (maximization of self-interest through economic deriving and success) and expressive individualism,† or egoism† (realization† of† individuality† through† each person's† unique† core† of feeling, intuition and experience),† the actor's choice† is influenced by motivation which is dualistic in origin: empirical (sensibility)† and† a† priori†† (super-sensible) - both sources of feelings† (the† subjective† elements† of an idea) (Kant, 1909: 16; 266). The empirical† precedes† the† a† priori†† in† consciousness,† however,† both are concurrently† present in the subjectivity of the consciousness when seeking principles of volition to govern the choice of acts.
††††††††††† Thus,† whether† an† organization† has a moral status, an existence or, even, a moral† intent† independent† of† its† members,† is† debatable† (Bower, 1974; Goodpaster† and Matthews, 1982; Velasquez, 1983; French, 1984; Ewin, 1991). Ethics,† like† culture,† may† not† be† something† that organizations posses (Sinclair,† 1993), but create and enact. Accordingly, ethics may not be the sole† expression† of an organization's moral personality (Ewin, 1991) but may be also† a† reflection† of† the principles of right and wrong which govern actors'† interactions† within† the† organization† when engaged in organizational† activities.† Inevitably,† these† principles† are† formed† by long-standing influences on actors which†† extend† far† beyond† the organizational realm, though it can be argued that some organizations shape the ethics exhibited by organizational members (Sinclair, 1993).
††††††††††† Societies† are† a† product† of† their† past (Dewey, 1930; Cavanagh, 1976; Beauchamp and Bowie, 1983; Hansen, 1992) and 'no matter how rapidly society changes,† current† attitudes† have their roots in history' (Cavanagh, 1976: 28).† The† moral† ethos† of† a† social† actor emerges out of the "formative context"† (Unger,† 1987;† Korac-Kakabadse† and† Kouzmin,† 1997a),† where† the boundaries† of ethical conduct are not static, but contextually defined and vary† over† time.† It is an ethos most notable† for† its† lack of fixedness - in the wealth of practical affairs in the† business† world, 'morality does not emerge from some set of internally held† convictions† or† principles†† but,† rather, from on-going, albeit changing, relationships† with and between persons, soce coteria, some social network, some† clique† that matters to a person' (Jackall, 1988: 101).† Since these relationships† and† interactions† are† always† multiple, contingent and in flux,†† managerial† moralities† are† always† situational,† always† relative (Jackall, 1988).
††††††††††† Disenchanted† with† the† limitations† of† control† by† means of economic or bureaucratic† sanction (Kouzmin, 1980a; 1980b; 1983), management theory widely promulgated, through the 1980s, the development of corporate culture as a means† of† enhancing managerial control (Peters and Waterman, 1982; Kilmann, Saxton and Serpa,† 1985;† Denision,† 1990).† Thus,† the† view† that† ethical business practices† stem† from† an† ethical† corporate culture (Murphy, 1989; 8) is widely† echoed,† as† were† prescriptions† of† how the culture should be cultivated† to† this† end.† Practitioners† and† theorists converting flawed organizational† ethics† assert† that† it† is† the† culture that needs to be fixed (Redienbach and Robin, 1991).
††††††††††† While† the† media† portrays business ethics as an oxymoron, which suggests that successful business actors must behave immorally (Murray, 1986), being possessed of a cut-throat† mentality (McDonald,† 1992),† some† argue† that† separating business† ethics† from the other spheres or arenas of activity is to create an† artificial† distinction between business and the rest of life (Drucker, 1991).† Lewis (1985), on the other hand, defines business ethics as a set of rules,† standards† or† code† of principles that provide guidelines for the morally† right† behaviour†† of† truthfulness in a specific social space and time.†† Hence,† 'actors† do† not behave or decide as atoms outside a social context† nor† do† they adhere slavishly to a script written for them by the particular†† intersection†† of†† social† categories† that† they† happen† to occupy' (Granovetter, 1985: 485).
††††††††††† Human† cognition† has† a† remarkable† capacity to file away the details and, especially,† the† emotional tone of past relations for long periods of time, so† that† even when one has not had dealings with a certain person for many years,† a re-activation of the relationship does not start from scratch but from† some† set† of† previously attained common understandings and feelings (Granovetter,† 1985). In non-temporal (on-going) relations, actors invoke the schema† (baggage)† of† previous† interactions with each other into each new one.† Thus, the philosophical approaches to the issue of ethics needs to be synergized† with the social interaction approach in order to understand business† ethics† (government-business,† medical,† legal, accounting) embedded in the milieu's ethos.
††††††††††† Professional† ethics, for example, as distinct from business ethics, centre on† particular† professions (law;† medicine;† communications;† counselling; journalism;† engineering;† accountancy)† most† professions† have† a code of ethics† (un† code† de† deontologie)†† which often provides the focus of that profession's† ethical behaviour.†† Unlike† corporate† codes† of† ethics, professional† codes† in† western† societies† are often legally enforceable.† Moreover,† entry† into† professional† life is usually much more uniform and regulated than is entry into a career in business (McDonald, 1992).
††††††††††† The† medical profession, for example, was the first to develop a modern code of† ethics,† based on the work of a birth physician, Thomas Perciebval, in 1803.† In† an† attempt† to† abate† the decline of the status of the medical profession,† at the first meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA), in† 1846,† a† committee† was appointed to report on a code of ethics for the organization† (Fishbein,† 1947).† Some 60 years later, the legal profession,† through† the† American† Bar† Association† (ABA),† adopted its first code of professional† ethics (Canons of Ethics),† in 1908, based on the work of Judge George Sharswood† and written in 1854. The accountant's desire for professional prestige† led† to† the development of a code of professional ethics in 1907 (Backof† and Martin, 1991). The development of a market forces ideology was the† major† component† underpinning the development of the business code of ethics - prior† to† 1960,† business† ethics† was† primarily† theological and religious† (De† George,† 1982).† The emerging interest in social issues in business,†† during†† the 1960s,† corresponds† to† an† anti-business† and anti-military movement amongst the youth of the US, although the 1970s saw the† rise† of business ethics as an emerging field (De George, 1982). While the† 1980s could be viewed as a period of initial consolidation of business ethics,† the† 1990s may be seen as† the era of† ethics codification.
††††††††††† There† is an enormous range of values by which actor's attitudes and actions are influenced, such as social, political, personal and administrative (or organizational) and† where† post-modernism† may be seen to have had an epochal influence† on† business† ethics† (Korac-Kakabadse† and †Kouzmin,† 1997a; 1997b). The changes† between† 1968† and† 1981† can† be described as a shift away from a collective† morality† value† orientation (utilitarian ethics) to a personal competence† value orientation (egoistic ethics).† Changes† caused† by socio-economic dynamics had moral and political† consequences† too.† There has been an on-going concern about the standard† of† behaviour† in† politics,† particularly with respect to the emergence of† recent buzz-words; sleaze, amongst others (Lindsay, 1995). Notwithstanding that a complete conception defining† principles for societal virtue is a social ideal,† a† vision† of† the† way† in† which† the aims and purposes of social interactions are to be understood is required† (Rawls, 1971:25).
††††††††††† In the tradition of "genteel traditionalism" (Santayana, 1913), stemming from† a combination of Calvinist guilt ("agonized consequence" of Calvinist ancestors)† and metaphysical† egoism, Western management also attempts to concurrently retain elements of idealistic metaphysics (human reason or the† human† distinction† between† good† and evil). Arguably,† this attempt at weaving† three† filaments of thought could be viewed as somewhat illogical, considering the†† transcendental†† successor† of† the† latter† stream† of consciousness† (Santayana,† 1913)† represents the love for business and the rise† of† corporatism (Murphy, 1939). The period between the World Wars was one† of† prophecy†† and† moral† leadership - the heroic period of pragmatism (Dewey, 1930); the period since has been one of professionalization.†
††††††††††† Under contemporary circumstances of professionalism, increased interdependencies and† vulnerabilities, defining a rational answer calls for† the† critical† re-examination of the prevailing notions of management endeavours: conceptual creativity (system or architectural ability); contingent† application† of knowledge (technical inductive ability) and the speculative negotiation of order (teleological unity - present actuality and the† power by which it becomes a future order). Thus,† management theology is defined† as† the management of a rationally unified system of techniques in accordance with the conception of an end.
††††††††††† Economic† rationalism† has been an influential factor in shaping managerial values† in† both† private† and public sector organizations (Kouzmin, Leivesley and Korac-Kakabadse, 1997). Many† managers in private sector organizations, and recently in the† public† sector too, have developed cognitive methodologies, such as the bottom-line-mentality† or scripts, of which they may be quite unaware and† that often foster unethical action (Kouzmin, Korac-Kakabadse and Jarman, 1996).
††††††††††† As† documented† by† both† Habermas (1975) and Offe (1984), amongst others, these† scripts lead to a transformed rationality by which both private and public† activities are† legitimized† in† society.† Thus, especially during transitional periods, there are conflicts between forms of rationality† over† which actions are seen to be legitimate. The bottom-line-mentality† is a† script †that† supports† financial† success† as† the† only† value† to† be considered; promoting short-term solutions that are immediately financially sound, despite the fact that they may cause problems for others† within the organization.† An unrealistic belief† is† promoted,† where† everything† is just a monetary game; rules of morality† are† merely† obstacles - impediments along the way to bottom-line financial success (Wolfe, 1988; Simms, 1992).
††††††††††† The† basic† logic† of† the† free-market† economy is competition, where success requires strategies based on† creativity, inequity, manoeuvrability and† flexibility.† In public sector organizations, the financial-bottom-line mentality is increasingly being coupled with the† traditional political-bottom-line mentality (Simms, 1992); stemming from the unresolved conflict†† over† minister-civil†† servant†† and†† Parliament-civil†† servant relationships (Dixon, Kouzmin and Korac-Kakabadse, 1996).† Fear† and† favour† are† still† alive and well in the public service†† but† in †a† vastly† different form. The entanglement of political strategies† from the government of the day with the machinery of government has† thrown† into† question the political independence and integrity of the public† sector (Kouzmin, Dixon and Wilson, 1995).† This politicization has gradually seeped down the ranks of the† public† sector,† with† officers† being confused about to whom they are answerable - their political masters of the day or the wider concept of the community (Dixon, Kouzmin and Korac-Kakabadse, 1998).†† Accountability, the buzzword of the past decade of reforms, has given rise†† to†† the† question:† accountable† to† whom?† (Walsh,† 1993).† Furthermore,† opening† a window on government operation, exemplified by the Freedom† of Information Act, in some instances, made public officers more† unwilling† to provide† written† advice that could be seen as conflicting with the wishes of their ministers (Walsh, 1993).
††††††††††† The† codification† of† ethical† conduct† for the public sector has received considerable† attention† in the last two decades.† The models being adopted vary† in† their† forms† and† context,† as† exemplified by the United States' ten-part Code of Ethics for Government Service,† adopted in 1958 (USA, 1958; American Society For Public Administration,† 1984) and† in† a† Ten† Commandments† approach† (small number of general precepts which† are† expressed† in† broad† terms with no provision for the code's† administration).† Australia's Guidelines on Official Conduct (Commonwealth of Australia, 1982), takes a Justinial Code approach (comprehensive coverage of ethical rules with guidelines for their implementation) (Kernaghan, 1975), with Canada's Conflict of Interest Code† (revised with the Armstrong Memorandum in 1987) being near the middle of this continuum (Canada Treasury Board, 1985).† Whether† ethical rules, in general, or codes, in particular, take the form of legislative† or† administrative measures varies in each society. The United States,† for† example, relies more on legislation to regulate public service ethics than Australia, Britain and Canada.
From a Duty to End-Point Ethics: The Public Sector Dilemma
††††††††††† In† response† to media attacks and political corruption in the 1980s,† many western† governments† decided to put ethics onto the agenda of their public service† during† the† transition† to† a† market† discipline. The Australian government† has† followed† the Canadian situation and introduced a re-vitalized ethical†† code of† practice† for† the† public† sector.† However,† despite considerable† evidence† in the corporate world and the lingering reputation of† "fallen entrepreneurial†† heroes",†† myths†† of†† market-discipline entrepreneurialism† has† been tirelessly advocated by the British, Australian, and† Canadian† governments, amongst others, as the means of accountability (Korac-Kakabadse and Kouzmin, 1997a). This† is un-surprizing considering that ancient writings, exemplified by the Ciceros'† (1981:† 157)† works† - On† Duties†† Ill ††or† A† Practical Code of Behaviour†† (addressed to his son who was, at the time, a student in Athens), show† that ancient societies were going through the processes of drawing up guidelines for what was deemed acceptable behaviour.
††††††††††† The merit principle (making appointments and† promotion decisions based on the demonstrable merit) is of in-estimable value in creating a culture of service where ethics is integral to the process. Considering that under the Westminster style of government public servants are employees of ministers, their† discretion† on merit, in many cases, is non-existent. This raises the question† as to whether the selection, tenure and promotion of public servants† on† merit† has diminished?, especially if accountability, in the broad sense, means the accountability of the moral responsibility for actions and decisions in the light of knowledge about the results of those decisions.
††††††††††† In† the† context of† "morals" of western society associated with reason, competence,† expertise† and probity, the constitutional model of† public† administration,† exemplified by the US and Australia, implies a responsiveness††††† to†† broad†† concerns of public† interest,† civic responsibility,† law, morality and competence, as well as to the values of political† leadership.† The† responsiveness† of† public† administration† is fundamental† to the totality of the governmental regime's values. Being the servants† of† the† government† and servants of the law and the constituency (the† public),† public† servants have traditionally been advised to act in the†† public†† interest;† be†† politically†† neutral;† guard† confidential information;† protect† the† privacy† of† citizens† and† employees;† provide efficient,† effective† and† fair† service to the† public;† avoid conflicts of interest; be accountable and so on (Kernaghan and Langford, 1990) which, in the† contemporary† context,† causes many† difficulties stemming from ambiguities and†† contradictions†† in† that† advice.† For† example,† being accountable† and† efficient† is† rather† difficult† to† achieve, as well as maintaining† loyalty and confidentiality and, at the same time, acting in the public† interest† when† the imperative is to implement what is, in their opinion, misguided† policy. Striking a balance between representative public service and† an† efficient† and† effective† public† service† remains a considerable challenge.
††††††††††† The† situation† may further be complicated by the fact that public servants may† be† subject† to not only their government's code of ethics but also to codes developed for their profession and codes developed by† professional associations of public servants (Institute of Public Administration of Canada; American Society of Public Administration). In Britain,† cases of AIDS (X. v. Y., 1988) and prisoner release (W. v. Edgell, 1989)† litigation,† illustrate† the† problems† over† public† professionals revealing information concerning private citizens.
††††††††††† Furthermore, there is the question of public servants having justification for leaking† government documents to the press. A public official, for example, may,† without† disclosure,† continue† to act in a position with a conflict of interest in a fashion which is fair, impartial and high minded. Conversely, for† the† most meritorious reasons of sympathy and compassion, the official may act† to alleviate the plight of a member of the public by the provision of† a benefit where the applicant, in fact, has no lawful entitlement to that benefit.
††††††††††† Notwithstanding† that† in† both† cases† the† officers† acted unlawfully and significantly† in a manner that puts at risk the very public interest their office† binds† them to serve,† the official may hold within their own belief system† that† the† action† was† ethical and proper. However, for reasons of public† confidence in the institutions of government in the first case, and because† of† the† risks to the public in allowing an official a dispensing power† on† the† other,† their† conduct cannot be countenanced. Varying, and often† conflicting,† public interests -† privacy protection; state interests; the promotion of candour; accountability; and client focus;† are of vital significance to the determination being made in a given context.
††††††††††† Furthermore, the proliferation of IT and the associated ease of information sharing;† flattening of organizational hierarchies and increasing formal and informal networks, pose additional difficulties for traditional confidentiality.† An error in a computer† program carried† out by a Department of Social Security employee caused the distribution of thousands of social†† benefit payments to be sent† to† the† wrong† addressees (Korac-Boisvert† and† Kouzmin, 1994).† IT† facilitates influence on policy design† and† implementation from background actors who play no direct role in† the observable interaction but are connected through various networks,† such† as† the role of consumers in transport policy (Dudley, 1994).
††††††††††† Social, political and technological features of the policy context require the† development† of† conditions† for† highly† complex† and inter-dependent decision-making;† the† rules† are† the† challenge† of† joint action and its implementation.† Integration† often requires input from various government and semi-government agencies, as well as active participation by members of target† groups† and their representatives in implementation structures. In† many† instances, un-anticipated, complex patterns of inter-dependence have resulted, through the† adoption† of† new† technologies† and† bottom-line management† models,† in† efforts† to† re-orient and re-structure patterns of action† on† behalf† of† previously† neglected† values; namely those of the private sector organizations, efficiency and client service. Developing cross-sectoral† links,† exemplified† by† a common database of clients, pose challenges† to† the† traditional† public† sector† stability of sectoral and sub-sectoral† structures and, at the same time, signals an eventual shift in the† scale† of† network arrays towards many more actors tied across broader policy spaces (community-issue network dimensions), on the one hand, and the shift from public administrators to public managers modelled on the image of private sector managers.
††††††††††† The† shift† from† the old system of operation and ethical beliefs (one that ensured† control† and† conformity)† to new systems often exert considerable emotional† stress† on public† sector actors (Dixon and Kouzmin, 1994). The example of† building organizations,† reflecting† the abilities of their members, shows there is a shift† from the "organizational man" image to "individualized corporations" which† also† signals the† shift† from utilitarian ethics towards egoistic ethics† (Bartlett† and† Ghoshal,† 1995).† This† shift† is part of a broader re-definition† of† top† management's role resulting from the need to replace the†† obsolete†† strategy-structure-systems doctrine† with† a† leadership philosophy† built† on† purpose,† process† and people (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1995;† Korac-Kakabadse and Kouzmin, 1997a; 1997b). The shift from systems-driven to people-oriented† management† is† pivotal† because† only† then can top-level management† broaden its role from defining strategy to building a corporate purpose†† and† framing† structure† as† well† as† developing† organizational processes.
††††††††††† Thus, creating an individualized corporation requires the re-definition of formal† systems,† policies† and procedures so that they support, rather than subvert,† top† management's† ability† to† focus on the organization's actors (Bartlett† and† Ghoshal,† 1995).† This† shift has left many public managers confused† about† what† constitutes ethics for public servants in particular situations.† This is particularly prominent in departments where strong elements of commercialization exist†† (Australian†† Department†† of Administrative† Services;† Employment,† Education and Training; and Defence) (Dixon, Kouzmin and Korac-Kakabadse, 1996). Often,† the† assumption is that when an† organization becomes commercial the manager† enters the commercial world, dealing with business in the way other players in the field deal† with† it† (Gaze,† 1995). This introduces the question of 'gifts, freebies, dinners, mates and favours and a bit of nepotism here and there, because,† in business,† you are building relationships' (Gaze, 1995:† 3).† The† frenzy† of adopting private sector praxis† in† bottom-line† management,† where deals are made with exchange of gratuities† and† gifts,† poses† an† ethical† dilemma† -† what kind of gifts or entertainment (if any) should public servants accept from someone with whom they do business?
††††††††††† For† example,† during† the† launch of the new software product, Natural New Dimension† system for personal† computers, the software corporation, SPL Worldgroup† (Australia),† presented† each† attendant† with† a† free software package.† Of† the† 210† attendants,† 180† were† public sector employees who attended† the† two-hour† presentation† during† working hours as part of† a government† initiative† to† keep abreast of IT developments (SPL Worldgroup Australia,† 1995).† Considering† that† software† licences were issued under individual†† names,†† not†† organizations,†† and† that† individuals† were† IT professionals, each† individual took a package worth AUS$2100 home (SPL Worldgroup Australia, 1995).
††††††††††† The problem is that public servants in the new context of commercialization still† play a role in public trust and still have to maintain some independence.† Thus,† they cannot† take private benefits from their public role and, therefore,† there† is a need to make a distinction (and apply a standard of conduct)† for† the whole public service and assist those managers to acquire new capabilities to cope with† new environments.
††††††††††† The† very† concept† of† the† public† service† social milieu and ethos† as the all-embracing† field† within† which† different† types† of† values (ethical, socio-economic,† cultural)† (Walton,† 1969:† 24)† are† found,† need† to† be incorporated† in† the† transformation ideology (Korac-Kakabadse and Kouzmin, 1997a; 1997b).† For† this† reason, management ethics cannot be treated lightly or in isolation† from† influential† variables† such† as† culture,† belief† system (religious or other) and local laws.
††††††††††† It† could† be† argued† that† public† sector† organizations,† due† to† their traditional† focus† on† security† and non-competitiveness, attract more than their† share† of† scrutiny for their new focus on money and profits. As the competitive pressures increase and resources become limited, top management (public†† and†† private)†† turn†† to old† favourites,† The† Prince (Machiavelli,† 1965)† and† The† Art† of† War†† (Sun Tzu, 1976). A review of various† studies† on† Machiavellianism (Robinson and Shaver, 1973) revealed that† differing† degrees† of† Machiavelliansm between generations indicates that† social† actors† are becoming more manipulative and impersonal. Noting that† the Machiavellian label has† become a negative epithet, indicating at least† an† amoral (if not immoral) way of manipulating others to accomplish one's† objective† (Hunt† and† Chanko,† 1984:† 30),† those perceptions are of considerable concern, especially in an information society where technology can be effectively utilized for the manipulation and control of information (Korac-Boisvert† and† Kouzmin,† 1994;† 1995).† Even standard marketing text books† encourage† the† manager† to compete through choosing the best arena -† using†† strategic†† thrust,†† analyzing†† defensive† capability,† assessing competitor† vulnerability,† retaliatory† behaviour and offensive strategies (Leavitt,† 1989).† The† conflicting message given to struggling managers is that† there† is† little room for ethical consideration when "battling" in a war† zone† (Leavitt,† 1989). Managers forced to make tough decisions during tough† times† need to be able to draw upon the more creative, philosophical thought† processes in order to balance the hard-line analytical approach to decision-making.
††††††††††† An† individual's† level of cognitive moral development strongly influences the† person's decision regarding what is right or wrong - the rights, duties and† obligations† involved in a particular ethical dilemma (Kohlberg, 1981: 602;† Trevino,† 1986).† The intriguing issue which arises, therefore, is the extent† of† congruence† between the ethical dilemmas faced by public sector actors† in their daily practice, their own attitudes towards such dilemmas, their† behaviours† when† confronted by those issues and the encoded code of conduct.
††††††††††† A† study† of† retired middle managers in Fortune 500 companies revealed that corporate†† crime†† was†† determined† by† top† managers† who† pushed† their subordinates† so† hard† that† illegal† practices† were tacitly necessary to survive† (Clinard,† 1983).† A† number† of† studies suggested that corporate cultures† are† an† important† element† of precipitating events in corporate law-breaking† (Werhane, 1991). The operating cultural norms socialize their members into patterns of ethical or unethical behaviour (Clinard, 1983).
††††††††††† Illegal† activities† can take on an aura of normality amongst those engaged in† them,† through† cultural† and linguistic techniques of "neutralization", exemplified by the dark-side of networks such as group-thinking,† in-group† biases, collusion and corruption demonstrated by the External† Affairs† and† International† Trade of Canada (EAITC) travel fraud (Allen,† Fisher and Fulton, 1992; Korac-Boisvert and Kouzmin, 1994), NASA's Challenger† disaster† (Jarman† and† Kouzmin, 1990; 1994) and the Australian Stock Exchange's (ASE) insider trading practices (Tomasic, 1991; Korac-Boisvert and Kouzmin, 1994), leading to institutionalized creeping crises (Jarman and Kouzmin, 1994; Korac-Boisvert and Kouzmin, 1994).
††††††††††† The† Australian Commonwealth Department of Customs, for example, experienced numerous† ethical† deficits† and fraudulent activities, where officers were freely† accepting expensive gifts from clients (Korac-Kakabadse and Kouzmin, 1997b).†† The† practice† was† so† widely accepted that it had become normal procedure (Codd, 1995).† Furthermore, an information technology consultant, dealing with diesel excise rebates, managed to channel funds into numerous bank accounts over a period of time amounting to A$1.3 million (The Daily Telegraph† Mirror, 1994: 9).† Similarly, the† two† largest Australian social benefits departments, the Department of Social Security (DSS) and the Department† of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) have encountered similar† financial embellishments by clients,† as† well† as† employees,† which,† after† media† leaks, led to the adoption† of† the Fraud Control Action Plan (Ives, 1993; Korac-Boisvert and Kouzmin, 1995).
††††††††††† Similarly,† officers† on† overseas† postings† on† behalf† of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have made a healthy second income on† the† duty-free luxury car† market† (Walsh, 1993:34). A similar case was reported in the Canadian department of External Affairs and Trade and other societies (Korac-Boisvert and Kouzmin, 1994).† Although the majority of public servants are dedicated and honest, there are significant rorts† that† are† not publicly disclosed and, in many instances, are protected (Walsh, 1993).
††††††††††† When† such† a culture is embedded in an organization, through evolution, the re-definition† of† what† was initially considered maleficent behaviour† occurs.† How† widely †fraud and disorder spread depends very much on how the network of social relations is structured (Korac-Boisvert and Kouzmin, 1994). Sometimes the most elaborate and† blatant† schemes† of† political† corruption† take† on† the solidity of established institutions, so that† public officials finally brought to account† for† their actions invariably defend themselves by explaining that they participated in the system as they found it.
††††††††††† Canada's† reputation for a reliable, and neutral, public service has been† steadily† eroded† by episodes such as the travel scam by the External Affairs† and Trade† department,† where officers actually used excursion air-fares but full-fare ticket stubs were submitted as expense claims, with the difference being pocketed - in† many† cases more than CAN $1,000 per ticket being involved (Allen, Fisher, and Fulton,† 1992; Korac-Boisvert and Kouzmin, 1994).† In† some† instances, full-fare† airline-tickets† were† booked† then† cancelled, travel†† never being undertaken† but full-fare† stubs† being† submitted for reimbursement† -† sometimes† over CAN $5,000 per ticket being involved. In addition to fraudulent travel claims, the† investigation† turned† up† evidence of further illicit activities by a dozen† other employees such as 'falsification of exchange-rate† receipts,† failure† to† report† salary over-payments,† contravention of conflict-of-interest guide-lines and visa fraud and harassment' (Allen, Fisher, and Fulton, 1992: 17; Korac-Boisvcert and† Kouzmin, 1994).† The Canadian Federal Justice Department's latest investigation† of† then Prime Minister, Mulroney, concerns allegations that he was party to a scheme in which European aircraft manufacturer Airbus Industries† paid† US$20† million in kickbacks to win a US$1.2 billion order from Air Canada, with a direct benefit of US$5 million (Serrill, 1995).
††††††††††† In† Australia,† in† addition† to† federal government incidents of unethical acts,† each† state† is† plagued† with† Royal† Commission Inquiries into the activities of public offices with a variety of acts: from Queensland, where the† Minister† for Health and the Deputy Speaker of the House had to resign because† they† had been identified by the Criminal Justice Commissioner for mis-using parliamentary† travel allowances; through to the New South Wales† inquiry† into† the† activities† of† the Police Service alleged to be involved† in† a bribery and corruption scandal; to Western Australia, where corruption occurred on† very large scale† concerning a number of commercial deals† in which the government, its ministers and associates where involved (McMahon, 1995).† In† 1992-1993, for example,† the New South Wales (NSW) Independent† Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) received 3,951 complaints of† potentially unethical† and† corrupt practices of the NSW public sector (Australia, ICAC, 1995).
††††††††††† In response† to a wide-spread ethical crisis, a number of Australian state parliaments† and the Federal government adopted The Public Sector Ethics Act, aiming to declare particular† ethics† as† the basis of good public administration.† Additionally, a number of federal departments supplemented this act with departmental codes of ethics.† Following reports by the Electoral† and† Administrative† Review† Commission† (Australia, EARC,† 1992),† and its parliamentary† committee (Australia, PCEAR, 1993), in December 1994, a national Network for Public Sector Ethics was formed† to increase public sector ethical awareness.† Some of the paradoxes that public service actors have to contend with are summarized in the table below:
Free Market Economy
Freedom of Information
Public Sector Codes
(utilitarian or egoist)
††††††††††† While† unethical acts are numerous in western societies,† exemplified by the resignation of a† British† minister after widespread press allegations of sleaze† (Elliott,† 1994),†† the† Australian Labour Minister for Environment, Sport and Territories, Ros Kelly,† resigned over poor administration of an A$ 60 million† program† of† grants† to† local †government and community organizations (analysis† of† fund† distribution† showed† that† grants† to organizations† in opposition electoral areas ran† a poor second) (Walsh, 1993). Unethical† acts such as corruption in developing economies and economies in transition† (from† planned-market† to† free-market) are even higher. In the former† Soviet† Republics,† corruption† is not necessarily† organized, however bribes are taken† independently, making corruption more discretionary (Elliott, 1994).
††††††††††† The† scale† of† graft† in economies in transition is so great that it risks causing† political† unrest† or† a backlash† against† free-market reforms. In Venezuela,† in 1993, it was discovered that Venezuela's Central Bank had made a† payment of US$ 17 million to the then President Perez's "discretionary"† fund (Elliott,† 1994).† Argentinean President Carlos Menem accepted a US $100, 000† Ferrari† Testarossa† from† an† Italian† company bidding for government business† (Elliott, 1994). Furthermore,† Western† bribes† to† foreign governments contribute to this practice. For example, it is estimated, that 500† to† 600† million Deutsche Marks are deducted from German corporate tax returns† for† foreign† corruption,† passed† off as "necessary expenditures" (Elliott,† 1994).† Although† the† US has adopted anti-graft codes of ethics (American† Foreign† Corrupt Practice Act), the code does not work very well because nobody else has such a law.
††††††††††† Considering† that† morality† is† economically valuable and that the moral character† of† a† society's population† is† a† valuable economic resource, trust, then, provides 'an important lubricant to a social† system.† It is extremely efficient,† saving much trouble by having a fair† degree† of† reliance† on other people's word' (Arrow, 1974: 23). Trust† in† light† of Kantian (1901)† formalism of moral rights provides an ethical dimension with an universalistic approach. Notwithstanding that the deontological† approach† has† been increasingly under challenge from social science† perspectives, less concerned with universal absolutes than† with† the† values† which† inform behaviour in less macro locations or areas such† as† organizations† and† industries,† as† well† as† social† and professional settings (Trevino, 1986), the "pure" understanding of ethics† as†† independent of context† appears† appropriate† in† the† increasingly globalized† world† and† its† worth† is its contribution to the promotion of positive† values.† Enormous† resource† costs could be saved in a 'perfectly honest† and† open world that would permit do-it-yourself cash registers and communal lawn mowers' (Okun, 1981: 86).
††††††††††† Notwithstanding† that† expunging unethical behaviour is an impossible task, minimizing such practices is necessary for any organization and society at large.† Certain† values,† such† as† honesty;† respect for the person (which suggests †inter alia that officials should avoid patronage and favouritism and† exercise† powers† fairly† and† equitably);† integrity (justice appears equally† respected in† developed and developing economies alike);† Socratic virtues (Plato, 1956) - willingness to talk, to listen to other people, to weigh†† the consequences of† actions on other people, are simple† moral virtues† widely† acclaimed in current leadership literatures (Kakabadse, 1991; Fairholm, 1991; 1993; Korac-Kakabadse and Kouzmin, 1997a).
††††††††††† Identifying† fundamental† international† rights,† such† as† the† right† for subsistence† and† political participation are defined as international goods (Donaldson,† 1989).†† There is a requirement that public and private organizations,† alike,† need† to† respect† individual† rights as a 'universal objective† minimum'† (Donaldson, 1985: 360) irrespective of culture. In the presence of a conflict, the lower standard (such as consumer safety) of the host† country† norms† should† be rejected. Where fundamental rights are not involved,† however,† cultural† differences† may influence the outcome - some forms† of† questionable† employment practices in Saudi Arabia, for example. In† developed† economies,† business† behaviour† is regulated by legislation based on broad social consensus. In the global arena, such moral consensus may† be† lacking, as is† regulation† and† its† enforcement in particular developing societies (Simpson, 1982).
††††††††††† Thus, virtue as the ethical order reflects the individual actor's character so† far† as† that† character is determined by its natural endowment (Hegel, 1952).† When virtue displays itself solely as the actor's simple conformity with the duties of the station to which the actor belongs, then it is rectitude (Hegel, 1952). Ethnic models of ethics are constructions of a group ethos (the† guiding† beliefs,† standards† or ideas that characterize that group) and† aboriginal† observations made by a† social group to keep order and codify interaction† relevant to their particular social time† and† place;† as† such† these† models† are† not† capable† of universal application.† The† usefulness† of† ethical† models† is† in† their interpretative ability concerning†† particular social space and time;† thus they† are† learning tools for increasing the awareness and understanding of human diversity and interaction.
††††††††††† For† example,† the ten values shared by American democracy are not so uniquely† American:† achievement and success; activity and work; efficiency and† practicality;† moral† orientation and humanitarianism;† freedom; equality; patriotism; material comfort;† external conformity and rationality;† as well as† measurement,† could† be† applied† to† almost† any† other† Western-style democracy (Cavanagh, 1976: 19).† Classical Greek and Roman writers recorded that† sharp† business† practices† existed† in† ancient times; that business persons† where just† as† keen† then† to make a fast drachma as† business† actors are today.†† Plutarch (1981: 113) cites Aristidles (520-486 BC)† who† describes† Themistocles† as a clever fellow, but apt to be light-fingered.† In another† extract, Plutarch (1981: 181) cited† Thucydides and members of his party† who denounced Percicles (495-429 BC) for 'squandering public† money and letting the national revenue run to waste'. It is no surprize† that the† first† known† legislative action in Roman criminal law relates to bribery taking place in 432 BC, to extortion in 149 BC and to embezzlement and forgery, both in 81 BC (Cowel, 1956: 202).
††††††††††† The† field† of organizational ethics can afford to be no less vigilant then other† disciplines in the pursuit of knowledge concerning† the implications of multi-cultural similarities and differences for successful international professional† practices.†† Particularly† critical† is† the need to test the assumptions that ethical†† standards†† for† professional† conduct† are transportable† to other societies.† Globalization† of† technology,† in its broader† context,† often lays the groundwork for the transfer of respective values;† goals;† needs; skills;† abilities† and† praxis - IT technology is not culture free (White and Rhodeback, 1992: 664; Korac-Boisvert, 1992).† Although written† ethical† rules,† in† general, and codes of ethics, in particular,† are important elements in building an ethical society, there has been an insufficient means of promoting global ethics.
††††††††††† The† term† ethics† is† often bandied about in both the popular and specialized press -† being† applied† to† nearly† every facet of an actor's life, from the workplace† to† the† locker† room† (Simms,† 1992). Technological advances in fields† as† diverse† as† medicine† and† electronics pose antecedent ethical quandaries† to secondary† fields such as sport, cosmetics and communications and† law† enforcement. A proliferation of medical end-products pervades modern consumer life, unintentionally testing the† ethical† standards† of† administrators† in organizations as diverse as sporting bodies and governmental health departments. Sporting organizations, for† example,† have† found† that† technological† advances† in† the† form of performance† enhancing† drugs† has† grown† to† be† a major† issue. Although synthetic† testosterone† has† been available since the 1940s and synthetic derivatives† (anabolic† steroids)† since† 1954,† the† International Olympic Committee† did not ban† the use of these substances until the mid-sixties (Booth† and Tatz, 1993); their use becoming unethical at that point. Interestingly, the American Medical Association (AMA) has, for the past† fifteen years, maintained that anabolic steroids do not affect muscle growth† ergo† sports† performance. Both the IOC and the AMA would† argue† that† they were acting ethically.† However, the contribution to the perceived public good through mis-information again raises issues of end point ethics, somewhat at odds even with the rule utilitarianism from which such† policies† spring;† analysis† is contingent on the public health model adopted† and† the† weight† given† to individual rights and freedom (Booth and Tatz,† 1993;† Hoberman and Yesalis, 1995). The individual's (athlete's) health is† often† forwarded† as a major concern in formulating drug use guidelines and,† hence,† defining† what their ethical use is; the AMA and IOC contending that† performance† enhancing drugs are detrimental to an individual's health (which† is detrimental to the societal good in terms of costs to the health care† system† and lost productivity in rational economic analysis).† However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has trialed the use of anabolic steroids as a† form† of† male contraception† at† a† dose† exceeding common sport usage (Hoberman and Yesalis, 1995).
††††††††††† The† legal† and† medical professions have made no change in their codes of ethics for† a† long time - 54 years for law (from 1908 to 1961) and 110 years for medicine† (from† 1847† to† 1957).† When† the† codes† were changed it was in response† to† a† crisis† faced† by† the profession. In sharp contrast, the accounting† profession,† from† 1928† through† 1988,† did not have one decade without† a† significant† journal† article,† committee† statement of need or proposal† regarding† professional ethics (Backof and Martin, 1991). Perhaps public† policy† should† adopt† the† accounting† philosophy† of† continually updating† its† code† of ethics instead of waiting for a crisis.† Ethical† issues† need† to become a vital component in the process of policy development;† policies† and procedures need to reflect a genuine commitment to† building† a† culture† in which important values are explicitly acknowledged. Only†† continuous†† generative†† (double-loop)† learning† (Argyris,† 1982), reflection† and adjustment can accommodate this requirement (Korac-Kakabadse and Kouzmin, 1997a; 1997b).
††††††††††† Complex† problems,† new† technologies† and† uncertainty† caused by them are increasing, suggesting that there is a need for aligning ethics with† a† new societal modus operandi.† Society needs to deal with difficult and† complex† problems† such† as† DNA-based† testing for breast cancer, the safety† of genetically- engineered food or risks of cancer from living close to† petrol stations and power lines. Each problem is complex with uncertain outcomes;† risks† to† life are inherent to new developments in many fields, urgently† requiring† systematic† strategies for assessing and communicating these† risks.† Risk communication requires† advancing knowledge† about risk and† is† central† to† managing† the† impact† of† new† technologies such as biotechnology and food irradiation.
††††††††††† The† British† government's handling of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalophaty (BSC)† or† "Mad† Cow Disease", is the latest result of a cultural denial that has† mis-managed† hazard in Britain -† from asbestos to lead in petrol,† from† radiation† to† acid† rain, from pesticides to threats to the ozone† layer† (Lean, 1996). The long,† outright denial of danger that the BSC is† transmissible† to† people,† the reliance on a limited range of selected scientific† evidence, the marginalization and ridicule of experts who issued warnings,† the† demand† for proof, the reluctant half-measures and, finally, after† the† damage† was† long† done,† the† hurried† and† humiliating† U-turn highlight†† the need for code of ethics in politics as well as for the need for supplying scientific information to the public (Lean, 1996:1).
††††††††††† An† actor's† ability† to† respond to environmental hazards (food, drugs) is determined,† in† part,† by their understanding of the processes that govern their† creation† and† control. Lacking scientific evidence, actors often have to make an educated guess based on whatever they know about a hazard.† This may† lead† to† mis-perception and confusion.†† Information is particularly susceptible† to† modification† by† actors† with different values, with some groups† presenting† arguments† for,† while† others† emphasize arguments against - exemplified† by† consumer† groups† and† industry† spokespersons.† Typically,† groups† forward carefully selected evidence to support opposite† sides† of† the† same argument, avoiding the assessment of all available evidence† and† making† it† public.† The† toxicological† evaluation† of† the carcinogenicity† of† new† compounds† (many† already† in† use)† needs† to be presented to the public through information that is easily understood.
††††††††††† Similarly, explaining ideas that are difficult to understand (that wholesome foods† may† contain† natural† carcinogens† at† higher† levels† than humanly produced carcinogenic pesticide residues) may prevent mis-understandings and mis-interpretation† of† the† risk† information† as well as assist society in adopting† new† values. Accurate knowledge about new food technologies, such as† food† irradiation,† translates into greater acceptance. Information and scientific† evidence† need† to† be† presented† in a manner which explicitly conveys uncertainty and limits in knowledge. A range of complex ideas (some signifying† real,† and† some† only† nominal,† essences), as well as "simple ideas"† or† "passively† received intuitions", conveying positive attributes and† objections† (either† as a woven element of argument or as an addendum), can† begin† to† look† acceptable if communicated well. The latest example of British† government's mis-handling of the BSC crisis highlights the need for establishing† a† method for delivering scientific information to the public untainted† by† the† suspicion of political and commercial calculations (The Economist, 1996: 28). Scientific evidence and advice to the† consumers need to be delivered by scientists, not politicians (The Economist, 1996: 28).
††††††††††† Although† ethical issues in bio-technology capture the popular imagination, ethnology† development in other areas give rise to equally pressing issues. The† use† and† potential abuse of information and communications technology has to radically† affect† the nature of society (Longstaff, 1995: 5). New forms† of surveillance may limit an actor's effective† zone of privacy while genetic-engineering gives size to new life-forms which, as commodities, may save commercial interests while defying nature's laws of evolution.
††††††††††† Notwithstanding† that† promoting† ethics† takes† time,† the widespread† interest† in† ethics† is† the† best† means of promoting ethical behaviour† and† encouraging† a† general† sense of civic virtue (Elliott and Raghavan,† 1994).† The† notion† that† all† government must be in the public interest† and its corollary, that the interest of the government of the day does not exhaust the public interest, needs continual reiteration, leadership and† public† discussion.† Cicero (1971: 120) held that if, 'we firmly adopt moral† goodness as our guide - in each and every one of its forms - it will follow automatically what our practical duties or obligations must be'. His moral† goodness† consisted† of† three themes: an ability to distinguish the truth† from† falsity;† an† ability† to† restrain† the passions and make the appetites† amenable to reason; and the capacity to behave considerately and understandingly in our associations with other actors.
††††††††††† Cicero† (1981: 161) also observed that 'to every one who proposes to have a good† career,† moral† philosophy† is† indispensable'. Professionalism, like pragmatism,† is† a synthesis of the theory and practice of enlarging human freedom† in a precarious and tragic world by the art of intelligent social control (Hook,† 1974).† Perhaps this synthesis is a lost cause, however,† there† may† not† be a better one. This cause is contingent on the formulation of moral principles and moral education which, in turn, require choosing† and† defending† a cause.† As† Plato (1987) argued, "political and social† good"† is† brought† about† by† the† "virtue of the citizens",† not by wealth,† power† and† amusement,† and that virtue and virtuous citizens can only† be† brought† about† by† a carefully constructed education system.
††††††††††† Codes† of† ethics† are probably the most visible signs of an organizational ethical philosophy. However, codes are not an absolute guarantee of ethical behaviour† within† an† organization -† they† are† merely a set of guidelines available to be followed (Alderson and Kakabadse, 1994). Organizational codes have been viewed as the major organizational† mechanism† for implementing† ethical policies. These codes commonly address issues such as conflict† of† interests,† privacy† and† the† receiving and giving of gifts (Wiley, 1995). However, simply developing codes is not sufficient, the code must be tailored to focus on its major line of business. Furthermore, codes should be specific; public† (available to the whole constituency to determine the organization's commitment to fair and ethical practice); clear and practical (realistic and to the point about what happens to violators); revisable† (leaving †document† open† to† revision); and auditable (regular social or moral audit).
††††††††††† The purpose of an ethics audit is to determine if changes are needed in the environment of codes† and† the enforcement of ethics policy.† Such audits† require a careful analysis† of the existing† state of ethical behaviour in the organization, including† the validation of† current practices, as well as determining questionable external ethical issues (offers of kickbacks from clients)† and† internal† issues† (whether the organization's† own† compensation system hinders the performance of certain quality† procedures).† Furthermore, implementing an ethical policy requires support† in the form of an ethics training program for all employees. These programs† need to interpret the underlying ethical and legal principles and present† practical aspects of carrying out procedural guidelines (Drake and Drake, 1988).
††††††††††† Most† actors† (whether consciously, or not)† develop heuristics† for dealing with organizational issues and† dilemmas (Frell and Gresham, 1985). Newstrom and Ruch (1975: 32) found top† executives to be a key reference group in providing an important source of the manager's ethical standards. A survey, by Weaver and Ferrell (1977), of marketing† practitioners reached a similar conclusion -† finding that the existence of an enforceable† corporate† ethics policy influences beliefs toward various ethical behaviours. A cross-cultural study of Irish, British and US managers (Alderson and Kakabadse, 1994: 439) highlights that the impact of top management influence on the behaviour and attitudes of personnel lower down the organization varies according to national culture and identity. The study emphasized that British and Irish top management need† to behave according to the ethical standards they set. The whole of† the executive team needs to constantly display a behaviour pattern that accent† their† commitment to their organizations ethical code (Alderson and Kakabadse, 1994).† The study† concluded that codes of ethics, in whatever form† (lengthy† documents to a brief† section† in the mission statement),† require† the† clear† communication† of the organizational values which they espouse and that this 'responsibility falls inexorably on top management' (Alderson and† Kakabadse, 1994: 439).† Thus, although socialization and cultural† differences shape one's ethical† beliefs (Preble and Miesing, 1984), learning and reinforcement processes are instrumental in re-learning and substituting†† newly desired behaviour for existing inappropriate ones† (Mathews, 1988).† Managers need courage, fortitude and wisdom, as well as an ethical infrastructure (regulations, law, code of ethics) to lead organizations forward in achieving organizational and social good.
††††††††††† While† no one is likely to learn morality in training programs, such causes† can† improve ethical† behaviour by sensitising participants to the importance† of enduring ethical principles and facilitating the development of skills† for† analyzing† the† application† of such principles to ethical and value† issues.† Training† programs† can foster an understanding of what the adopted code of ethics means in praxis, possibly stimulating formal changes to† unrealistic† rules.† The† value† of† training† programs is particularly evident† in† organizational† changes† where† actors need support to adjust. Furthermore,† training† programs provide an intellectual basis and stimulus for† a† continuing† dialogue† on† ethical† issues.† Given the complexity of ethical† issues,† combined† with† the need for exemplary role models in the executive† ranks† of† the† public† service, training courses are especially important† for top-level officials. Training programs can provide formal† opportunities for executive officers to articulate their values and assess† the† extent† to† which their values are shared by their colleagues. Alderson† and† Kakabadse† (1994) argue that the training and development of non-executive† directors† also† need† to† be† included† in† business ethics programs.† Recent† spectacular† incidents of mis-government, moral confusion and† mis-administration† suggest that the need for more open discussion and focused†† programs† may† be† greater† than† ever.† Furthermore 'deliberate educational† attempts† (formal curriculum) to influence awareness of real problems and to influence the reasoning/judgement† process† can† be demonstrated† to† be† effective† in the long-term' (Rest, 1988: 23). Public sector† actors† need training to understand and develop sensitivities to the† nuances† and† ambiguities† of† ethical† situations,† recognize ethical problems,† appreciate† the ethical dimensions in decision making and accept the multiple and sometimes conflicting obligations of the management role.
††††††††††† Leadership is the locus of ethical responsibility; executives, managers and professionals at the strategic and operational† levels† (Mathews,† 1988;† Amba-Rao,† 1993). The executive role model† provides† the attitudes, values, behaviour† and cues for performance (Vitell and Fastervan, 1987; Mathews, 1988; Amba-Rao, 1993). Communication of† the† values† of† the† organization† is† really† displayed† through† top management† behaviour† and† not through written and spoken words (Alderson and† Kakabadse,† 1994: 439). Furthermore, executives acculturate levels by reinforcement† through† organizational† means† such† as† training, reviews, audits,† rewards† and sanctions (Mathews, 1988); exercising an important† influence† on† the† ethical† (or† unethical)† behaviour of their immediate† subordinates,† who† can,† in† turn,† pass† the† message† down† the hierarchy.† The† efficacy† of a code of ethics can be promoted by executives who† live† by† its precepts and who translate precepts into action. The influence† of† an† administrative† executive,† both† in public and business organizations,† is† extremely important in promoting ethical behaviour. For example,† if† an† executive† services† his friend's car in the departmental garage† (as† in† the† case† of the Department of Administrative Services,† in Australia)† then† the† praxis† become endemic as other staff adopt the same practice (Gaze, 1995).
††††††††††† On† the other hand, setting an example of ethical conduct as did Sir Edward (later† Lord† Bridges),† it† was† said† of† him† that his personal code of professional† ethics† was a very serious matter for him.† His standards and his† rules† become known by example, not by precept (Winnifrith, quoted in Burnard and Chapman, 1988: 30-38) and had a positive effect. In an Aristotelian tradition, the good† for† man was to be sought in a community or polis that recognized and honoured† such† character† traits (virtues) as liberality, magnificence and pride.† In contemporary times,† a "propensity to excellence" and keeping with the traditions of public spirit, generosity and compassion could define the ideals of "good characters" (Solomon, 1992).
††††††††††† However, setting an example is not sufficient - ethical behaviours need to be† communicated† through† the† organization as well.† Often† there† is a difference† between† the† ethos† of† an† organization articulated by senior management† and† the† staff†† perception† of† what is right and wrong - the ethical† culture† on† the† ground† (Gaze,† 1995).† Thus, there is a need to conduct ethical audits to determine existing staff and management attitudes and† levels† of† awareness.† Shifting† to† new† values† will have long-term consequences† which† can† be† viewed† through† concurrent† understanding and ideology† with† regard† to the praxis of corporate philanthropy undertaken with† prudence. However, it is †unrealistic† to† expect† that† the executive role model or champion can serve as the sole means for promoting ethical behaviour; a code of ethics and† ethical† leadership are necessary,† but insufficient,† for building an ethical† organization. There is a need for† commitment† from all actors alike to† uphold† those† codes† and† to† act† ethically.† Judgements† and† decision-making† have† long-term† consequences.† However† they† may also be enhanced or clouded by subjective ethical views, morals and values of decision makers.
††††††††††† The† exploration† of† the† central† thesis - how is one to build an ethical organization or workplace culture? - has been canvassed. This question needs to† be† raised† in† any† program† of† ethics† for† the public sector.† It is axiomatic that ethical behaviour is not improved by education or a code of ethics alone.†† The† desirability of institutionalizing† ethics† in† an unsatisfactory, undemocratic, hierarchical† work-culture is certainly questionable.† Attempts to raise the profile of ethics in organizations without† supportive regulatory measures and a re-inforcing workplace culture may† be† futile† and counter-productive, giving credence to the view that a code† of† ethics† and† its† associated measures are but a public relations exercise or that they border on moral authoritarianism. Without open discussion† within† an† organization† there† is a distinct possibility that ethics† will become just another managerial tool.† There is a need to audit the ethics of an organization, the ethical expectations of particular roles and what is meant by an official or public conscience.† More basically, the debate† needs to centre on institutional purposes. A fundamental feature of an† institutional ethics program is the clarification and exposition of the particular values justifying an institution's existence, the starting point and the on-going reference point for ethics in public life (Preston, 1995).
††††††††††† Policies and procedures need to reflect current social realities and a genuine† commitment† to† building† an organization in which irreversible values are explicitly acknowledged (Longstaff,† 1995:6).† This† means going beyond a commitment† to short-term† commercial values of† profit maximization, allowing a full appreciation of what underlies such commitment. Only then will other legitimate concerns be weighed in balance.† Public† sector organizations need to adopt policies that reflect current societal realities and needs before they can resolve many of their ethical dilemmas.
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Nada Korac-Kakabadse is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Cranfield School of Management. Previously, she was employed as a Senior Information Technology Officer with the Australian Public Serviceís Department of Employment, Education and Training. She has worked for international organizations in Scandinavia, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as for the Canadian Federal Government. Her research interests include the strategic use of information resources and related organizational decision processes; information system dynamics; management best practice; organizational design; strategic decision support systems; and crisis management. She has a BSc in Mathematics and Computing, a Graduate Diploma in Management Sciences, a Masterís Degree in Public Administration and a PhD in Management.† She has published in the Administrative Theory and Praxis; Information Infra-structure and Policy; Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management; Risk Decision and Policy; Science Communication; and Women in Management Review. She is currently co-editor of the Journal of Management Development.
Alexander Kouzmin holds the Foundation Chair in Management in the School of Management at the University of Western Sydney - Nepean, Australia. His research interests include organizational design; technological change; project management; comparative management; administrative reform; and crisis management. He has published eight volumes of commissioned work. Among these are his edited Public Sector Administration: Newer Perspectives (Longman Cheshire, 1983); his co-edited (with Scott, N) Dynamics in Australian Public Management: Selected Essays (Macmillan, 1990); (with Still, L and Clarke, P) New Directions in Management (McGraw Hill, 1994); (with Garnett, J) Handbook of Administrative Communication (Marcel Dekker, 1997); and (with Hayne, A) Essays in Economic Globalization, Transnational Policies and Vulnerability (IIAS, 1999, forthcoming). He has contributed chapters to many national and international volumes and has published some 150 papers, including scholarly and review articles in more than 40 leading international refereed journals. He is on the editorial board of Administration and Society; Administrative Theory and Praxis; Journal of Management Development; Journal of Management History; Journal of Public Affairs Education; Public Policy and Administration; Public Productivity and Management Review; Public Voices† and Public Administration and Management: An Interactive Journal and is a founding co-editor of the international Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, published quarterly since 1993.
Phillip Reeves Knyght is currently a postgraduate student of Law at the University of Canberra.† He has a BSc in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Law.† His research interests include equity and social justice; modernity and the legal system; impact of IT on the legal system; and modernity and self identity.† He has co-authored a number of papers and presented at international conferences.
Andrew Korac-Kakabadse is Professor of International Management Development at the Cranfield School of Management. He has worked in the health and social services field and then undertook various consultancy assignments concerned with local government re-organization and large capital projects in developing countries. He is currently a consultant to numerous organizations, ranging from banks, motor manufacturers, high-tech companies, oil companies, police and other public sector organizations and numerous multi-national corporations. He has consulted and lectured in the UK, Europe, USA, South-East Asia, Gulf States and Australia. His current areas of interest focus on improving the performance of top executives and top executive teams, excellence in consultancy practice and the politics of decision making. He recently completed a major world study of chief executives and top executive teams. His data base covered nine European nations and over 3,000 business organizations. The study of the strategic skills of top management has now extended into Japan, China, Hong Kong and the USA. He is also the Director of the Cranfield Centre for International Management Development. He has published 15 books, 11 monographs and 92 articles, including† the best selling books - Politics of Management; Working in Organizations; and The Wealth Creators. He is a co-editor of the Journal of Management Development, is the out-going editor of the Journal of Managerial Psychology and is the associate editor of the Leadership and Organization Development Journal.