Terry L. Cooper’s Responsible Administrator gives a practical approach to ethics for managerial jobs. The book is one of the greatest guides in solving managerial issues that relate to ethics. Those who serve public trusts take exceptional care to ascertain they make responsible and ethical decisions. Challenges associated with accountability and realities of bureaucracies are carefully tackled in the book, solving real-world issues. Cooper’s book balances the need to maintain professionalism as a manager or administrator deals with his juniors as human beings. It enables its readers to live the slippery gap between work ethics and personal values without a clash.
The three key points in Cooper’s book form the three broad parts of the book. The first key point is a discussion of ethics for individual administrators. In this section, the author explores public administration in modern society as well as project the context of administrative ethics in a post-modern society. An ethical dilemma an administrator faces in his day-to-day administrative duties is explored in length. The author dissects the fundamentals of administrative ethics and administrative responsibilities. The second key point the author reports with keen insight is ethics in the organization. The author explores the different approaches to maintaining responsible behavior in public institutions. A vivid description of how to integrate organizational norms and ethics with ethics is done. In addition, the author explains how to safeguard ethical autonomy in the organization. The third key point in Cooper’s reading is the design approach to maintaining ethical integrity in public organizations.
An article, Political Corruption from http://www.usrevolution.org/politica lcorruption.htm clearly depicts the extent to which the book could help reduce corruption. The article outlines the ways by which public office holders use unethical means to acquire wealth. It shows how unethical behavior threatens democracy and good governance. The article goes further to outline how corruption in judicial, elective and public administration derails the rule of law. It classifies abuses into different types; bribery, graft, extortion and robbery, embezzlement, nepotism, cronyism, patronage, and kickbacks. The causes of these kinds of injustices are described. Conditions that favor corruption are led by a lack of ethics by the corrupt public servants. Lack of transparency and freedom of information legislation in governance depict disrespect to the public.
A careful read of Terry Cooper’s book is a sure way of reducing these occurrences of corruption. In the event that an administrator is aware of ethics for his individual administration, corruption in public offices can be entirely wiped out. The corrupt administrators will be able to handle the dilemma they face in their administrative duties. Administrators who understand the approaches used in tackling managerial chores will be able to resist temptations to embezzle public resources. Balancing organizational norms with individual values becomes possible for public administrators. Maintaining ethical integrity in these institutions is the first significant step to averting corruption. Corruption is widespread for lack of ethics preached in the Responsible Administrator.
Chapter 6, Maintaining Responsible Conduct in Public Organizations, reveals that the ethical behavior of a public administrator hails from within and without him. For an administrator to maintain high ethical standards, he must put his personal values foremost in his dealings. External controls such as legal frameworks come secondary. An administrator needs not to assume his human nature to serve an institution blindly on laid rules and policies.
In dealing with issues of administration of any scale, the insights of putting humanity before policies will help have institutions of high integrity all over the globe. In my capacity, I will apply this revelation in solving personal and professional challenges. I will let my decisions be first guided by my power of reason before opting for conventional ways and laid down rules.
Cooper, T. L. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the
administrative role. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Denhardt, R. B. (2011). Theories of public organization. Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage