Ethics in Organizational Culture

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Cooper, T. L. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role (6th ed.). New York, NY: Jossey-Bass.

  • Chapter 6, “Maintaining Responsible Conduct in Public Organizations: Two Approaches” (pp. 127–159)
  • Chapter 7, “Integrating Ethics with Organizational Norms and Structures” (pp. 161–195)

American Society for Public Administration. (2013). Practices to promote the ASPA code of ethics. Retrieved from http://www.aspanet.org/public/ASPADocs/ASPA%20Code…

Kurtz, R. S. (2003). Organizational culture, decision-making, and integrity: The National Park Service and the Exxon Valdez. Public Integrity, 5(4), 305–317.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

McNeal, G. S. (2010). Organizational culture, professional ethics and Guantanamo. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 42(1/2), 125–149.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

The social environment in which an organization exists influences the way it operates when dealing with clients and employees. Viewing organizational life through the values embedded in its culture can help leaders create and sustain agencies of integrity. Regardless of whether the organization is in the government or nonprofit sector, administrative attention to the organizational culture can promote ethical behavior among employees. Government and nonprofit public administrators must have an understanding of how an organization’s culture might lead to potentially unethical policies and practices.

In this Assignment, you examine how an organization’s culture influences ethical decision making in an organization.

To prepare for this Assignment, review this week’s resources. Select a government or nonprofit organization with which you are familiar and a specific policy or practice within that organization. Avoid choosing an organization or agency where you currently work or have worked in the past. If you do choose such an agency, do not name it or individuals who work in it specifically. Remember to protect confidentiality.

Consider how organizational culture can influence the creation of ethical and potentially unethical policies and practices within the government or nonprofit organization you selected. Also, think about how the organizational culture might have influenced decision making and the development of specific policies and practices. Finally, consider how the specific policy or practice you selected presents an ethical dilemma and how you might resolve it by using Cooper’s ethical decision-making model from the text.

The Assignment (3–4 pages in APA format): Your paper should include the following:

  • A brief description of the government or nonprofit organization
  • A brief summary of how an organization’s culture can influence the creation of ethical and potentially unethical policies and practices
  • An explanation of how the organization’s culture (norms, customs, and traditions) might have influenced decision making and the creation of specific policies and practices
  • A description of a specific policy or practice that presents an ethical dilemma and an explanation of how that specific policy or practice creates the dilemma
  • An explanation of how public administrators might use internal and external controls to maintain responsible conduct in the public organization
  • An explanation of how, as a public administrator, you might resolve the ethical dilemma, using the ethical decision-making model presented in the text

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. Provide a reference list with all resources included in the paper.

Your Assignment must demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge and critical thinking appropriate to graduate-level scholarship. It must follow APA Publication Manual guidelines and be free of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors. The Assignment should be 3–4 pages in length (double-spaced), not including the title page, abstract, and references.

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