Great Sample Essay on Ethics


According to Svara, ethics does not just refer to a list of things that people should do or   do. He argues that ethics take into account processes and procedures. Essentially, ethics should help focus on proper concentration and coming up with decisions that are right and wrong instead of making choices about what is evil or not right. Indeed, ethics should be an issue of making moral judgment instead of moral thinking.

Usually, ethical standards are applied to limit organizational behavior of subordinates, therefore, the standards act as social control instruments. Importantly, the standards provide guidelines not just on what to say and the time to say it but also on the fundamental principles that are at risk. The analysis focuses on a police officer who on one side is a volunteer firefighter which makes him a hero. On the other hand, the police officer acts contrary by making bad decision.

Case Analysis One from Chapter Seven Using Ethics Triangle

How do Public Managers Influence their Organizations?

Ethical Competence

This concept suggests the ability to meet and excel in completing jobs or tasks. Ethical competence entails understanding and implementing official laws uniformly. In the case study of the hero firefighter police officer, it can be argued that ethics is central in maintaining public order. Police officers are supposed to help in implementing laws, in fact the officers should be able to understand and apply the codes, laws and guidelines as stipulated.

Unfortunately, the officer ends up making bad decisions that do not conform to the laws. This makes him people’s enemy because he does not abide by the laws he is trying to implement. His decision to participate in firefighting may no prove much of his positive character before the public. Civilians may view his action as an attempt to please the public so that focus is mainly on his firefighting skills and not failed decisions. A competent public administrator must sufficiently perform at a standard that is acceptable, this is evaluated by the public who are free to make collective judgment on acceptable achievement levels.


This refers to ability of a public administrator to show honesty, fairness, legal and ethical awareness in professional and personal activities. In the case study, the police officer has in some cases failed to conduct himself fairly and legally by making wrong decisions. The officer appears to lack the knowledge of administrative ethics. This may fail to appease him to the civilians even when he participates in community service like firefighting. Some of the principles of integrity include speaking the truth and avoiding conflict of interest. The police officer in the case study does not avoid conflict of interest and neither does he carry out his duties truthfully. He makes bad decisions but at the same time he wants to assist the citizens that he cannot protect under the law. Public administrators are required to do things right, as well as doing right things.

Collaborative leadership

This concept focuses on servant leadership that emphasizes inclusiveness of members and a call for transformation of peoples needs. A servant leader is someone who is selfless and takes care of the people he serves. Such a leader is not expected to make decisions that negatively affect his people. The police officer fails test in this case because he is not transparent, on one end he makes bad decision while on the other hand his bad decisions affects the public negatively, people cannot trust his firefighting activities. Trust is the seal that hold people and their leaders together and it is usually built from integrity and ethical behaviors.

Relationship with Members

Public leaders are supposed to collaborate with citizens in implementing laws. The officers should engage the local in discussing issues that affect them so that amicable solutions that are agreeable to all can be reached. Bad decisions from the police officer may have resulted from his inability to involve citizens who are vital stakeholders in discussing that are more pressing and ought to be taken into consideration.


Case study Analysis from Chapter Nine: Elevating Ethical Behavior in an Organization

What right do public managers have to lead?

Ethical leadership

Leaders by nature are positions of social influence. Ethical leadership is one that recognizes the self-respect and the right of others. Such leadership behaviors have the potential to raise an organization cultures and promote employees values to greater level within organizations. In management of public offices, public managers who demonstrate ethical values to the public stimulate sense of trust to the followers. It is therefore important that any project posed by such a leader will be accepted. In addition, ethical leadership should ensure that decisions made should cater for the interest of all stake holders. As in the case study, the personnel director having plagiarized while pursuing educational course, this has negative impacts in implementing and influencing organization policies.

In an organization, the ethical values are derived from the management board. It is honorable that the management should portray good morals and values for the better performance. More often, many organizations realizes unethical behaviors like corruption, harassment and discrimination.  As in the case study by Thompson and Leidlein, the personnel director shows unethical behavior by plagiarizing while pursuing a degree course at the University. These behaviors are normally caused by in adequate structure of administration, poor mode of supervision and insufficient information to employees and the public.

Consequently, to enhance good morals and values in any organization, the management has an obligation to undertake numerous strategies. The strategies include commitment by management, establishment of better codes of conduct and blowing whistle mechanism. In cases of such unethical behaviors, the personnel should not hold such position to oversee the ethics of other employees.

Effects of Unethical behaviors

These are conducts that are generally not accepted within an organization and are forbidden by law.  In business fields, unethical behaviors result from false communication, conflict of interests and collusion.


Ethics Triangle for Chapter Nine about a Personnel Director’s Unethical Behavior

False communication

These kinds of unethical behavior are realized in various forms, they include wrong tax returns, improper depreciation figures, false information to the public on the organization growth progress and misrepresentation. In the case study, the Director of   personnel cheated and gave wrong information on his or her capability while perusing degree course. The wrong information has diverse effect on the business world since he or she cannot perform to the level of appointment. The director has no adequate skills to deliver and interact well with senior managers and the public. In addition, holders of such positions need to be truthful enough to be trusted by junior personnel while carrying out managerial duties and ethical matters.


In the business world, competition has created great collusion in fixing prices on common products. These unfair practice arise when competitors wants to achieve much from consumers. However, to survive this, the management should be competent enough to determine the price that can favorably compete. Unlike the case study, the director of personnel in the book Ethics in City Hall that Thompson and Leildein wrote, fair price cannot be attained due to his incompetency shown by poor educational history.

Conflicts of interest

Conflicts arise when different ideas of interest are not settled. In an organization, various ideas are generated by the management team. To compile these ideas there is need for sobriety of mind and collective responsibility. The conflicts normally arise when a personnel uses organization assets for personal gain, deviating from organization policies for personal benefits and accepting valuables from customers or suppliers for personals gains. However, qualified management team has the potential of shaping its differences in such circumstances and seeks solution. Unlike the personnel director in the case study who cannot assemble different views due to inadequacy in skills for such mediation.


From the case study it can be concluded that although the police officer does a good job by helping to put out fire, his inability to interpret laws well may not endear him before people because he is presenting a conflict of interest. In today’s business field, there is tremendous failure in management confidence that needs to be restored, even though ethics educations impacts are realized to greater extent of changing behaviors.

For better performance of any organization, ethics education plays major role since some managers give false information about their academic qualification that might be disastrous to organization progress. Leaders have great influence in organizational operations therefore should ensures proper communication to employees on what modes conduct expected of them while conducting organization operations. Guarantees

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