Just as an individual’s culture influences his or her values, beliefs, behaviors, and ethics, an organization’s culture has an impact on the shared values, beliefs, behaviors, and ethics of its members. Although organizational ethics are often deeply entrenched because they take time to develop, decision makers such as public administrators are in a position to influence organizational cultures. An ability to grasp the ethical issues inherent in both cultures and situations is imperative if a public administrator is to develop strategies that will promote ethical organizational cultures.
To prepare for this Discussion, review this week’s resources. Select one of the following cases: Guantanamo (McNeal, 2010) or the Exxon Valdez (Kurtz, 2003). Then, consider the following:
- How did organizational culture influence ethical decision making?
- What are the ethical issues?
- What are the issues facing the decision makers?
- How did the organizational culture influence decision making?
- What did you learn from this case that you can use as a public administrator?
- What, if anything, does the case have in common with the 2013 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal over IRS audits of conservative nonprofit agencies?
- To what extent does attention by the American public media influence ethical decision making of public and nonprofit public administrators? Do you think that such media exposure should determine administrative decisions?
Post a brief description of your chosen case. Identify the ethical issues within the case. Then, explain how the organizational cultures influence the decision making related to ethics in your chosen case. Finally, suggest two strategies that public administrators might use to promote an ethical organizational culture.