- Albertus Institute

2nd Seminar: Ethics in the Real World
Professor Ian E Thompson
Principal Consultant with Corporate Ethical Services:
28 Links Street, Musselburgh, EH21 6JL, Scotland
Telephone: 0131 665 46741 — Email: iethompson@btinternet.com
Ethics is not an optional extra, but should be a routine and integral part of sound Strategic Planning and Management.
Corporate statements of an organisation’s Mission, Vision and Values mean little if they cannot be ‘cashed out’ in
workable corporate and operational ethical policies, and if these are not applied in an agency’s ordinary everyday
business. An organisation’s choice of values plays a crucial role in defining its goals and ethical culture, its standards
of ‘quality’, what kinds of processes and systems are appropriate to achieve its objectives, and how it will monitor its
performance. In a sound and efficient organisation, its values play a central role in defining its leadership style,
employee development, the way it does business and the quality of its products or the services it delivers.1 Thus,
sound strategic ethical management is based on the application to a whole organisation of the methods of continuous
quality improvement where strategic planning and management are directed by the values that are fundamental to the
Like individuals and communities, organisations need to develop skills in applied ethics, in clarifying values, making
well justified ethical decisions, and developing sound ethical policies and rules. To acknowledge that we live and work
in well functioning [or dysfunctional] moral communities, points to the need to make clear and explicit, operative and
effective, the values which serve as the raison d’etre of our organisations. Values are constitutive for the mission of all
organisations, and should be regulative of their strategic planning and everyday operations. In this way ethics is
introduced as a routine part of an organisation’s business, and into the systems and procedures operated by its
professional staff. Ethics ceases to be simply a private matter, a cosmetic ‘add-on’ to our business and professional
life. It is and should be the way we do business, if it is done competently and well.
In order to accomplish this it is necessary to get away from a narrow individualistic model of ethics and to recognise
the various levels where ethical problems arise:
External Stakeholder Level
Ethics in Strategic Planning & Inter-Agency Relations
Internal Stakeholder Level
Ethics in Corporate Management of Human & Financial Resources
Team Leadership Level
Ethics in Inter-Disciplinary Cooperation and Teamwork.
Individual Level
Ethics in Personal Decision Making and Employee Development.
There are several advantages in adopting a comprehensive and corporate approach to ethics:
Instead of ethics being seen as merely necessary for dealing with corruption and fraud, it becomes part of a
corporation’s ethos, mission, values-base and strategic planning.
Systems, procedures and training programs are set up in such a way that ethics is introduced to the
bloodstream and contributes to the ongoing life of the body corporate, planning for growth, organisational
change and employee development.
Sound ethical policy is seen to contribute to both corporate and individual well-being, and thus collective
commitment to the new ethos of ethical management and practice is seen to be advantageous to all, to be
secured by negotiation rather than edict from above.
Quality assurance, standards setting, and peer review are seen to be a normal part of ethical management –
encouraging development of skills and confidence in self-audit or monitoring, reducing dependency on
legalistic, authoritarian, ‘disciplinary’ approaches.
Assists professional bodies and private businesses to develop ethical policy and standards, and to
apply sound methods to the periodic ethical audit of practice.
Facilitates the establishment of management systems on a sound moral basis, and ensures integration
of ethics into performance assessment, quality assurance, employee training and organisational
Helps develop employee confidence and competence through their skilled application of moral
principles to decision making in their life and work.
Personal Costs Of Unethical Practice
Without clear values life is directionless
Confusion between short & long-term goals
No benchmarks for performance assessment
Decision-making arbitrary and capricious
No coherent policy or dependability of action
Professional Costs of Unethical Practice
Professionals not regarded as trustworthy
Profession lacks credibility and visible unity
Regulation of professional practice impossible
Decision making driven by factional interests
Collaboration frustrated by division & conflict.
Corporate Costs of Unethical Practice
Management confused – driven by self-interest.
CRISIS MANAGEMENT - ad hockery rules OK!
Power rather than principle – divide and rule.
Authoritarian or laissez faire decision making.
Organisation lacks integrity and credibility.
Personal Benefits Of Ethical Practice
Values clarification gives vision & direction
Principles set definite goals for action
Ethical ideals set standards for achievement
Ethical decisions are well justified decisions
Rules for living ethically consistent & sound
Professional Benefits of Ethical Practice
Shared vision of professional service ideals
Common values for good of professional body
Clear standards for professional practice
Consistent principles for decision making
Basis for common policies on collaboration
Corporate Benefits of Ethical Practice
Clear vision informs mission & management
Values determine goals for strategic planning
Principled leadership and conflict resolution
Consistent basis for manager / team decisions
Sound corporate and ethical policy
Developing competence in practical ethics requires understanding of fundamental ethical principles [eg. The Principles
of Justice, Respect for Personal Rights and Responsible Care], and practised ability to apply the following three kinds
of inter-related skills:
 Skills in clarifying and operationalising values
 Skills in making critical ethical decisions
 Skills in setting strategic and operational ethical policy.
Sound management and practice presupposes these skills are competently applied at individual, team or
management, and corporate/agency levels.
Skills in clarifying and operationalising values
Because our choice of values determines the means we adopt to achieve our short and long-term goals, it is crucial
that in any business or organisation there is clarity about the values which operate within it - at the Corporate,
Management, Professional and Individual levels. It is also important that employers and employees not only have
insight into the competing [and sometimes conflicting] values which operate in any moral community, but have the
necessary skills to deal with and resolve serious conflicts of values. One way this can be effected is by engaging the
key stakeholders [or their representatives] directly in the process of ethical policy development. Codes of Ethics or
Codes of Conduct are of little avail if there is not real ownership of them by all the staff in an organisation. This
process also enables people to understand how the fundamental principles and values should influence decision
making and policy setting in the organisation.
Skills in making ethical decisions
Skills in ethical decision making are not confined to skilled application of problem solving methods in making personal
ethical decisions. In any organisation, business or government department, most decision-making is an activity of
committees or teams and requires complex skills in analysis and negotiation to explore the interests of concerned
stakeholders. At a corporate level CEOs and senior managers are involved in the complex diplomacy and politics of
negotiations with government and inter-agency consultation and collaboration. Devising means to involve relevant
external stakeholders in the process, and taking account of different agencies’ policies and procedures makes ethical
decision making at these levels even more complex.
Skills in setting ethical policy
Skills in developing sound ethical policies or rules to protect the interests of all requires more than just ‘management
by memorandum’ or promulgating written prescriptions for behaviour. Sound ethical policy development has more to
do with the integrity of the process, involvement and participation of stakeholders, and achievement of ‘ownership’ of
the policy outcomes, than producing some slick public relations document based on mechanical application of some
template. Skills in developing sound policy and procedures in any organisation are best built from the bottom up, not
simply imposed from above. All staff should get training and practice in applying procedures for setting policy, at the
operational, management or corporate levels.
VALUES -->DECIDE --> POLICY - sums up the relationship between these skills:
Values Clarification:
Values – Objectives
Personal Values
Clarify and make explicit both Principles and Goals for Action, as a basis for both short-term
and long-term decision-making
Professional Values
Clarify the Basis and Standards for Practice which enable Professional Collaboration and Peer
Corporate Business Values
Clarify Corporate Raison d’etre and Core Functions of business - Develop Corporate
Statement of Mission, Vision & Values
Ethical Decision Making
Decide – Objectives
Individual Decision-Making
Competent application of problem-solving methods to making informed, systematic and welljustified ethical decisions
Team or Committee Decisions
Competent use of ethical decision making methods to build team consensus and for
constructive resolution of conflict.
Corporate or Inter-agency Decision
Making Processes
Consistent and transparent procedures for consultation and negotiation in dealing with internal
and external stakeholders
Setting Ethical Policy
Policy - Objectives
Codes of Ethical Conduct
Achieve high standards and consistency in professional practice for the benefit of the client
and the general public
Operational Ethical Policy
Maintain quality control on business efficiency, technical competence of employees &
standards of client services
Corporate Business Strategy
Achieve market leadership by sound strategic ethical management, and evidence of integrity,
consistent quality service, and good internal performance assessment
The Need to Clarify our Values
 What do we mean by ‘values’? How are they distinguished from Attitudes and Beliefs ?
 What methods can be used to assist people to learn skills in values clarification ?
Because my values serve to define my desired life-style and the purpose and direction of my career, my chosen
values will define both my short-term and long-term goals. They will also determine the means I will adopt to achieve
these goals.
Unless we have insight into the nature of values and what values influence our decisions and the policies we follow,
we will lack direction and fail to have clear goals for living. Thus values clarification is important for us in setting our
own direction and goals, but also for resolving tensions between different sets of values in individuals, professionals,
and different levels of employees in the agencies, businesses or corporations of the state.3
AS INDIVIDUALS, values clarification gives us
 Insight into what things determine our choice of life-style and goals for living
 Ability to focus more clearly on and distinguish our short- and long-term goals
 Ability to make informed value-judgements about the means to achieve our goals
 Understanding of the fact that other people may have different personal values, and
 Ability to take Values into account in negotiating or doing business with other people.
AS PROFESSIONALS, values clarification gives us; Insight into the core service and achievement values endorsed by one’s profession
 Ability to identify and apply at work the standards and goals of one’s profession
 Ability to better assess one’s own performance and that of one’s peers
 Understanding that the value-base of other professionals may be different, and
 Ability to take different value-bases into account in resolving conflict and disagreements.
AS ORGANISATIONS, values clarification gives us:
Clarity about the Vision and Values which set the Organisation’s Goals & Targets
Ability to undertake Strategic Planning and Management with a clear direction
Ability to determine clear Standards for Leadership and Performance Assessment
Ability to take account of the different levels of values in corporate life, and to apply this understanding in
Negotiating Change, Monitoring and Auditing Performance.
 Attitudes are generally learned or conditioned responses [positive or negative] that we adopt towards
other people, relationships, groups, customs, ideas and even material things.
 Beliefs comprise that sub-set of acquired opinions and attitudes to which we are personally committed
and for which we are prepared to make truth-claims.
 Values consist of those beliefs to which I am committed and on which I am prepared to act, even to stake
my life and future, because they define my short-term and long-term life goals, and serve to determine the
means I will choose to attain them. 4
Attitudes, beliefs and values are often confused by people and this confusion is compounded by loose use of these
terms in the popular media. For the sake of clarity and understanding it is important to distinguish carefully between
Attitudes are generally learned or conditioned responses [positive or negative] that we adopt towards other
people, relationships, groups, customs, ideas and even material things.
We learn these attitudes and behaviours from our families, schooling, religious and cultural upbringing. Attitudes may
be ‘ingrained’ or ‘cultivated’. The former tend to be accepted uncritically on the authority of those who are responsible
for our social formation. ‘Cultivated’ attitudes [like the self-conscious adoption of the styles of dress and habits of our
peer group] may be voluntarily adopted by a person, but without challenging peer group norms. As such, behaviour
based on group attitudes tends to be stereotyped both in stereotyping other people, and in the stereotypical nature of
the response to the individual or group in question. Popular morality and customs often relate to such conditioned
attitudes and conventional behaviour.
Attitudes are generally more stable than feelings and are made up of many imposed and acquired dispositions,
opinions and prejudices. Attitudes include feelings as well as cognitive and behavioural elements. They are typical
responses of certain groups to other groups or persons, [as for example in racism, sexism and ageism]. However,
while we may learn to adopt other dispositions towards people, through our own learning and experience, there is
always a risk that when faced with a crisis of confidence in a person, we fall back on conditioned responses.
Eg: Sexist attitudes and racial prejudice are often learned from those displayed in our families or peer group. Such
inherited attitudes tend not to be subject to critical examination. The feelings, opinions and behaviours that go with
such attitudes are irrational to the extent that they are not open to scientific examination or intellectual debate.
However, our exposure to other people or cultures may result in our ‘changing our minds’, but our ingrained attitudes
and prejudices remain beneath the surface, and reappear when we are threatened or disillusioned.
In general, we do not quarrel with a person’s right to express their feelings, attitudes or opinions, for, as such, they do
not make any truth claims. It may be interesting or amusing to know how people feel or what they think. So we may
listen patiently when people say:
"I feel ...." or "I think .......", but when some one claims that something is true, we can challenge them to produce
evidence or arguments to prove the truth claims they are making.
People [parents, teachers, priests] may attempt to impose their beliefs on us, and we may go along with them.
However for us these remain attitudes rather than beliefs. These beliefs only become beliefs for us when we affirm
them as our own, when we ourselves claim they are true.
 Beliefs comprise that sub-set of acquired opinions and attitudes to which we are personally committed
and for which we are prepared to make truth-claims.
Beliefs may be of many kinds - from the most basic to the most sublime. We have many beliefs of a practical nature
relating to the ‘facts’ of daily living, food, health, sport, work. We also have other more theoretical beliefs which
include scientific beliefs about the nature or origin of the world, moral and political beliefs about our personal values
and social goals, and religious and metaphysical beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life.
To claim that something is true does not mean that it is actually true, [for it may not be true]. However, to profess a
belief is to accept personal responsibility to justify it by putting forward reasons, evidence or claims based on our
experience, which other people can contest or verify. For a person to say "I believe such-and-such to be the case"
means that they are affirming a degree of confidence in the truth of a statement, creed or set of ideas. Alternatively
they may be affirming a certain degree of trust in a person, which falls short of certainty.
However, to profess certain beliefs does not mean that I am committed to acting on them. I may be intellectually
committed to a set of beliefs, or say that I believe in a person, but I may not act on my beliefs. This may be because
they fall short of full certainty, and there is room for doubt, or I may lack the strength or motivation to act on my beliefs.
Eg: I may believe the truth of some of the teachings of Karl Marx, but not be a card-bearing member of the Communist
Party. Or I may broadly accept Christian teaching, but may not attend church or be a 'practising believer'.
Alternatively I may believe that a public sector employee has a duty to protect the public interest, but lack the courage
to expose corrupt practice that comes to my attention. Beliefs on which we are not prepared to act are like good
intentions that remain as such. As the saying goes “The way to Hell is paved with good intentions”. Values, as we
see below do however commit us to action, because they determine our life-goals.
 Values consist of those beliefs to which I am committed and on which I am prepared to act, even to stake
my life and future, because they define my short-term and long-term life goals, and serve to determine the
means I will choose to attain them.
Values are thus a special set of beliefs which express what things I believe are necessary for my fulfilment as a
person, and for the well-being and happiness of other people. Another way of saying this is that values define what I
believe to be good or bad, for myself and others. Indirectly they contribute to my sense of what is right or wrong. I will
only accept that a rule or law is 'right' if I believe it is good, namely that it is fair and contributes to the well-being of
myself and others. 'Wrong' if it is unfair or causes hurt or harm to others.
Values are important because they serve to define the goals or targets towards which we aim or aspire. To
understand other people’s values is to understand what principles govern their action, and what goals they are likely to
pursue. Similarly, to be clear about our own values, to be clear about what values we have chosen for ourselves, is to
have greater clarity about where we are going and what means we should adopt to achieve our short-term and longterm life goals. [This applies to us in our personal and family lives, in our work and professional roles, and in our
participation in organisations and institutional life.]
As with our beliefs, we can be called to account for our choice of values, [unlike our tastes and feelings which can be a
matter of indifference to others]. The beliefs we espouse and our choice of values is a matter of concern to others,
because we act on what we believe is good or harmful for us, and our actions impact on other people - causing them
benefit or harm.
Eg: The selfish person may only value what contributes to their own pleasure, profit or public image, regardless of the
cost to other people. The sado-masochist may take pleasure in another's pain, torture or sexual abuse. Such 'values'
may appear to serve the short-term interests of the person. However they cannot serve the long-term benefit of the
person or of other people, and hence do not stand up to the test of experience or objective evidence. The values set
out in the Public Sector Code of Ethics are the most fundamental ones to which public sector employees are expected
to be committed, and which should serve as the principal guides to goal setting and strategic planning. However there
may be other more specific values that complement these, such as Sound Management, Value for Money,
Effectiveness and Efficiency. Compliance with these values will be subject to periodic monitoring for the public good.
Values are important in life because they serve to define both long-term and short-term goals - for individual
people, for communities, for professional groups, for business and industry and for government and the
public sector.
 Our personal values determine our chosen life-goals and thus the practical choices we make about our daily living,
family relationships, work and the way we relate to other people.
 Groups of people co-operate with one another on the basis of shared values - whether in a sports club, church
group, professional association, business partnership, community group, local government, public service or
political life.
 Sound planning for the future, and management of our resources in the present, depends upon clarity about the
relative importance of things in our lives, with respect to our desired goals. Thus values clarification and goal
determination is a necessary preliminary to sound planning by individuals and groups, as it is to sound strategic
ethical management in professional life, commerce, industry, government and the public sector.
Values are not restricted to moral values [such things as fairness, integrity, respect, loyalty, responsible care] but
include individual performance values such as: maintaining up-to-date knowledge in your field, improving your
repertoire of skills, striving for excellence, increased income and ambition to lead; as well as such organisational
values as: to enjoy market leadership, profitability, effectiveness, efficiency, quality service, consumer focus, public
However, not all values are necessarily reconcilable with one another. For example, pursuit of self-interest and the
public good may be incompatible. For this reason values clarification is important to reduce the potential areas of
conflict for us as individuals, as members of associations and as employees in organisations of various kinds. It is
important to ensure more effective cooperation and teamwork as well as coherence and consistency in our behaviour.
Three kinds of values clarification are necessary:
 Ability to rank-order our personal values, distinguishing the more from less important ones
 Ability to distinguish our personal values from our professional or occupational values
 Ability within organisations to distinguish Corporate, Operational and Individual values
In common usage we refer to the set of beliefs and values of an individual or group as ‘an ethic’ [Eg: the ‘Christian
Ethic’, a ‘Humanist Ethic’, the ‘Medical Ethic’ or ‘the Business Ethic’]. Such a ‘belief-and-value’ system could also be
called an ‘ideology’, and in our working environment we may encounter competition and conflict between different
belief and value systems. However, ethics by its very nature purports to be universal in its range and meaning. Thus
there ought to be a basis of common principles which apply to all the professions, to commerce, business and politics
as well. While there are important variations between different moral communities, these have more to do with which
values are given priority in each community, and how these values are ranked relatively to each other, rather than
representing irreconcilable differences.
The Need for Values Clarification at Three Levels
Personal Values Clarification
Personal Values Clarification is important to clarify our short-term and long-term life goals. Our goals determine the
decisions we make, for we stake our lives and actions on our values. If we are unable to articulate clearly what our
values are [and most of us live with a jumble of conflicting values] then we cannot make clear, rational or responsible
decisions for ourselves.
Methods of Personal Values Clarification also provide us with means to gain insight into the ‘moral baggage’ we bring
to our working lives. To become aware which values are really important to us and non-negotiable, which may bring
us into conflict with others, and which are negotiable is important to enable us to co-operate with others. Without this
insight our working agendas and decision-making can become contaminated by personal agendas and we end up ‘at
cross purposes’ with others. Sorting out these values conflicts is essential to achieving common commitment to
organisational and project goals, to cooperation and team work
Professional Values and Values Clarification
Education and training for professional life is not only a matter of learning the theory, methods and applied skills
relevant to our discipline, but of apprenticeship into the ranks of the profession. Academic training alone is not enough
to provide the necessary practical experience required for public sector employees ‘in the real world’. With the demise
of in-house training for public servants and recruitment from the open market, it is all the more important that those
coming into the public sector are inducted into its ethos and specific ethical values.
Membership of any profession means commitment to a set of values that serve to define that profession as a specific
‘moral community’. To be a good public servant or public sector employee means not only to have insight into one’s
personal values, and knowledge of the values of the public service, but to have accepted and internalised those
values. Professional values clarification is something that needs to be undertaken both by individual public sector
employees and the professional body to which they belong.
Corporate and Institutional Values Clarification
There is a risk that application of methods of ‘Quality Management’ is cosmetic, just an exercise in public relations and
an attempt to go with the trend to give business an ethical flavour.
If ethical review, restructuring and strategic planning are done without any serious attempt to integrate ethical policy
development in the process they are bound to fail.
Fixation on ‘the bottom line’ and short-term maximisation of profits, fails to take into account the wider value of a
business being seen to be a sound business and a good corporate citizen. Sternberg’s definition of ‘value’ in business
as primarily concerned with ‘maximising long-term owner value’ suggests that ‘value’ in business is means a lot more
than profit or ‘the bottom line.5 It comprehends such things as the ‘good will’ of the firm or agency, customer and
shareholder confidence, market leadership in the quality stakes, and even political influence. All these things involve
concepts of ‘value’ which , while they cannot be simply expressed in terms of ‘dollar value’, nevertheless have
economic value to the firm or agency. It is increasingly being recognised that good business is ethical business, and
that ethical integrity in the workforce is a positive asset, and not just a means of avoiding fraud or corruption.6
For example, ‘Total Quality Management’ has been defined as ‘an organisation being driven by its values’. If this is to
be so, it is critically important that a firm or agency should know to what values it is committed and which values drive
its policies and practice. Corporate values clarification is vital therefore for sound leadership and effective and efficient
management. It is also equally important in giving more specific definition to organisational goals and practical
measures of ‘quality’ and ‘excellence’ in monitoring performance.
• MICRO LEVEL — Ability to make sound value-judgements is required for dealing with the ethical problems that
confront us in our everyday work - in decision making about projects and contracts, in dealing with individual clients,
individual colleagues or employees.
• ‘MACHO’ LEVEL — Ability to make sound value-judgements is required for dealing with authority and power sharing both ‘up-and-down’ and ‘horizontally’ in an organisation, between different types of professional staff, and with
issues of ‘status’ and ‘pecking order’ in an organisation.
• MESO LEVEL — Ability to make sound value-judgements is required for operational ethical policy development in
relation to the ethics of management, human and material resources management, managing change and conflict,
negotiation with employees and other stakeholders.
• MACRO LEVEL — Ability to make sound value-judgements is required for integrating corporate ethical policy
development into strategic planning for any business or agency, including ethical policy for dealing with all its major
external stakeholders.
In the public sector, for example, a number of different kinds of values may be in competition or conflict with one
another, and clarifying where we stand individually and organisationally in relation to these values may be vitally
important in defining and building common commitment to our goals and essential for cooperation in service delivery.
Some of these differences of value-emphasis relate to the service base from which various groups come into the
public service - for example the different values of the caring professions, the consulting professions, of public officials
and administrators and those with a background in business management:
Individualistic Helping Role
Primacy given to values of caring for others, and duty of care based on Protective Beneficence
Belief in the role of professional advocacy, on behalf of the vulnerable client
Belief in protecting the rights of the weak, and campaigning for rights of individuals
Belief in a 'personalist ethic' based on a 1-to-1 relationship between professional and client
Private Fiduciary Relationships
Primacy given to contractual relations and service based on Respect for Personal Rights & Justice
Belief in negotiation of a contract of service and recognition of reciprocal rights and duties
Belief in professional accountability and confidentiality with client information
Belief in a 'privatised ethic' of particular rights/duties restricted to parties to the contract.
Democratic and Cooperative
Primacy given to seeking the common good, universal fairness, justice and equity for all
Belief in universal and reciprocal legal and moral rights applicable to all citizens
Belief in the representative role of the public service, and acceptance of public accountability
Belief in public consultation, community participation and a welfare focus.
Self Assertive and Competitive
Primacy given to personal autonomy, 'right' to free enterprise, to seek commercial gain or profit
Belief in customer ‘choice’, supply and demand to determine efficiency and profitability
Belief in the 'free' market, de-regulation, principle of ‘user pays’ and more competition
Belief that 'customer autonomy' should determine goals rather than public accountability
Belief that 'enterprise capitalism' and wealth generation will bring benefit to all
Adapted with permission from Nursing Ethics by Thompson, Melia & Boyd, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh
If ethics has to do with the various modalities of power-sharing between people, then we must look at the various
forms and structures within which power is expressed in daily life, and the different priority which different values are
given within different systems. We do not have to simply accept these. To be a responsible moral agent or
responsible manager, means that we have to make informed choices between different value sets in company with
other members of the moral community within which we live and work. Hence values clarification is not only at the
heart of ethics and team building, but also of politics and sound business administration as well.
In interviews with those employed in the state’s public sector and in training workshops it became apparent that there
is a great deal of uneasiness and confusion among people about the redefinition of their roles. Redefinition of roles
and responsibilities is an important part of the current re-orientation and restructuring of the public sector.
The titles: ‘Civil Servant’, ‘Public Servant’, ‘Government Servant’ and ‘Public Sector Employee’ each embody
different values and pre-suppose different models of what it means to be engaged in the provision of services to the
people by the State. Each designation in turn implies different conceptions of the primary roles and responsibilities of
public officials, and these different roles are exercised in the light of different rules and different patterns of
accountability. It is as well to pay attention to these kinds of ‘language shift’,7 for they mark important changes in the
underlying theories or ideologies and values, on which the role and function of public officers is based and defined.
The following table sets out to compare some of these models:
Before the establishment of a permanent, professional bureaucracy, ‘civil service’ was, like jury duty or military service, something expected
of ordinary citizens, to ensure the smooth running of public affairs, or to preserve law and order in society.
A duty of ‘Civil Service’ [whether paid or voluntary] could be demanded by the State of its citizens in return for the rights and benefits they
enjoy under the protection of the State,
On this model a clear distinction was drawn between polite [civil] and public spirited service of ‘the State’ and servile obedience to the
dictates of ‘the Government’
The duty of the ‘civil servant’ is undertaken pro bono publico [for the good of the public] not for the good of the party in government.
Primary values which apply:
Altruistic service of the public interest
Executive Agent of the Government
In this model the distinction between ‘the State’ and ‘the Government’ is blurred and, as the term ‘government servant’ implies, state
employees are expected to serve the party in power.
Under American style ‘Executive Government’ [or the previous Soviet Union] the assumption is that the bureaucracy is directly accountable
to the party of government in power.
There is no permanent civil service, for as governments change control of the bureaucracy changes and senior bureaucrats are replaced by
the next government’s appointees.
On this model the Government may recruit its civil service from any quarter in society, from academia, business and industry, management,
etc, and does not supervise the development of a career public service, competing with other employers for talent ‘off the street’.
The unambiguous duty of the government service on this model is to serve and protect the interests of the party of government to the best of
its ability.
Primary values which apply:
Loyalty and Conscientious Service to the Government
Servant of the Public in State Employ
The term ‘public servant’ came to be applied to the professional civil service, selected by examination and employed in the Administrative
division of the State’s services to the public
Under the Westminster System, ‘Public Servants’ were not allowed to engage in politics and were to maintain a politically neutral advisory
role in relation to the party of Government
To guarantee the independence of the Administration from political interference, ‘Public Servants’ were to be selected, trained and employed
by the Civil Service in tenured positions for life, with attractive conditions of service and superannuation to ensure their loyalty.
The duty of the ‘Public Servant’ was to mediate between the Public and the Government, to provide objective advice in the public interest,
and if necessary to resist coercion from Government Ministers or their subordinates.
Primary values which apply:
Equitable Allocation of Resources for Common Good
Service of a Citizen to the City/State
Employed in Public as opposed to Private Sector
In this economic model, the Public Sector tends to be defined in contradistinction to the Private Sector in what is seen to be a necessary
form of ‘mixed economy’, and in some cases to operate an ‘internal purchaser/provider economy’ within the public sector, where applicable.
‘Public Sector Employees’, like employees in commercial business or industry, are seen to be either employed to provide services to
‘consumers’ or ‘clients’ or to be involved in a clerical or support role in administration of those services
Like private sector employees, public sector employees are seen as subject to recruitment in the open labour market according to the needs
of the employer [State or Government], and to be subject to the new models of ‘workplace agreements’ or ‘performance related contracts’.
The primary duties of public sector employees [whether tenured staff or consultants on short-term contracts] are defined by the employer
[State or Government] and relate directly to the tasks for which they have been recruited.
Primary values which apply:
Cost Efficient Service to the Public Sector of Economy.
VALUES AND QUALITY - Commitment to excellence and strategic management
Personal, Professional and Corporate Values Clarification should be an integral part of sound Strategic Planning and
Management and the development of Corporate and Operational Ethical Policy within any organisation. Thus, it is a
well-recognised part of sound Strategic Planning that an organisation should develop statements of its Corporate
Mission, Vision and Values. However, the way this is done often leads to a direct contradiction between the values
professed and the process by which the statements are generated. The formulation of a corporate statement of an
organisation’s Mission, Vision and Values means little if it is imposed from above and staff do not participate in the
process. Further, to be credible, these statements must be cashed out in honest, real and workable ethical policies at
corporate or operational levels.
Sound corporate ethics is based on the application to a whole organisation of the methods of continuous quality
improvement, [or “total quality management”8] where strategic planning and management are directed by the values
which are fundamental to the organisation. In such an organisation, its values play a central role in defining its
leadership style, staff development, the way it does business and the quality of its products or the services it delivers.
Thus an organisation’s choice of values plays a crucial role in defining ‘quality’ and in determining what kinds of
processes and systems are appropriate to achieve its objectives. In particular, Corporate Ethical Policy Development
involves meaningful participation by representatives of all key 'stakeholders' in the process, namely:
 Formulating together a clear statement of the organisation’s Mission and Vision
 Engaging together in clarification of Corporate, Professional and Individual Values
 Applying sound methods of Ethical Decision Making at all levels in the organisation
 Developing Ethical Policy as an integral part of Strategic, Operational and Personal planning.
Ideally, the Corporate Values Clarification should involve consultation and negotiation with representatives of all key
internal and external stakeholders, including for example: Management, Executive and Support Staff - “from the boardroom to the shop-floor”
 Customers to which it provides goods or services, External Agencies, Suppliers, Local/State Government, and
representatives of other constituencies to which the organisation relates.
It has become fashionable to refer to every kind of moral difficulty or quandary as a ‘moral dilemma’.
Strictly speaking a real moral dilemma involves an irresolvable conflict of duties, so to treat all moral
difficulties or problems as irresolvable dilemmas encourages people to either avoid taking responsibility for
making difficult decisions, or to treat the matter as simply a matter of personal judgement.
By far the greater proportion of ethical difficulties faced by professionals in everyday practice can be
reframed as problems. Because we have methods for dealing with problems, we can generally find
solutions to them, provided time is taken to look at them carefully. And we can develop greater
competence by learning to apply systematic approaches to decision making about routine ethical
problems. However, some difficult dilemmas will always remain. Since there can be no general rules for
dealing with dilemmas, it requires personal courage to tackle them. Faced with a crisis, which presents as
a serious dilemma, we can only attempt to act as wisely as we can in the particular circumstances, choose
the best available solution [or the least harmful] and be prepared to accept responsibility for the
Moral decision making is not a mysterious or occult process. Exercising one’s ‘conscience’ involves
applying our knowledge of moral principles and acquired experience of life to choice of the best possible
means to achieve good outcomes. Aristotle insists that ethics is a practical science, that is, it is not about
grandstanding opinions, or getting lost in theoretical debate. Ethics is fundamentally about how we reach
well-informed and justifiable decisions, so that we can act purposefully and responsibly and give a
coherent account of how and why we undertook a particular course of action rather than another.
Aristotle did not speak of conscience but rather of ‘prudence’ or practical wisdom. In defining prudence he
gave us the first logical account of sound moral reasoning. Prudence he suggests is the ability to apply
universal moral principles to the demands of particular situations, using our knowledge and past
experience to make sound practical judgements about the best available means to achieve a good
result or outcome.
In analysing the nature of moral judgements and moral actions, Aristotle suggests that all human acts have
the same basic structure, viz.: Causes -> Means -> Ends. 9 St Thomas Aquinas, in his Disputations on
Truth makes a similar point with reference to truth claims and ethical decisions.10 If this is true, it is logical
to suggest that in planning a course of action, making a rational decision, or acting in a purposeful and
responsible way, requires that you:
Review the prevailing circumstances and the facts of the specific situation, including what principles
and rules apply to the particular ‘ball-game’ in which you find yourself
Consider what practical options are available to you, what expertise, assistance or resources you will
require, and what means or methods you need to solve the presenting problem.
Anticipate the likely outcomes of each option, ensure you have specific goals and realistic objectives
so that it is possible for you to evaluate whether your action is successful or not.
There are many variants of problem-solving approaches to ethical decision-making that involve reviewing
the factors involved in this basic Causes -> Means -> Ends structure of intentional acts.11
However we propose the following model, because it is a tried and tested method of systematic ethical
decision-making. It is widely used by health professionals, accountants, private and public sector
managers, because it implicitly takes account of the various aspects of all three aspects of our moral
actions and experience, which are emphasised, as we indicated earlier, by the three classical types of
ethical theory: Deontological, Axiological and Teleological.
Considering the Causes -> Means -> Ends Structure of Human Acts in Making Decisions
[Principles and Rules]
[Agency and Methods]
[Goals and Outcomes]
the Facts
the Rules
the Options
I-dentify possible
on Action Plan
the Results
Deontological Ethics:
Focus: Ethical Principles,
Rights & Duties
Virtue / Prudential Ethics
Focus: Personal & Institutional
Competence or Integrity
Teleological/Utilitarian Ethics
Focus: Costs & Benefits,
Consequences & Efficiency
DEFINE YOUR PROBLEM [or problems] — What are the key facts of the case and what ethical issue/s
demand an immediate decision from you or your team?
Analysis of a problem situation, using stakeholder analysis, generally reveals that defining the problem [or teasing out entangled
problems] is often the most difficult part of the process. However, to define the problem clearly is essential before you can proceed to
the next steps. It is useful to start by identifying all the stakeholders (those people with a direct interest in the outcome of a decision),
and then proceed by the following steps:
Familiarise yourself thoroughly with the key facts and known background of the case
List the key stakeholders and rank them in order of importance relative to the case
Clarify what are the primary rights of the main stakeholders and their contractual duties to you/your agency
Determine what yours / your agency’s primary duties are in relation to each stakeholder, and what are your rights.
ESTABLISH WHAT GROUNDRULES APPLY — Which Ethical Principles or Rules have a bearing
on the Problem and Decision you have to make, and how do you prioritise these?
Identify which of the fundamental principles — protective beneficence, justice and respect for people’s rights — apply in this
situation, and what Regulations or other requirements of your Professional Code of Ethics may have a bearing on the case.
Then decide which of these principles or rules should be given priority or ‘trumps’ the others in this situation.
(Deciding between the competing demands of different principles is difficult and requires sound value judgement. There is often no
obvious ‘right’ answer, or there would not be a problem in the first place.)
CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS - What are the most reasonable and practical means available
to you in this specific situation to solve your problem?
In conducting an Option Appraisal, it is important to take the following steps:
Brainstorm all the possible things that you could do to deal with the problem
Analyse and discuss which are the best options available to you, which are the most sensible and practical.
Rank order your available options in order of importance, and practical value in solving your problem
(Some options will be ruled out as ethically unacceptable, others will depend on obtaining further help or resources, or will take longer
to achieve a satisfactory result, and some options may be good but more expensive or risky etc.)
INVESTIGATE THE LIKELY OUTCOMES - Given your past experience, what are the likely
Ethical Outcomes, Costs and Benefits, of each choice?
Having generated a list of Options and having ranked these in order of priority from your point of view, it is important to consider the
likely consequences of your action in each case and run each option past the three fundamental principles:
Will this course of action be Just and Fair to all Stakeholders?
Will this course of action Respect the Rights of all Stakeholders?
Will this course of action show Responsible Care for others and for the public good?
(If you tabulate your identified options and score each against the principles it is usually possible to see quite quickly which option is
both more practical and ethically acceptable, or, at worst, least harmful.)
DECIDE ON YOUR COURSE OF ACTION - What is your main goal? What are your specific,
achievable, objectives? How do you intend to achieve your goal and objectives effectively?
Having conducted a careful option appraisal, and considered the practical and ethical consequences of various courses of action, you
should have been able to identify the best option available in the situation, and perhaps a fall-back position. The next step is to
develop a Specific Action Plan with clear and achievable objectives,:
What is our main goal in taking this action?
What specific things do we hope to achieve/can we achieve by taking this action?
How do we do this most effectively and efficiently?
When do we implement our action plan, and what is our timeframe for seeing it through?
(Only if we have clear goals and objectives, can we be said to be acting responsibly, and it is only with reference to our goals and
objectives that we can evaluate later whether our action/s was/were successful or not.
EVALUATE THE RESULTS OF YOUR ACTION - What criteria will you use to judge your
success (or failure) to achieve your goal, and both your practical and ethical objectives?
No ethical decision can be said to be a fully responsible one if you have not carefully appraised the results of your action and
identified what you can learn from your successes or mistakes. Accountability means being able to give an account’ of what you
have done to someone else.
What you perceived the problem to be and what ethical considerations you took into account
What options you considered and what reasons you had for choosing your course of action
What your action plan was and what goals and objectives you hoped to achieve
What the specific outcomes of your action were, and whether these were good or bad.
[To be able to demonstrate what steps you took and to be able to justify them presupposes that you have documented the process
and kept records of decisions and outcomes. Only thus can you compare results on future occasions when you are faced with similar
To develop habits of systematic ethical decision-making, individually and in teams, it is useful to practise the use of the DECIDE
Model [or the others mentioned in the endnotes] on everyday problems that arise in your work. In this way you will develop
competence in sound ethical decision making and be able to justify what you do.
The process of Stakeholder Analysis is a useful method for clarifying the nature of the ethical problem [or problems]
which need to be tackled, by clarifying what rights and duties apply to the various players in a given situation.
Ethical problems frequently arise because the rights on one party or another have been infringed or they have not
received their entitlements.
In most situations it is sufficient to consider the rights of the customer/client and the duties of the
decision maker, but in more complex situations it may be helpful to consider both the rights and
responsibilities of the customer/client and the duties and rights of the public sector employee [or
employees] who have to make the decision or deliver the service.
In working through the process it is important to recognise that there will be duties that the public
officer will have to the wider public and to his or her employing agency, as well as the specific
duties owed to the customer or client. The following grid is generally a helpful aid to setting out
the matrix of rights and duties involved:
Public Officer’s
Public Officer’s
Stakeholder 1
Stakeholder 2
Stakeholder 3
 If the decision is being taken by a team of people, and particularly if the team is made up of people
with a variety of kinds of professional expertise, it may be necessary to dis-aggregate their different
conceptions of what ‘the problem’ is, of what different kinds of action or ‘interventions’ are
necessary, and what ‘outcomes’ or ‘solutions’ they each anticipate.
Team Member
Value-base or
Definition of
‘the Problem’
Expected Outcome
In a complex situation it is possible that there may be little agreement in the first place about what the
problem is or how it is to be dealt with. If this is the case, then, it would be necessary to explore how
serious the differences are and what scope there is for a negotiated agreement about definition of the
problem and the course of action to be followed in dealing with it.
For example, in dealing with a staff member with a ‘drug problem’ the person’s doctor may see it as a
problem of addiction, needing detoxification and therapy, the police may see the person as the victim
of a criminal conspiracy trading in illicit substances, the person’s manager may see the problem as one
of chaotic behaviour and unreliability, the person’s counsellor see the issue as one related to his marital
problems and financial difficulties. If all were involved in a ‘case conference’ about how to deal with
the person, it might be important to discover first what common ground there was for cooperation in
decision making and management of the problem.
Sometimes the complexities that emerge in the course of stakeholder analysis are due to the
constellating of several problems, each of which needs to be tackled separately and in order of
importance or urgency. Sometimes the complexities are due to the different ways in which the
same problem is conceptualised and represented by different members of the team of people
involved in making the decision.
IDENTIFYING KEY STAKEHOLDERS — Rights and Responsibilities
Stakeholder 1
Stakeholder 2
Stakeholder 6
Stakeholder 3
Stakeholder 5
Stakeholder 4
DEFINE THE PROBLEM/S - What are the key facts of the case and what ethical issue/s demand a
decision immediately from you or your team?
What are the most important facts of the case ?
Who are Key Stakeholders ?
What are their rights ?
What Particular Problem [or problems] Demand Decisions in this case ?
[And which problem should be tackled first ?]
What are your duties ?
Strategic ethical management is based on adaptation of familiar problem-solving methodologies to the
development of ethical policy and systems of performance management and ethical audit within an
organisation. The purpose of applying this systematic approach [including the formulation of an explicit
‘Code of Conduct’] is simply to make explicit the implicit ethical assumptions underlying an organisation’s
policy and procedures. Applying the procedures assists in this process by:
Raising awareness and ensuring that ethical principles are factored into all decisions;
Demonstrating compliance with the organisation’s Mission and Values in it’s normal business, systems and
Helping put in place the performance indicators by which internal and external audit of ethical performance
can be undertaken.
A comprehensive [strategic] approach to Ethical Management involves several steps:
The purpose of such a review of the organisational culture would be to establish what stakeholders believe
the organisation’s mission, vision and values to be, and the degree of perceived congruence or dissonance
between corporate policy and corporate practice.
The organisational review would help identify issues for management that need to be addressed and areas
where improvement is possible [or necessary]. To effect meaningful change it would be necessary to
secure employee cooperation and support for change.
If effective methods are used to engage employees in the process of values clarification [related to redefining the mission or core business of the organisation, its vision for development and the values that
should direct its goals], then this in itself can assist in team-building and construction of the organisation as
a more unified moral community in a way that can transform the corporate culture.
Before revising or re-constructing organisational policy and procedures it is helpful to examine examples of
specific problems, using sound models for ethical decision making. By applying continuous improvement
and problem solving methods, procedures that need to be standardised, or issues that require policy
development, tend to ‘drop out of’ the process. Detailed ethical appraisal of concrete issues - proceeding
from the particular to the general - is more useful and appropriate than the other way around - proceeding
from the general to the particular.
Integrating Ethics into Policy Setting at Corporate and Operational Levels helps to ensure that an
organisation is adopting an approach to its operations that is consistent with its values and goals. Sound
ethical policy development will also result in the specification of definite procedures for implementation of
the policy, conflict resolution, performance assessment and securing support and compliance.
Strategic and Operational Planning that is developed along with related Ethical Policy ensures not only full
integration of ethical principles and values into management, but lays the foundations for assessment of
both ethical and practical performance throughout the organisation and in its various functions.
While external audit may be of value from time to time in the life of organisations, the real challenge is to
build in skills for self-monitoring and appraisal of ethical and practical performance at the individual, team
and corporate levels. Sound methods of policy setting will result in the establishment of set procedures
and performance indicators that make performance management potentially a routine aspect of
Corporate Ethical Policy Development, is a necessary part of a whole institution approach to continuous
quality improvement, for any organisation, business, educational institution, or public corporation. Defining
quality is a matter of value judgement, and so-called 'Total quality management' requires that an
organisation's values play a central role in defining its leadership style, the way it does business and the
quality of its products or the services it delivers.
Critical to Ethical Policy Development is the meaningful participation of all key 'stakeholders' in the process
- the customers to which it provides goods or services, the staff and the key internal players, and
representatives of the external constituencies to which the organisation relates.
Examination of existing Ethical Policy, and Groundrules for Practice
Needs Assessment in the Organisation as a whole & in particular Departments
Review of Systems to establish the current place of Ethics in operations
Ethical Policy Development - setting Policy at Corporate & Operational Levels
Strategic Planning for the Practical Implementation of Ethical Policy, and the development of
Groundrules and Methods for Monitoring developments
Developing the basis for Co-operation with Staff in monitoring on-going development of ethical
policy and its implementation. Audit of Performance needs to be done by individuals, by peer-review,
by assessment of team and corporate outcomes.
Systems Analysis to identify nodal points at which ethical issues arise in the various structures,
operations, teaching and research, consultancy and marketing operations
Structured Interviews with key 'stakeholders' within and without the organisation, including
consumers of services provided.
Survey by Anonymous Questionnaire administered to the same constituencies to establish
perceptions of the role of ethics in the organisation's life, work and external dealings
Values Clarification Workshops with a representative cross-section of individuals from the various
'stakeholder groups'
Practical Workshops on Ethical Decision Making, where staff learn by applying problem-solving
models to actual day-to day ethical problems which they identify from within the Agency or
Ethical Policy Development and Strategic Planning Workshops, with a cross-section of all staff,
including: administrative and clerical staff, and both uni-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary groups of
professional staff.
Analysis of Staff Development Policy to assess and ensure the integration of individual and
organisational ethics into induction, basic and post-basic training of staff
Curriculum Analysis and Development [where appropriate] to establish what attention is given to
ethics in what is taught, appropriateness of methods used, the stage at which it is introduced, and the
competence/competencies required of those who teach.
To obtain base-line information for assessment of needs and for on-going work in corporate ethical
policy development and strategic planning
To set in place relevant ethical policies at corporate and operational level,
clarifying approaches, groundrules, procedures and methods of monitoring
To develop mechanisms for strategic and operational planning for the implementation, evaluation
and on-going development of ethical policy in the routine processes of organisational and staff
To explore the scope for competency-based staff development in organisational ethics and
individual ethical decision-making
To integrate ethics into a general quality improvement approach to organisational and staff
Why a Corporate Approach to Ethics is Necessary
In general it has become necessary to look at ethics in organisations from a corporate perspective because
the experience in the past decade, of deregulation of markets and the pursuit of neo-liberal agendas in
public administration, has shown up the inadequacies of a privatised ethics.
Government and commercial organisations around the world have had to address the issue of corporate
fraud and corruption in large organisations and the problem of how to deal with these. Research and
practice have shown that effecting change or reform is not primarily a matter of introducing codes of conduct
or changing individual values or behaviour; but rather of changing the organisational culture and
environment, its corporate systems and management.13
While Codes of Ethics have a part to play in corporate governance and disciplinary control of misconduct by
individuals, they do not contribute much to creating a positive ethical climate - conducive to promoting
quality services and the flourishing of business, employees and customers.14 Business ethics has shifted
away from an individualistic approach [which tends to see ethics as an ‘add on’ to business practice], and
now emphasises an integrated approach in which sees striving for excellence and continuous improvement
as ethical ideals for the whole organisation. ‘Continuous Improvement’ ‘Quality Assurance’ and ‘Total
Quality Management 15 are essentially value-based approaches to Corporate Strategic Management,
human resource management, service and commercial operations, in which ethics plays an integral part at
all levels of the business culture.
Ethical Policy Review and Standards Development must be a positive and cooperative endeavour. Each
organisation is a 'moral community' with its own existing 'ethical culture'. Organisations need to clarify the
values which should be basic to their working life and to the improvement of the quality of services they
provide for their clients and stakeholders. This not only helps improve the quality of services delivered and
the public standing of organisations, but also helps to make them happier and better places to work, where
people feel valued, where there is scope for satisfying personal careers, and organisational and professional
development is promoted.
There are several advantages of adopting a comprehensive approach to ethical policy review:•
Instead of ethics being seen as merely necessary for dealing with corruption and fraud, it becomes
part of a corporation's ethos, mission, values-base and strategic planning;
Systems, procedures and training programmes are set up in such a way that ethics is introduced to
the bloodstream of the organisation and contributes to the on-going life of the body corporate:
planning for growth, organisational change and staff development;
Sound ethical systems are seen to be concerned with both corporate and individual well-being, and
thus commitment to the new ethos of ethical management and practice is seen to be advantageous
to all, to be secured by negotiation rather than edict from above;
Quality assurance, standards setting, and peer-review are seen to be a normal part of ethical
procedure - encouraging development of skills and confidence in self-monitoring and audit, reducing
dependency on legalistic and authoritarian 'discipline'.
Properly done, an organisation's ethical policies should reflect the aspirations of staff and the concerns of
external stakeholders. Striving for excellence or 'Quality Improvement' in the internal and external dealings
of the organisation and in its routine operations, is in everyone's best interests. Most people want to work in
an environment where there is scope for personal and organisational growth, positive change and
development. Defining more clearly the values and goals of the organisation, and putting in place good
systems which everyone will 'own' for themselves is the key objective of the process of Ethical Policy and
Standards Development.
Emmet, Dorothy, 1966, Rules, Roles and Relations — an essay in Social Ethics, Macmillan, London. (A seminal work
by a philosopher who applies what we can learn from the social sciences to the study of ethics, in particular the
diverse roles and responsibilities of people in society and organisational life and their rights and duties)
French, Peter, 1995, Corporate Ethics, Harcourt Brace College Publishers, Fort Worth, Philadelphia. (Examines the
emerging role of corporations and multi-national businesses and their impact on society, global trade and economics,
including the issues that have arisen in relation to unconstrained exploitation of global resources and degradation of
the environment as well as the scandals of corporate fraud)
George S and Weimerskirch A, 1994, Total Quality Management, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Brisbane and New York.
(Explores the role of values in TQM and discusses some revealing case studies).
Johnson, Craig E.; 2007, Ethics in the Workplace — Tools and Tactics for Organisational Transformation, Sage
Publications, Thousand Oaks & London (The emphasis in this work is on the different kinds of initiative that are
required to transform the ethical culture of disfunctional organisations and build real moral community.)
Kitson, Alan & Campbell, Robert, 1996, The Ethical Organisation — Ethical Theory and Corporate Behaviour,
Macmillan Press Ltd, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, and London. [Macmillan Business Series]
(This book attempts to address real issues in business, marketing and corporate management and suggests
constructive ways to apply ethics to these tasks)
Sternberg, Elaine: 1994, Just Business — Business Ethics in Action, Warner Books, London (A helpful and practical
approach to business ethics which owes more than a little to the realistic political ethics of Aristotle)
For more detailed descriptions of the processes outlined here, see Thompson IE, Harris M & Vagg M [1997] Putting Ethics to
Work in the Public Sector, Public Sector Standards Commission, Perth W.A.
•American Accounting Association, 1975, “Report of the Committee on Accounting for Social Performance”, The Accounting
Public Productivity & Management Review, Vol xvii, no 3, Spring.
The Field of Social Investment, Cambridge University Press,
Financial Analyst Journal, , Nov-Dec, pp. 62-66.
“Markets and Morality” Journal of Portfolio Management
Journal of Business Ethics, 12:: 301 – 312, 1993.
Cf Downie RS [1971] Roles and Values, Methuen, London, Rokeach M [1969] Beliefs, Attitudes and Values, Jossey-Bass,
San Francisco, and Steele Sm & Harmon VM [1983] Values Clarification in Nursing, Apple Century Crofts, Norwalk,
These definitions are adapted from a variety of philosophical sources, but those cited in the first endnote would suffice to give
the background and further reading.
Sternberg E, Just Business, Warner Books, London, 1994, Chapter 2
Bruce W, 1994,’Ethical People are Productive People’, Public Productivity and Management Review, vol XVII, no 3, Spring
1994, Jossey-Boss Publishers
Ludwig Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Investigations, remarked on the phenomenon of ‘language shift’ which occurs when
there is a change of underlying paradigm, scientific theory or value base. When this occurs in any society, whole
constellations of related words subtly change their meaning and change our perspective on things.
See Total Quality Management by George S and Weimerskirch A, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Brisbane and New York, 1994.
See Aristotle’s analysis of Prudence in Book VI of the Nicomachean Ethics (384-322BC). In Thomson JAK, [Tr], 1976, The Ethics of
Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics, Penguin, Harmondsworth
Aquinas argues that cognitive acts, like acts of doing and making all have the same intentional (Causes, Means, Ends)
structure, and he argues that Truth cannot be adequately defined either formally by its coherence with the structures and
dynamics of being, or in terms of correspondence between specific judgements and contingent facts, or in pragmatic terms in
relation to whether or not a theoretical judgement can be demonstrated to work in fact. In an aside he suggests this has
relevance to different kinds of ethical theory as well.
See (C/f: ICAA, (Thompson IE & Howieson B), [1997] Professional Year: Ethics, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia,
Sydney, Grace D & Cohen S [©1995] Business Ethics - Australian Problems & Cases, OUP App 1; and, Seedhouse D 1986 Health—
the foundations for achievement. Wiley, Chichester Pt 3 Moral Reasoning).
Adapted and reproduced with permission Putting Ethics to Work in the Western Australian Public Sector, by Thompson IE & Harries M,
and [Ed: Vagg M], Office of the WA Public Sector Standards Commissioner, Perth, WA6000
Eg: French P, 1995, Corporate Ethics, Harcourt Brace, New York & Sydney
Hoffmann WM, Moore JM, Fedo DA, 1984, Corporate Governance and Institutionalising Ethics, DC Heath, Lexington,
Peters TJ & Waterman RH, 1982, In Search of Excellence, Harper & Row, New York
Preston N [Ed], 1994, Ethics for the Public Sector - Education and Training, Federation Press, Annandale, NSW
Cf: Benson GCS, 1989, Codes of Ethics Business & Government. Claremont, Calif.: Henry Salvatori Centre
Burke F & Benson G, 1989, ‘Written Rules: State Ethics Codes, Commissions and Conflicts’, The Journal of State
Government, vol 62, no. 5, pp.195-198
Caiden GE, 1981, ‘Ethics in the Public Service: Codification Misses the Real Target’, Public Personnel Management Journal,
vol. 10, no. 1, pp.146-152.
Robert DC & Schlegelmilch BB, 1993, Corporate institutionalisation of ethics in the United States and Great Britain. Journal
of Business Ethics, 12, 301-312
See James P [1996] Total Quality Management - An Introductory Text, Prentice Hall, Sydney & New York and Total Quality
Management by George S and Weimerskirch A, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Brisbane and New York, 1994.