Unit 2 Morality And Ethics



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Unit 2 Morality And Ethics


Morality, loosely defined as conformity to the right human conduct, is often associated with ethics and virtue. If one behaves morally, he or she is also behaving ethically. The issue then becomes not how to behave morally, but what right human conduct actually is. Once right is determined, we face the issue of how to teach someone to be ethical. Is this a trait that we are born with, or can we train someone to be ethical? Rohr (1998) maintained that there was an even more complex issue afoot in public administration ethics—the representation of values. A public administrator must also learn to represent the values of the public that he or she serves, not just his or her own values-based ethics. Morality, ethics, and values then become a mixture of individual perspectives, organizational codes, and societal norms and mores, and the various factors could be in conflict in some situations.


To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

    1. Assess the foundations of morality and its relationship to ethics in the public administration field.
    2. Analyze an example of ethics in the public sector, specific to interactions with our global environment.
    3. Examine an ethical dilemma with which you are familiar, in preparation for later analysis in the course.

 [u02s1] Unit 2 Study 1


What Answers Do I Need?

Launch Presentation | Transcript


In your Thiroux and Krasemann text, read Chapter 1, “The Nature of Morality,” pages 1–29.

Remember that you can access this reading on iGuide or by opening your downloaded VitalSource Bookshelf application.


Public administrators face many different types of ethical dilemmas. The questions we must raise to determine an appropriate course of action are not always clear. To help you decide on appropriate courses of action in ethical dilemmas, click on Launch Presentation to view “What Answers Do I Need?” You will use this information for this unit’s assignment.

Discussion Preparation

Locate at least three peer-reviewed sources that help you to understand and compare the terms ethics, morality, and values for use in a discussion in this unit.


Add to your ethics mindmap based on the theories and practices that you learn about this week. As a reminder, you will add to this mindmap in each unit and submit it to your instructor in Unit 8.


Unit 2 Discussion 1 Question:

Morals and Values


Ethics, morality, and values are often used interchangeably, yet the terms have very different meanings. Using the text and at least three other peer-reviewed sources, define the three terms, and provide examples from the work environment of a public administrator. Argue which term is most important when considering the provision of public services and the individual public administrator’s role in that work.

***Make sure you use APA Style of Writing and use appropriate quotations


Unit 2 Discussion 2  Question:

Ethics and the Environment

Some have argued that our treatment of the environment is a violation of ethics on a number of levels: taking from others the right to clean air and water, reducing our resources; and causing permanent damage that cannot be repaired. Using ethics, morality, and values as your guide, make your own case for or against this viewpoint. Use science and its interpretation to help argue your point, and describe the ethics of its inclusion as well.

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