Classics of Administrative Ethics

Classics of Administrative Ethics

Classics of Administrative Ethics

Classics of Administrative Ethics


This anthology will be appropriate for administrative ethics classes and professional thinking in public administration at both the masters and doctoral levels. It is a collection of administrative ethics articles published in journals of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) from 1941 (the earliest publication) through 1983 (the year that the first ASPA Code of Ethics was established). The articles are organized by themes of enduring importance to the field in order to provide graduate students with ready access to the classic works on ethics in public administration. Reading this collection will enhance student's knowledge and skills to think and act ethically and contribute to their ability to view current practices in light of traditional perspectives. The ASPA Classics volume serves to bridge the practice of public policy and administration with the empirical research base that has accrued and the models for practice that may be deduced from the research


This book is a collection of classic articles about administrative ethics that have been printed in journals sponsored by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). Because their source is only ASPA, they do not represent every important article in the field. They do, however, represent the generative ideas that have guided thinking about ethics in public administration since the beginning of the first ASPA-sponsored journal— Public Administration Review (PAR)—in 1940 and present the work of the important scholars writing about administrative ethics, most of whom published in PAR.

To frame the book and its contents, it is necessary to define the terms "administrative," "ethics," and "classics," as used here. "Administrative" refers to those persons in positions of authority who carry on the business of government at the federal, state, local, or nonprofit level. They may be appointed or elected. They may be street-level bureaucrats, or they may be top-level executives. "Ethics" is the study of the nature of morals and moral choices and the rules governing a profession that define professional conduct. A "classic" is a publication that has stood the test of time and practice and is as relevant for today's world as it was for the time it was written.

The works in this volume are seminal to thinking about ethics in public administration. They form the basis for the development of thought and contain many of the original ideas from which current thinking about administrative ethics has developed. They span the years 1941-1985, those forty-four years being the time it took from publication of the first article about administrative ethics in an ASPA-sponsored journal to the completion of the first ASPA Code of Ethics and its implementation guidelines.

To be included in this volume, an article had to be about administrative ethics and meet both the definition of a "classic" and the following criteria: it had to relate to administrators and not be about philosophical or political ethics, citizenship, policy, or government agencies per se; it had to be important to the development of current thinking about . . .

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