The Ethics Challenge in Public Service: A Problem-Solving Guide / Edition 2

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Since it was first published in 1991, The Ethics Challenge in Public Service has become a classic text used by public managers and in public management programs across the country. This second edition is filled with practical tools and techniques for making ethical choices in the ambiguous, pressured world of public service. It explores the day-to-day ethical dilemmas managers face in their work, including what to do when rules recommend one action and compassion another, and whether it is ethical to dissent from agency policy. This essential text explores managers' accountability to different stakeholders and how to balance the often competing responsibilities.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"If you have ethics responsibilities in the public sector, you must read this book for its text and compilation of resource materials."
--The Honorable Stephen D. Potts, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ethics Resource Center and former director, the U. S. Office of Government Ethics

"This book is three things: the best available synthesis of ethics in public affairs, a first-rate theoretical consideration of ethics, and a wonderfully applied, useful, and practical guide. Carol Lewis and Stuart Gilman are two giants in the field, and this book lives up to their stature."
--H. George Frederickson, Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Administration, Policy Research Institute, The University of Kansas

"The Ethics Challenge in Public Service is a necessary tool for public administrators and students alike in this era of fiscal challenges, heightened citizen expectations of government accountability, and public scrutiny, providing both theoretical frameworks and practical applications for ethical decision making. Carol Lewis’s book is a ‘must-have’ for any public sector professional’s reference shelf, without regard to sector or specialty."
--Ann M. Hess, J.D., M.P.A., president, Massachusetts Chapter, American Society for Public Administration, and staff director, Boston City Council

"Having used The Ethics Challenge in Public Service in my graduate course for years, it was good news that Carol Lewis and Stuart Gilman have prepared a second edition. Incorporating updated material and new treatments of international developments and of ethics in the nonprofit sector, this book remains simply indispensable for teaching public service ethics."
--Guy B. Adams, professor, Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri-Columbia

"The Ethics Challenge in Public Service draws the reader into the pervasive ethical dimension of public service. Lively, timely, well-crafted cases in every chapter engage both reason and moral imagination. This is an ideal text for professional ethics courses. Practicing administrators will recognize the ethical conflicts and dilemmas, and learn effective strategies for working through them. It also includes an extensive chronology of public service ethics, a useful resource in itself."
--B. L. Catron, professor emeritus of public administration, George Washington University

"The authors’ deep commitment to public service and empathetic understanding of the complexities and ethical dilemmas faced by public service practitioners are reflected in this book’s title and in its thoughtful balancing of idealism and realism, so that Lewis and Gilman offer moral direction without restoring to simplistic rote prescription for belief or behavior."
--Jonathan B. Justice, School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, University of Delaware

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787967567
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/11/2005
  • Series: Wiley Desktop Editions Series , #9
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 9.39 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol W. Lewis is professor of political science at the University of Connecticut. She is a consultant and trainer for public agencies and professional organizations at the local, regional, state, national, and international levels.

Stuart C. Gilman is a consultant in Washington, D.C., working with state government and federal agencies, for large corporations and nonprofit organizations, as well as multinational organizations. He is a former senior executive with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and professor at the Federal Executive Institute.

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Table of Contents

Exhibits, Tables, and Figures.



The Authors.

Introduction: Ethics in Public Service.


1 What Is Important in Public Service?

2 Obeying and Implementing the Law.

3 Serving the Public Interest.

4 Taking Individual Responsibility.


5 Finding Solid Ground: Ethical Standards and Reasoning.

6 Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: Strategies and Tactics for Managers.

7 Understanding Who and What Matters: Stakeholder Analysis.


8 Designing and Implementing Codes.

9 Broadening the Horizon.

10 Building an Ethical Agency.

Afterword: The Job Ahead.

Resource A: Chronology of Theoretical and Applied Ethics in Public Service (Work in Process).

Resource B: Selected Internet Resources.

Resource C: Tools for Making Ethical Decisions.


Name Index.

Subject Index.

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