Ethics and Responsibility


By its very nature, the role of public administrator means carrying a  fair share of responsibility. In both government and nonprofit  organizations, administrators may be responsible for budgets, staff, and  project outcomes, for example. As a public administrator, how might you  balance the objective and subjective aspects of responsibility with  both your organization’s ethical standards and your own? In order to  discover this balance, you will begin by examining the fundamental  relationship between ethics and professional responsibility.
In the reading you will review a case study: “When a Career Public  Servant Sues the Agency He Loves: Claude Ferguson, the Forest Service,  and Off-Road Vehicles in the Hoosier National Forest” (O’Leary, 2009)  and consider how a public administrator might balance the objective,  subjective, and ethical responsibilities within a governmental agency or  nonprofit organization.
Write a brief explanation of the relationship between ethics and professional responsibility.
Then, explain whether you agree or disagree with the way that Claude  Ferguson chose to balance his objective, subjective, and ethical  responsibilities as a public administrator given the personal and  professional risks.
Finally, offer an alternate strategy that Claude Ferguson could have  taken and explain why it might help him to balance responsibilities and  ethics. 

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