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.