Table of Contents

Ethics and Integrity of Governance

Ethics and Integrity of Governance

Perspectives Across Frontiers

New Horizons in Public Policy series

Edited by Leo W.J.C. Huberts, Jeroen Maesschalk and Carole L. Jurkiewicz

This book provides critical, up-to-date reviews on the field of ethics and integrity of governance, along with fresh future perspectives. Focusing on Europe and the US, it addresses the key dimensions of public service values, the integrity and rationality of governance, ethics management, and the ethics of governance politics. In each of these four areas, leading international scholars tackle the main issues and controversies facing the world today. The final chapter synthesizes these views and provides an ambitious and critical outline for future work in the field of ethics and integrity of governance. Emanating from the much heralded ‘transatlantic dialogue’, this study integrates both the European and American perspectives into a common voice for action.

Chapter 2: The Evolution of the British Public Service Ethos: A Historical Institutional Approach to Explaining Continuity and Change

Wouter Vandenabeele and Sylvia Horton

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, politics and public policy, leadership, public policy, regulation and governance

Extract

Wouter Vandenabeele and Sylvia Horton INTRODUCTION An important aspect of the British Home Civil Service throughout its history has been the continuous presence of the Public Service Ethos (PSE). Woodhouse (1997) describes PSE as ‘an amalgam of beliefs and norms or conventions of behaviour [concerning public service]’. This ethos serves as an ethical code for civil servants and public officials (Greenaway, 1995; O’Toole, 1997, 2000). In addition to a guidance function, it also has a motivational aspect (Chapman, 1997; Reeves, 2004). Although some authors contest the idea of PSE, it is generally accepted as a core element of British public administration and its principles are defended by the major political parties in the UK. The aims of this chapter are threefold: first, to investigate the emergence of PSE since the creation of the modern civil service in the mid 19th century; second, to identify the elements of continuity and change in PSE throughout the twentieth century and third, to explain variations in the content using a historical-institutional theoretical framework. Our analysis spans 150 years from the origins of the modern civil service in 1853 to the present day. The chapter is divided into six sections. Each section describes the historical context and the key events impacting on the PSE, and then seeks to explain the process using our historical, institutional, theoretical framework. HISTORICAL INSTITUTIONALISM AS A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK The theory of historical institutionalism offers an interesting framework within which to analyse PSE. Peters (2000: 18) defines...

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