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 11: Removing Employee Protections: A ‘See no Evil’ Approach to Civil Service Reform

James S. Bowman and Jonathan P. West

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


James S. Bowman and Jonathan P. West INTRODUCTION Ethics in public service is influenced by two norms – political exchange and civic culture – that co-exist in varying degrees and at different times in many Western democratic societies. The first is premised on contracts, favors and jobs in exchange for political support; it is susceptible to corruption because it feeds an environment of cronyism, sycophancy, favoritism and waste. In contrast, a civic culture is one in which the commonweal is the central value; it is based on universally applicable rules, equal treatment, professional ethics and stewardship of public resources. Promoting the public good, not personal gain, is the objective (adapted from Rosenbloom, 1998: 536–8; also see Schlesinger, 1986). Civil service systems, reflecting such tensions, confront competing demands for political responsiveness and professional competence. In the last generation, the emphasis between these two traditions has shifted in most democracies from a public service imbued by civic culture norms toward one of political exchange. The New Public Management (NPM) movement (Hood, 1991; Pollitt, 1990; Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2004) challenged the long-standing merit system model, characterized by nonpartisan public servants, as inflexible and unresponsive to contemporary needs. To improve effectiveness, reduce expenditures and enhance accountability, reform deregulated personnel systems, defunded agencies, downsized staff, privatized services, augmented managerial discretion, empowered citizens and strengthened political control. Such actions often included reforms in financial management (emphasizing results and performance), civil service (relaxing rigidities), organizational structures (mandating decentralization) and service delivery (seeking competition...

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