What are the ethical principles that guide your life and public administration service?? Is there a difference between personal ethics and business (public administration) ethi


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  • PublicAdministration.docx

Approaches to Public Administration

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation




Approaches to Public Administration

Political, legal, and managerial are some of the commonly known approaches to public administration (Shafritz et a., 2022). Even though these approaches have an orientation of promoting separation of power in public administration, each approach comes with it its own values, different organizational structure, and tradition (Shafritz et a., 2022).

Political Approach

Political Approach is premised on the idea that political character and public accountability are key aspects that underpin the functions of the government. The proponents of this approach believe that public administration is a component of a pollical process, public policy making, and the role of bureaucracy (Shafritz et a., 2022). Political approach to public administration views public administration as an endeavor that is political. Compared to managerial approach, the political approach has its own sets of values. Whereas managerial approach empathizes the managerial functions of organizing, controlling, and coordination to attain efficiency, the political approach gives emphasis to the values of representation, accountability to the electorate, and responsiveness. However, the common factor between the political, legal, and managerial approaches is that all these ideologies promote the idea of accountability in public administration. However, unlike the management approach that emphasizes the existence of a management structure, hierarchical structure, and functional specialization, the political approach focusses on the idea of pluralism. The political approach is hinged on the belief that the structure of public administration should be based on the features of society. It should reflect the diverse nature of the society, the competing forces, the interests, and the values (Shafritz et a., 2022).

Legal Approach

The legal approach views public administration as the application of and enforcement of law in influencing the administrative functions. The legal approach to public administration bases its origin on constitutional law, judicialization of public administration, and administrative law. The administrative law is used to describe the liabilities and positions of the state officials, liabilities of individuals, and civil rights. Judicialization of the public administration relates the procedures followed when public officials engage in adjudication (Hermus, van Buuren & Bekkers, 2020). Constitutional law deals with the legitimacy of the government actions. The law defines roles and functions of public administration. Constitutional law deals with things such as abuse of power and legal authority, and rights and privileges of individuals. The value in the legal approach is distinctively different from the managerial and political values. The values include fairness/equity, procedural due process, and individuals’ rights. Unlike the management approach that advocates for a hierarchical organizational structure, the legal approach focuses on adjudicatory structure whereby administrative agencies are assigned the responsibility to adjudicatory functions while at the same time exercising their independence from the rest of other government functions (Hermus et al., 2020).

Managerial Approach

The approach strives to promote efficiency and effectiveness in government functions. The managerial approach differs from the legal approach because it promotes the idea that administration should start from the base of management and not from the foundation law. It goes against the idea of equal representation as captured in the political approach because it believes in competency and merit when selecting individuals in charge of the management of public offices. The managerial approach advocates for a management structure that is hierarchical in nature. This is different from the legal and political approaches (Shafritz et a., 2022). However, both managerial and political approaches favor the existence of bureaucracies and functional specialization. Managerial approach believes in the values of economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. This is different from political approach that believes in political representation, and the legal approach that believes in constitutional rights of individuals. Despite the differences, both approaches aim to create a working public administration for the benefit of all societal members (Shafritz et a., 2022).

Biblical or covenantal model of statesmanship requires leaders to act responsibly within the confines of the covenant with God. A covenant with God calls for the adherence to moral terms that exist between God and humans by following God’s commandments. Leaders must practice their leadership in ways that are in line with guidelines and commandments of God. A statesmanship that is backed by a covenantal or biblical model requires leaders to embrace the general good and promote the fundamental laws that promote an organizational culture of inclusiveness, and respect of individual rights (Overeem & Bakker, 2019). A stateman influences organizational behavior by creating a vision that inspires all organizational members. The leader believes in justice and moral excellence as a foundation for promoting ethical and moral conduct among organizational members (Overeem & Bakker, 2019). These approaches will significantly contribute to the expansion of my academic understanding of public administration as well as giving me the opportunity to improve my professional work in public administration through the application of new insights.


Hermus, M., van Buuren, A., & Bekkers, V. (2020). Applying design in public administration: a literature review to explore the state of the art. Policy & Politics, 48(1), 21-48.

Overeem, P., & Bakker, F. E. (2019). Statesmanship beyond the modern state. Perspectives on Political Science, 48(1), 46-55.

Shafritz, J. M., Russell, E. W., Borick, C. P., & Hyde, A. C. (2022). Introducing public administration. Routledge.




Please review your posting and make certain you have:

Answered all the assigned questions in your posting.


Also made this assignment personal and actionable, answering these application questions:

· What are the ethical principles that guide your life and public administration service??

· Is there a difference between personal ethics and business (public administration) ethics?

· How would the Bible answer those questions?

If you have submitted your posting but not addressed these questions, please submit an addendum to your initial post.

Thank you, I am just trying to help you maximize your practical learning., 

Reply 1

Hello Everyone,

The evolution of public administration has been a fascinating journey, marked by shifting paradigms and ethical considerations. Initially, public administration was viewed through a lens of strict separation from politics, emphasizing neutral competence and limited discretion among administrators. This conventional approach aimed to maintain a clear boundary between policy-making and implementation. However, as the world entered the 1930s, a new wave of scholars and practitioners emerged, challenging this traditional view.

This new generation advocated for a more professional and empowered public service that could exercise discretion in policy implementation and even contribute to policy formulation. They argued that in complex governmental systems, some level of discretion was not only inevitable but necessary for effective functioning. This shift marked a departure from the rigid boundaries prescribed by the conventional approach, opening up new possibilities for public administrators to engage more actively in shaping policies and addressing societal challenges.

According to Osborne and Gaebler (1992), the “Reinventing Government Era” shifted public administration towards a more entrepreneurial and customer-oriented model. This era emphasized results-driven approaches, decentralization, and a focus on customer satisfaction as key components of effective governance. The authors highlighted the importance of embracing innovation and flexibility in public administration to meet the evolving needs of citizens and improve service delivery.

Ethics in public administration has also seen its own evolution through different eras, each presenting unique challenges and opportunities for ethical considerations. From the Progressive Era to the current era of New Governance, changes in values, governance practices, and public expectations have shaped the ethical landscape of public administration. Each era has demanded a reevaluation of ethical standards and accountability within the public sector, reflecting the dynamic nature of governance and public service.

When we consider these historical approaches in public administration alongside required readings and apply a Biblical or covenantal model, we gain valuable insights into questions of ethics, responsibility, and governance. The Biblical perspective emphasizes timeless principles such as stewardship, accountability, and servant leadership in public service. By aligning these principles with contemporary approaches to public administration, administrators can navigate complex ethical dilemmas and uphold standards of good governance in their roles.

Understanding the relevance of these diverse approaches and ethical frameworks is critical for academic and professional work in public administration. By drawing from a rich tapestry of historical perspectives and ethical guidelines, public administrators can make informed decisions, tackle complex policy challenges, and promote integrity in their service to communities. Integrating insights from the past with current best practices creates a foundation for effective and ethical public administration, blending theoretical knowledge with practical experience.

The Bible, as a source of timeless wisdom and guidance, offers a comprehensive framework for understanding ethics and governance applicable to all individuals. Its teachings on leadership, examples of virtuous and flawed leaders, and insights on organizational management provide valuable lessons for public administrators seeking to uphold ethical standards in their work. By delving into the rich ethical tapestry provided by the Bible, public administrators can find inspiration and guidance to navigate the complexities of governance and public service effectively.


· Denhardt, R.B.,& Denhardt, J.V.(2015).The new public service: Serving, not steering.

· Frederickson, H.G.(2005).The public administration theory primer. 

· Kaufman, H.(1960).The forest ranger: A study in administrative behavior. Johns Hopkins University Press.

· Meier, K.J.,& O'Toole, L.J.(2013). Bureaucracy in a democracy: An interpretive approach. Routledge.

· Perry, J.L.,& Wise, L.R.(1990).The motivational bases of public service. Public Administration Review, 50(3), 367-373.

· Wilson, W.(1887).The study of administration. Political Science Quarterly, 2(2), 197-222.

· Hijal-Moghrabi, I. & Sabharwa, M. (2018). Ethics in American Public Administration: A Response to a Changing Reality

Reply 2

Ethics in public administration is an exciting topic to study. For instance, in the small local government where I live, almost everyone who holds an elected seat is a professing Christian—a beautiful ideal of many Christian men and women who lead us.  The fact of the matter is that over the years, these same elected officials have been caught lying, cheating, and stealing.  We have seen many lawsuits, and our County Commissioners have been the focus of national news stories multiple times, but not in a good way.  


The covenant we enter as a group of voters with our elected officials is a four-year commitment or until the offending politician gets arrested. So far, this has only happened once in our small area of the world. A former mayor had his name unceremoniously removed from a building after he had been arrested for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars. Again, at this point, he was no longer the Mayor.  


I work in a government position. However, it is not elected. I have a unique job where I work for both the state (60%) and the local county (40%). My job is very political, as I have to be able to work with whoever is elected. I have been in my current position for ten years, and all commissioners or county administration differ from when I started. Even though I am not elected, I need to be able to come to the Board of County Commissioners and the Dean of Extension and ask for help.  


The reading about the foundation of belief is interesting. Many of our County Commissioners are church-going men and will drone on about attending church. The average voter doesn't know that one was married when he asked his current wife to marry him. Another one is suing a local business owner who disagreed with him in a public meeting. Then, a former county administrator harassed employees and threatened their jobs. The foundation of their covenant with the public changed as they were in power longer.  


In addition, some members of the county government are not professing Christians and never mention their moral compass or the way it points. These individuals are actually hiding less. I understand that being a Christian and having a relationship with Jesus doesn't make someone perfect, just forgiven. However, being able to be forgiven seven times seventy does not give us a “get-out-of-hell-free” card. I learned very young that as a Christian, you don't get a bank check to sin. It makes me wonder more about the theology of the government officials and less about their actual relationship with Jesus.  


Hijal-Moghrabi and Sabharwal discuss the complicated evolution of our viewpoint on ethics. Many years ago, when we would have never believed the audacity of an official saying, “Yes, I did, but it meant nothing,” while his wife stands by his side, it is commonplace today. Are we becoming more tolerant or less open-minded? 


(USA, AUS, UK & CA PhD. Writers)


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