ETHICS AND LEADERSHIP

Please see attached for instructions.

Read:

· Required

· Cooper, T. L. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role (6th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

· Chapter 6: Maintaining Responsible Conduct in Public Organizations: Two Approaches

· Chapter 7: Integrating Ethics with Organizational Norms and Structures

· Module notes

Module 6: Module Notes: Managing Organizational Ethics

The idea of managing organizational ethics has only been around for about 35 years (Cooper, 2012). Cooper (2012) cites Wittmer (1996), who defines an organization’s ethical climate as “the shared perceptions of the ethical aspects of an organization’s culture” (p. 560). Researchers Ford and Richardson (1994) built on Wittmer’s work and concluded from empirical studies that “the more ethical the climate and culture of an organization is, the more ethical an individual’s ethical beliefs and decision behavior will be. The strength of this influence may be moderated by the structure and design of some organizations” (p. 217). In short, Cooper argues that we need to link organizational structure and culture in a way that also incorporates the design of the organization as a whole. He also speaks of individual and management level correlation as far as managing organization ethics are concerned. Let’s go through this.

References

· Cooper, T. L. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role (6th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

· Ford, R. C., & Richardson, W. D. (1994, March). Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature (Links to an external site.). Journal of Business Ethics13(3), pp. 205–221. Retrieved from http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=12134790&site=eds-live&scope=site

· Wittmer, D., & Coursey, D. (1996, October). Ethical work climates: Comparing top managers in public and private organizations (Links to an external site.). Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 6(4), p. 559. Retrieved from http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=9611143211&site=eds-live&scope=site

Correlation

Cooper (2012) summarizes the literature as indicating a high correlation between individual employees’ ethical beliefs and decision-making behavior with that of top management’s beliefs as shown through word and deeds. Furthermore, employees’ decision-making will become more congruent with top management’s beliefs as management increases its rewards to employees for compliance with ethical decision-making (Cooper, 2012, citing Ford and Richardson, 1994). In sum, “the conduct of leaders, not just their words, is crucial,” and employees take their “moral cues” from organizational leaders (Cooper, 2012, p. 186). Top management who act consistently in accordance with their espoused values can create positive organizational norms, trust in leadership, and similar ethical behavior by their employees (Cooper, 2012). Making exceptions for your actions or overlooking unethical behavior of some subordinates while encouraging ethical conduct with your words will show your subordinates that you do not actually value ethical conduct (Cooper, 2012). What message will you send your employees about ethical behavior and decision-making? What ethical culture will you create and how will you maintain it? You will explore these questions throughout Module 6.

Module 6: Module Notes: Societal Expectations & Avoiding Age Discrimination

In Chapter 7, Cooper discusses four major components of responsible conduct for public administrators. These components are individual attributes, organizational culture, organizational structure, and societal expectations. Cooper also asserts that these are the key elements for designing an “environment supportive of ethical conduct” (p. 165). Let’s cover societal expectations and how to avoid age discrimination.

Reference

Cooper, T. L. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role (6th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Societal Expectations

Societal expectations focus on what society expects of its public servants. Societal expectations can be expressed in two key ways—through public participation and through laws and policies. There are seemingly countless laws that a public organization can be subject to. However, in keeping the focus on leading diverse teams, you will examine age discrimination here.

In addition to Title VII that was covered in Module 5, another employment law impacting employers of virtually all sizes is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). To help avoid liability under the ADEA, public administrators should address any ageism that might be occurring in their organizations, particularly given today’s multi-generational workforce. Much more detail about the ADEA is provided in the article by Cavico and Mujtaba and in the cases (Gomez-Perez and Smith v. City of Jackson, Mississippi) assigned for this module, but a summary of the basics is included here.

References

· Cavico, F. J., & Mujtaba, B. G. (2011). Discrimination and the aging American workforce: Recommendations and strategies for management (Links to an external site.). SAM Advanced Management Journal, 76(4), pp. 15–26. Retrieved from http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=71970662&site=eds-live&scope=site

· Gomez-Perez v. Potter, 553 U.S. 474 (Links to an external site.) (2008). Retrieved from http://www-lexisnexis-com.vlib.excelsior.edu/lnacui2api/api/version1/getDocCui?oc=00240&hnsd=f&hgn=t&lni=4SM1-7WB0-TXFX-12WG&hns=t&perma=true&hv=t&hl=t&csi=6496&secondRedirectIndicator=true

· Smith v. City of Jackson, Mississippi, 544 U.S. 228 (Links to an external site.) (2005). Retrieved from http://www-lexisnexis-com.vlib.excelsior.edu/lnacui2api/api/version1/getDocCui?lni=4FTW-Y090-004C-100H&csi=6496&hl=t&hv=t&hnsd=f&hns=t&hgn=t&oc=00240&perma=true

Protection against Age Discrimination

The ADEA protects workers who are 40 years and older from discrimination and harassment on the basis of age. Like Title VII, the ADEA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Here are some ways workers can get protection:

Employees or applicants can make a case for age discrimination if they are 40 years or older and can show that the employer took an adverse action (like firing, demoting, failing to hire or promote) against them based on their age that they were otherwise qualified for the position, and that they were treated less favorably than younger employees or applicants.

Employees or applicants can make a case for age discrimination if they are 40 years or older and can show that the employer took an adverse action (like firing, demoting, failing to hire or promote) against them based on their age that they were otherwise qualified for the position, and that they were treated less favorably than younger employees or applicants.Employees can build their case by showing an organizational culture of ageist slurs or jokes, or with any direct evidence indicating, for example, that an organization is trying to phase out older workers or make workplace decisions on the basis of age. However, a harassment claim must be based on more than mere isolated age-based remarks.

Another way an employee can show age discrimination is if an employment practice has a disparate impact on an employee 40 years or older that the employer cannot justify based on business necessity.

A separate claim of hostile work environment (in other words, harassment on the basis of age) could also be made by an employee if ageist comments and behavior are part of the organizational culture.

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:z7:myr0nqzd0pl8y04h8pryb_8r0000gn:T:TemporaryItems:Expert-Talk.png Expert Talk

Public administrators should be mindful of societal expectations in the form of laws and regulations, of which the ADEA is an example. Maintaining an ethical culture includes a workplace free from discrimination and harassment that focuses on the organization’s purpose in serving the public.

**MPA506 M6D1

Read and respond (approximately 250 words each) 

M6D1: Leading Multi-Generational Teams

We have more generations working simultaneously than ever before. These generations include the Traditionals/Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y/Millennials. They can impact the workplace in myriad ways, including:

· Generation-based stereotypes.

· Concerns about age-based discrimination or harassment.

· Managers having to navigate working with subordinates who sometimes have vast differences in work styles, attitudes toward work, motivating factors, degrees of loyalty to their employer, preferred leadership styles, attitudes toward authority, attitudes toward work/life balance, and definitions of success in the workplace.

The public sector, from public universities to government agencies and non-profit organizations, should be mindful of any attempts to “phase out” older workers on an ethical front as well as a legal front. For example, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to all public sector organizations employing 20 or more employees. State or local laws could apply to smaller organizations.

ONE:

The age range of my current joint service position is vast. This ranges from eighteen-year-olds directly out of their service technical school, all the way through senior military and government civilians in their sixties and seventies. Usually, this creates more of a cliques system, where age groups do not associate unless professionally required, which is further reinforced in the hierarchical systems given that those older members will also be in senior positions. However, in my current position, our oldest member in his fifties and our most junior members are below the legal drinking age. I would associate the age gap with representing a certain part of the conflicts I have seen, but never all. As we have a generally diverse force, usually personal differences extend beyond a single category such as age. Much of the conflict I see that does associate with age is in work ethic and company buy-in. For instance, junior members who are new to the service are only starting to even think about being professionals, and they are still trying to figure out what they want to do when they grow up. Meanwhile, the older members have limited patience for this. They view their position as requiring a level of professionalism and dedication that far exceeds the perceived level from junior members. They work harder and longer than the younger generations and value the appearance of hard work over efficiency (Tolbize, 2008). 

As a public administrator, I anticipate having to deal with a younger generation that requests greater work-life flexibility. The younger generation will likely insist on telework where possible, flex schedules that do not even meet a core hour requirement, and other measures to de-centralize the workforce to meet post-modernistic expectations (Tolbize, 2008). Meanwhile, leadership and older members will still be functioning in a more traditional and modernist framework as they will remain in the workforce for at least a few more decades (Tolbize, 2008). However, as the older generation phases out of the workforce, we will see a call for the dissolution of strict hierarchical structures in favor of a competency-based system. This system will question the authority associated with time in the organization and will likely focus more on modern approaches to leadership and organizational structure versus relying on best practice methodologies of the older generation (Tolbize, 2008). As technology advances and leadership styles change, older members who do not maintain technical relevancy may find themselves prematurely ousted from positions of leadership and can face discrimination overall. Beyond internal organizational conflicts, I believe we are likely to see the political state surrounding public administration changing, with civilians questioning the validity and efficiency of public organization structures. There is also a potential for elected leaders to challenge the public administration, all of which may further alienate older members.

All determinations must be made on value yielded by the employees for administrators to function ethically. This value can be presented in many forms, whether they yield a metric-based value or whether they operate in a more advisory role providing information on what has and has not worked in the past, thus saving significant amounts of time and effort. Legally speaking, employers must follow the ADEA, which disallows age discrimination (Cavico & Mujtaba, 2011). Public administrators in leadership positions should take measures to ensure that older employees are accommodated and trained to maintain and expand their skills with the industry (Cavico & Mujtaba, 2011). As such, I would ensure that all members are utilized effectively and given opportunities to expand and diversify their knowledge and skills. I would also take measures to ensure that older workers are not mistreated due to their age through overt means such as non-justified write-ups, forced demotions, and other illegal methods to get older employees to quit. Ultimately, the equitable treatment of all employees is essential to a well-functioning organization.

References

Cavico, F. J., & Mujtaba, B. G. (2011). Discrimination and the aging american workforce: Recommendations and strategies for management. SAM Advanced Management Journal (07497075), 76(4), 15–26. Retrieved from http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=71970662&site=eds-live&scope=site

Tolbize, A. (2008, August 16). Generational differences in the workplace. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota. Retrieved from https://excelsior.instructure.com/courses/18917/files/10345891/download?wrap=1

TWO:

In your current or desired position, describe the age range of your organization’s workforce and any issues that you have seen arise because of generational differences. Be specific.

For the purposes of this discussion I will focus on the position that I hope to secure as I transition into the realm of public administration, and that is as the Town Manager of Hermon.  The average age in the Town office is 40 (and yes, I asked), so that puts them right between generation X and millennial which is where I am too.  As a result of that, there will not be as many issues as there could be as from what I already know it would seem like we all have similar mindset and demeanor.  However, looking toward the future I would expect that a number of millennials would come to work at the Town office during the 2-4 years that I hope to spend there.  If that is the case, then I will do my best to learn from them.  An important task for me would be to harness their enthusiasm for technology and make sure that I am able to change with the times and not stay stagnant.

What generational differences do you anticipate having to navigate as a public administrator?

The biggest difference that I expect to encounter as I transition into public administration is work ethic.  Please let me be clear that I believe that my work ethic is better than those that are younger, but instead I feel that it is just different.  Having grown up I a household that struggled daily to be above the poverty line, I know what it feels like to want.  Because of those feelings, I have always worked harder than most and by harder, I mean work harder than those around me to make sure that I continue to have employment.  I am not saying that the young of today do not have to work hard for what they have; I just think that it is a different kind of hard work.  I would spend summer days shingling roof’s around town from sunrise to sunset… my definition of hard.  I see some of the youth of today having to work at a job that they just don’t want and that is there definition of hard.  One is not righter than the other and that is what I want to learn about and become more understanding of.

How will you successfully navigate these, including avoiding any legal pitfalls for your organization?

It may sound simple, but I will just be myself.  I will listen more than I speak, and I will value the opinion of all of those that I work with.  By promoting a workplace that appreciates the differences that each person brings and by providing the same opportunities regardless of race, color, creed, upbringing or anything else you can think of, I will make sure that the Town office of Hermon is a place where everyone would want to work.  If there were any issues that arose in my tenure there, I would make sure that they were all handled professionally and fairly.  If there was a potential for something to escalate, I would involve others in the office to solicit their opinion, or I would ask for an external review to remove any preconceived notions from within.  I am not entering public service to establish dominance over all those that I work with or those that work for me, I am entering public service to serve those that I work with, supervise and the community that I work for.

THREE:

In your current or desired position, describe the age range of your organization’s workforce and any issues that you have seen arise because of generational differences. Be specific.

I must say that my organization has a very diverse age range, I have noticed that we have a lot of older nurses. Although I do not know the breakdown of the entire organization at this moment, I can comment on my department. In my department, the employee’s ages range from 42 to a Vietnam Veteran employee who just celebrated his 72nd birthday last week.  We also have individuals in their late 50’s and early 60’s. I am the youngest employee in the department, having the additional unwritten duty of helping the “older employees” with a lot of their computer needs. The needs vary from between employees. The Vietnam Veteran employee gets my assistance whenever he needs it. I feel a particular sense of obligation to him. His needs consist of helping him reset his mypay passwords, entering leave requests, adding printers showing him how to properly use outlook.  Others sometimes save documents on the computer and can’t find where they save it. Some need help with navigating our training website.  When navigating my hospital conducting my many additional duties, I encounter a lot of older employees who were employed long before the use of the usajobs website and have been in the same positions for a very long time. Some of the positions at my organization do not offer upward mobility.  Therefore, many older employees are comfortable in their positions that do not wish to advance. While some complain that they have had numerous supervisors who did nothing to help them get an advancement in their position.  There is also the fact that a lot of the open positions now require some type of college degree and some of the older employees do not possess these degrees.

What generational differences do you anticipate having to navigate as a public administrator?

I think I would have to navigate the baby boomer generation. “Most sources identify Baby Boomers as people born between 1943 and 1965” (Tolbize, 2008). As I’ve found that some of the employees that are apart of this generation do not react well to changes. As an Education and Training Technician for my organization, I can account that these individuals also do not take advantage of training opportunities. Baby boomers are also filled with a wealth of knowledge and I feel that they should be retained as long as possible. We are in the technology era and I’ve also found that baby boomers find it more enticing to communicate via phone calls or in-person than through email communication. (Butler, n.d). Being that the employees of our organization are dispersed in different locations sometimes email communication is the preferred means of communication.

How will you successfully navigate these, including avoiding any legal pitfalls for your organization?

As an administrator, I would have to find a balance between our communication methods and encourage the use of electronic media while still welcome telephonic communications. I’d additionally offer training on electronic media so that everyone knows how to use them effectively. As it pertains to older employees not welcoming change, I would have to show them that some changes are for the better. Also, those changes are inevitable as we evolve as an organization, and that they can benefit from said changes. I’ve found that keeping people informed and showing them that they are valued will most times keep you out of trouble.  Even though I feel that obligation to the Vietnam Veteran in my department.  As an administrator, I know that I would have to give equal treatment to all my employees and not show favoritism or discrimination against others.

References

Butler, T. (n.d). Issues Facing Baby Boomers in the Workplace. Retrieved on August 8, 2020 from https://seniors.lovetoknow.com/Age_Diversity_in_the_Workplace (Links to an external site.)

Tolbize, A. (2008, August 16). Generational differences in the workplace. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota

**MPA506 M6D2

Read and respond (approximately 250 words each) 

M6D2: Do as I Say Not as I Do

Cooper (2012) argues in favor of the importance of leaders’ conduct matching their words in order to maintain an ethical organizational culture. For this discussion, you will research a public, non-profit, or government organization that has faced recent high-profile scrutiny for unethical behavior.

Organization leaders with a “do as I say not as I do” approach to ethical leadership can sabotage an otherwise ethical workplace. For this discussion, select a government or public organization that has experienced relatively recent high-profile scrutiny, e.g., the VA, the Secret Service, and Abu Ghraib.

ONE:

Back in 2014, the Veterans Health Administration underwent a review under President Obama’s direction, whose findings lead to the resignation of the secretary of Veterans Affairs (Shear & Oppel Jr., 2014). The report’s findings were that the VHA had gross mismanagement of both personnel and patients (Shear & Oppel Jr., 2014). Specifically, they found a toxic work culture that resulted in detriment to employee morale and trickled down to unethical and indifferent care of patients (Shear & Oppel Jr., 2014). During the review, they found falsification of official documents, which included blatant misrepresentation of waiting lists and unwarranted cancellations and delays of office visits (Shear & Oppel Jr., 2014). This came after the secretary set a fourteen-day limit for patients to see providers at the administration (Shear & Oppel Jr., 2014). Employees pointed to unrealistic and arbitrary standards set by the secretary, which did not reflect the capabilities of the administration (Shear & Oppel Jr., 2014). With increasing numbers of service members returning from combat, the VHA needed more providers and support staff to meet the new workload, let alone the new timeline (Shear & Oppel Jr., 2014).

This represents a clear gap in communication between the secretary and appointed board members to the employees facing the patients on a daily basis. This lack of communication can also provide cover for incompetence and potential laziness in employees. Moreover, a strict deadline can cause employees to feel pressured in appearing to meet standards even when it is impossible to preserve their careers. As such, the administration loses meaningful transparency in its actions, and it can create an environment where misconduct is expected.

         According to Cooper (2012), an administration can be influenced by external controls that come from the public’s call for service. The public making demands without understanding the workload and staffing of an administration, as well as the lead-up time to reorganizing toward different goals such as having more people in mental health roles versus general practitioner roles, can put undue pressure on the organizational structure as a whole. Meanwhile, internal controls, such as training and policies, come from these external calls (Cooper, 2012). However, when leadership is under external pressure, internal controls can turn sour. This puts more significant strain on employees by increasing the daily workload and preventing them from taking time off based on manning requirements resulting in burnout. These employees then come under greater scrutiny coming from leadership, which can result in employees taking liberties that may not be authorized, such as falsifying documents to lighten the workload.  This strain can also create distrust and alienation between employees and their leadership, which commonly creates a reduction in effective and constructive communication.

Leadership recognized the external controls on the administration without taking the time to realign the internal controls. They placed an excessive level of burden on their employees without any additional compensation or assistance. They likely told the employees just to get the work done and hoped they would do so, given that they worked for a public administration. However, relying purely on public service motivation is an ineffective practice and unfair. There is a limit to what an office can accomplish with any staffing level. By leadership not recognizing that they needed more employees and/or more time to achieve their goals, they forced their employees to put their careers first over the needs of the patients.

References

Cooper, T. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role (6th ed.). Jossey-Bass. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0074VTGL2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_d_asin_title_o02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Shear, M. & Oppel Jr., R. (2014, June 27) Report finds health unit of V.A. needs overhaul. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/28/us/report-finds-health-unit-of-va-needs-overhaul.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Aw%2C%7b%221%22%3A%22RI%3A8%22%7d

TWO:

Briefly summarize the facts of 1–2 incidents illustrating unethical behavior that occurred in the organization.

For this discussion I wanted to focus on a news channel that I watch on a regular basis and one that (like others), has had their share of issues over the last few years and that would be Fox News.  As a news source that touted itself as “fair and balanced”, you would expect that the news that they were reporting would not be skewed toward one particular platform or another.  However, that is just not the case in today’s media environment, where each one of them yells “fake news” at the other.  So, the specific issue I wanted to discuss was the situation surrounding Bill O’Reilly.  As a long running “talking head” Bill O’Reilly was the host of his hit news program “The O’Reilly Factor”.  While he was at the top of the rankings in 2017, the bottom fell out.  “In April, it was reported that star commentator Bill O’Reilly had paid five women millions to keep allegations of sexual harassment in the dark. Upon hearing the news, advertisers hastily suspended their segments during the O’Reilly Factor. By April, O’Reilly was out” (Shen, 2017).  This was a case of not just an individual, but an organization as a whole attempting to direct the focus away from themselves and onto other issues that were facing the country at the time.  As for Bill O’Reilly, for all the interviews that he did chastising those in similar situations to him, it would appear that karma or justice finally caught up to him.

Explain what you believe led to the unethical behavior by the employees.

In the case of Bill O’Reilly, it was the feeling of invincibility.  That no matter what the situation was, that he could afford to pay the money that was required to keep the secret or prolong the silence.  While this could have been merely a single employee and their misgivings of the past, when the details came out it was a corporate issue.  This was behavior that was being exhibited at the highest possible levels within the Fox News organization and those that were the victims either accepted money to be silenced or didn’t believe that their vices would be heard or even believed.  So, once again the climate of the organization accepted the egregious behavior of the senior executives for a very long time and only when one of their own broadcasters brought suit against them, did their empire come crashing down.

Summarize how, based on your research, the supervisors’ actions arguably contributed to this unethical behavior.

This was the perfect example of “do as I say and not as I do”.  Fox New anchor Gretchen Carlson “filed a lawsuit against Fox News Channel’s news chief Roger Ailes, alleging sexual harassment” (Shen, 2017).  With the very top of the organization dealing with many of the same issues as Bill O’Reilly was, this showed how deep-seeded the behavior was.  How can a supervisor expect anything less when what they are doing behind closed doors is exactly what their subordinates are being accused of?  In this case, both Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly were shown the door and Fox News began the long task of healing and attempting to recover their journalistic integrity.

References:

 Cooper, T. L. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role (6th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

 Shen, L. (2017).  The 120 Biggest Business Scandals of 2017.  Fortune.  fortune.com.  Retrieved from https://fortune.com/2017/12/31/biggest-corporate-scandals-misconduct-2017-pr/