SAGE Journal Articles
Abstract: In 1968, Frederick Mosher published his influential book Democracy and the Public Service. This article revisits themes Mosher developed in the book to assess the status of our democracy in the context of a new public service. The author argues that the new public service poses significant challenges for democracy. One is that new public service is simultaneously more heterogeneous and more loosely tied to traditions of public service. Another attribute is that the rules embedded in new governance structures, which are tied to market forces, are likely the most compelling influences on behavior in the new public service. A third attribute is that the flexibilities of the new public service create a work world in which attachments are temporary and their temporariness may break down bonds among citizens and public servants. The author offers four proposals for reconciling democracy and the new public service.
Abstract: Probably at no other time in economic history, particularly in that of the United States, have organizations and their participants been under greater pressure to change, and change in ways in which all participants and variables are impacted upon. This pressure comes from a variety of sources, such as competition from domestic organizations and foreign entities, changing societal values, the speed of technological advances, increasing costs related to the generation of goods and services, new product concepts and designs, changing educational levels and values of the work force, increased governmental regulations, life expectancy of individuals, shrinking natural and financial resources, and an imbalance of trade between the United States and other nations. Most organizations within the United States are facing at least one, if not all of the above-mentioned conditions. Along with the pressure for change come critical questions regarding the ethics of change which must be acknowledged and confronted by those involved in the change process.
Abstract: Today, many human resource professionals are faced with the responsibilities of implementing ethics initiatives in the workplace. The integration of ethics is becoming an aspect of organizational life to counter unethical conduct, enhance the organization's reputation, and stimulate the attraction and retention of talent. Scholars believe ethical behavior must be institutionalized--evidenced in daily practices and rooted in organizational culture--to sustain ethics in the workplace. It is becoming increasingly clear that human resource development (HRD) professionals significantly contribute, and even more, to the process of institutionalizing ethics. This article synthesizes the literature by comparing several of the frameworks for the institutionalization of ethics that have been forwarded in research and theory during the past 15 years. Implications for HRD professionals as key contributors in the institutionalization of ethics process are discussed.
Abstract: The concept of “wicked problems” has attracted increasing focus in policy research, but the implications for public organizations have received less attention. This article examines the main organizational and cognitive dimensions emerging from the research literature on wicked problems. We identify several recent approaches to addressing problem complexity and stakeholder divergence based on the literatures on systems thinking, collaboration and coordination, and the adaptive leadership roles of public leaders and managers. We raise some challenges for public management in some key functional areas of government--strategy making, organizational design, people management, and performance measurement. We argue that provisional solutions can be developed, despite the difficulties of reforming governance processes to address wicked problems more effectively.