Garry Orren makes a case in his paper “Beyond Self Interest” that people do not make decisions solely from the premise of self-interest but also from also as a result of other factors. Self- interest thus serves a very slight influence to the actions of people’ other factors, such as values, purposes, ideas, and commitments that go beyond self-interest. As such Orren’s argument is that “collectively held values- micro motives if you will- are the most powerful determinants of individual actions, or micro-behaviors”.
Still, Orren asserts that values are still the zenith of individual decision making process. While examining the societies, one can make a case that politics has more in common with religion than with economics as usually assumed. Yet, religion unlike economics directly shapes societal values and thinking. This thinking is usually beyond the borders of economic thinking. The argument that Orren makes is that it is important to go beyond self- interest as the motivation beyond people’s actions.
In politics, Orren argues that pluralism reigns. Pluralism marks the apex of American politics. The foundation of the United States was based on the premise of a plural society. In fact Orren writes that “pluralism is a less precise model of how the world works, and for some a blue-print.” James Madison was perhaps one of the biggest believers on the idea of a plural society. The idea of political pluralism in the view of Garry Orren actually parallels economic idea of liberalism. It is a belief that the market has the power to control itself courtesy of the invisible hand for the realization of maximum results.
The diversity of modern society has led to the tendency to separate the administrative role from the citizen role thus leading to the obsolete nature of separating administrative role from citizenship role. Administrative politics have taken political angles leading blurry lines between politics and governance. Even with such pervasive uncertainty, there is the absence of credible political theory or administrative theory that would provide a solution for the problem. The existence of ethics in a plural society is thus a subject of great controversy.
Cooper examines pluralism in administrative context. He argues that ethics must be examined from the context of society and cultural context. Adaptation thus becomes a pivotal tool necessary for the understanding of ethics in a postmodern society. He argues that a post-modern society requires a reorganization, education, and understanding of diverse areas of interest. The absence of a broad mindset limits the managers from the full undertakings of their duties as managers.
In order to realize these changes, significant political leadership, as well as a new shift in thinking is required from both the government and the stakeholders in the public service. Scholars agree that many of the infrastructures required for the establishment of a formidable management is already in place. What is required is reorganization of the structures available to accommodate the needs of the twenty-first century. For this to be attainable, management as a profession should be transformed to be more multidisciplinary, internationalist and dynamic in its approach and operations. The globalization of cultures poses the greates threats towards the plural culture because of the trains and the increasing needs of organized society. A multi-dimensional approach is thus the only way out.
Cooper, Terry L. The Responsible Administrator: An Approach to Ethics for the Administrative Role. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990. Print.
Orren, Gary R. What's New about the New Media? [Cambridge, Mass.]: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1984. Print.