1. The City of Bell.
Humans are by nature susceptible to mistakes. In the case of Bell, the annual salaries of the appointees were raised to such levels that the city manager was paying himself $800,000, which was unethical. Citing the examples of Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie Services, the attitude of Cairns is deplorable, as he kept awarding contracts only to Alpha Services despite the numerous recommendations. Also, Cairns attitude is very much against the code of ethics of ASPA, and his racial bias and suspicions on his possible dealings with Alpha casts a lot of doubt on his professional behavior.
2. The Stanford Prison Experiment.
The Stanford Prison experiment reveals serious concerns regarding human behavior under the influence of power and hierarchy. The professor revealed that the experiment showed that, when in a short time that a coward student’s thinking could be so distorted, the same attitude, or something even more frightful could happen if people in public affairs had such power. As nobody has the right, the power, and the privilege to do such things to other people, the ASPA Code of Ethics was abused by the student police officers.
Questions 3, 4 and 5
- “The servants of the public are not to decide their own course; they are to be responsible to the elected representatives of the public,” says Cooper (p.135). Therefore, all elected representatives must work for the benefit of the public which elected them, and not look for personal gains. Since little happens in favor of the public and there are no controls over their acts, improving legislative controls over public servants, along with legal responsibility, and including intra-departmental discipline through the hierarchical system will bring about a change.
- In any organization, managers, supervisors, and co-workers play a crucial role in guiding their organization towards its goal. For this to happen, all personnel of the organization, irrespective of their position and power, must learn to communicate among themselves without a hierarchical barrier coming between them. When employees work together as a team, they will be able to overcome any challenge and work toward a common goal. This was missing, as seen in the Bell case.
- The Stanford Prison experiment revealed the influence that power had over a person’s action, while in the Milgram experiment; it showed how people would react to situations forced on them. In the Stanford experiment, the people in power lacked sensitivity, fairness, and justice, while in the Milgram experiment; it showed how war-criminals reacted to authority even when the commands were morally wrong. The two experiments showed the sides of human psychology to external pressure and power. In the Milgram experiment, it was suppression of ethical human autonomy (p.223).
Cooper, (2012), The Responsible Administrator: Applying the Design Approach to Public Administration Ethics, Jossey-Bass, p.135-247
IMCA, Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://icma.org/en/icma/ethics/code_of_ethics