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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: PADM 340
Course Title: Values and Ethics in Public Administration
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Course covers issues related to the ethical practices of public administrators including the proper role of unelected bureaucrats in government and how they relate to citizes. Students are exposed to philosophical arguments related to ethical behavior. Course does not satisfy the general education ethics requirement. Corequisite/Prerequisite: POSC/PADM/MGMT 311.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):


Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered odd Fall.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Any texts covering topics identified in the topical outline.

Ethics in Public Administration: A Philosophical Approach
By Sheeran, Patrick J. (Praeger)
The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations
By Svara, James H. (Jones and Bartlett)
The Responsible Administrator: An Approach to Ethics for the Administrative Role
By Cooper, Terry L. (Jossey-Bass)
The Ethics Challenge in Public Service: A Problem-Solving Guide
By Lewis, Carol W. Stuart C. Gilman (Jossey-Bass)
Ethics Management for Public Administrators: Leading and Building Organizations of Integrity
By Menzel, Donald C. (M.E. Sharp)
Course Objectives
  • To expose students to ethical issues related to public management and decisions.
  • To familiarize students with basic ethical philosophical thought.
  • To explore the development of ethical practices in public service.
Measurable Learning
  • Explain basic theoretical and philosophical foundations of ethics.
  • Identify important aspects of organizational and individual codes of ethics.
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply codes or ethics to real world circumstances and situations.
Topical Outline:
  • A significant, intensive writing component is required for this course. This requirement may be satisfied by a single type-written assignment of twelve pages in length (properly cited) or by multiple assignments of equivalent length.
  • The historical and evolutionary contexts of ethical standards for public servants
  • Sources of ethical standards in the public sector
  • Philosophical foundations for ethical standards
  • Codifying ethics codes for public servants
  • Ethical issues confronting public administrators
  • Whistleblowing
  • Implementing the law as a duty of public administrators
  • Approaches to resolving ethical dilemmas

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: David Roebuck Date: July 27, 2012
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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