Ethics of Dissent

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Discussion: Guerrilla Government and Waldo’s Map of Ethical Obligations of a Public Servant

In what context should you view guerrilla government activities? The literature points to three lenses through which you can view such activities: the bureaucratic politics lens, the organization and management lens, and the ethics lens. The ethics lens is the most challenging because of the subjective influences that affect how individuals identify ethical behavior. Who determines ethical behavior and how do these individuals compel others to adhere to it? One way to identify whether a behavior is ethical is to consider if it violates your professional obligation as a public administrator. Waldo’s Map of Ethical Obligations accomplishes just that.

For this Discussion, review Chapters 1 and 2 in O’Leary (2014). Specifically, focus on the individuals’ competing obligations and the ethical approach used by the Nevada Four guerrillas in the Nevada Wetlands case study. Familiarize yourself with Waldo’s map of ethical obligations of a public servant.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the Nevada Four guerrillas’ competing obligations using Waldo’s map of ethical obligations of a public servant. Explain the impact of the guerrillas’ actions on the individuals involved, the organization, and public policy. Finally, explain whether you agree or disagree with their actions and why.

Required Readings

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

  • Chapter 8, “Safeguarding Ethical Autonomy in Organizations: Dealing with Unethical Superiors and Organizations” (pp. 197–239)

O’Leary, R. (2014). The ethics of dissent: Managing guerrilla government (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: CQ Press.

  • Preface
  • Prelude
  • Chapter 1, “Guerrilla What?”
  • Chapter 2, “Guerrilla Government and the Nevada Wetlands”
  • “First Interlude: More Stories of Guerrilla Government”
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