The Fredricksons were intent on explaining the circumstances surrounding the paradox lying within the public administration s

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The Fredricksons were intent on explaining the circumstances surrounding the paradox lying within the public administration s



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Question one

The Fredricksons were intent on explaining the circumstances surrounding the paradox lying within the public administration scene. The individuals involved this sector try to create some sort of distance between what they perceive to be right and what the organization treats and portrays as right (Fredrickson, 1997). In this regard, the workers end up, at one time or another, mixing the two realms, and find themselves in a situation where they have to point out what is right from an already compromised position.

The absence of role differentiation discussed by the authors makes reference to the generalization of roles that exists in the public administration arena. While role differentiation refers to the ambiguity aspect of the current roles as defined in the current administrative practice, there still exists the need to identify the individual roles and address them with diligence (Cunningham,2005). However, due to such issues as ethics and integrity, we find ourselves having to overlap our roles in the bid to expedite situations that require our attention.

A good example of the two concepts above, lies in the political fields. The local public administration scenes are awash with examples of leaders and administrators who stand for one thing and are reported in situations in situations that point the opposite direction. The bulk of embezzlement cases and incidents of corruption are perfect examples of the paradox of distance scenarios. On the other end, the public leaders also find themselves in situations where there is an absence of role differentiation. As leaders, they are expected to carry out various roles that define their title such that it becomes hard to identify with specificity what their roles are.

I agree with the Fredrick’s assumption that some of the government’s efforts at reform actually irritate negative sentiments or perceptions. There is no guarantee that the tactics and strategies an individual in the public administration domain choose to use to handle a situation will actually work. Therefore, this possibility creates some tension that erupts in friction once the results promised or anticipated fail to materialize.

Question two

By stating that the manager is often hard-pressed to exercise independence of mind that is aligned with the organizational goals, the two authors mean that even when faced with tough decisions, these professionals have to exercise a balancing act by executing initiatives that will both solve the upcoming problem and also adhere to the organizational culture. This means that some actions, though able to sort out the upcoming crisis or problems, are not to be considered as viable solutions for problems. Application of such solutions would most likely result in more problems for the already embattled organization.

There are many instances where the a manager or another member of the organization has had to go out of their way to solve an urgent problem that came up too quickly for the correct protocols and actions to he followed. In addition, we also have to remember to place the scenario in the right context where exercising some solutions to the problem places the employee in a precarious situation since they contravene the organizational code of conduct and ethics.

With that in mind, a good example that comes to mind would be the former Federal Reserve’s actions when the United States economy was about to suffer a catastrophic meltdown. He acted against the industry standard practices and even risked his job multiple times, but never did he contravene the industry’s fundamental guidelines and standards. As a good economist, he must have had a few tricks up his sleeve with regards to the prevailing harshness of the economic times and would easily, in consultation with a few other professionals and policy-makers, passed drastic measures to salvage the situation. However, he chose to do something similar and took up remedial action, but did so within the industry’s ethical and professional boundaries.

Question three

Public sector values can be considered as a special blend of traits that drive the public sector and make sure the society always benefits from the actions of the government entity or any other body tasked with catering to the welfare of the society. From a public administration perspective, public sector values are the moral guidelines that drive the governing of public sector resources towards benefitting the public.

In comparison with the private sector, the public sector values that would not be prominent in the private sector are; responsiveness, transparency, and human rights. The main point to note in this consideration is that the level of scrutiny in the public sector is higher than what the private sector would ordinarily allow. Therefore, their responses to issues surrounding the provision of services would be more prominent as compared with the private sector’s response times. The public service is tasked with catering to the welfare of the public and facilitated using public funds. Therefore, there is a need to monitor the use of these resources in order to uphold the transparency and accountability of the process. Human rights come into play in the comparison between the public and private sectors since the private sector cares for its employees’ welfare better than the public sector does.

Public and private sector ethics are alike in many ways. First, they all cater to the welfare of the stakeholders. They do this through the ethical characteristics of selflessness. Second, both public and private sector ethics have objectivity. They are meant to protect the integrity of the organization itself by using the available resources to ensure the established objectives are achieved.In using the above mentioned resources,any organization would like to make sure they are utilized according to the initial plans and in line with the organizational objectives. Therefore, both public and private sector ethics have accountability traits within them and expect the players to observe this ethical characteristic. Finally,both public and private sector ethics have integrity. This means that ones the players involved in both sectors dedicate themselves to the organizational cause, they should not let anything, or anyone, distract them from that cause.

Question four

Frieda was unethical in her decision to intervene on behalf of her friend Ansel. The organizational rules in the Social Welfare office where she works clearly state that she is not to influence the processes of any of the organization’s clients and beneficiaries. However, she became compassionate based on her humanity and decided to expedite Ansel’s process of receiving his benefit checks. However, she clearly knew what was expected of her from the organizational perspective. In light of this consideration, we find ourselves in some sort of moral dilemma. From a strictly social perspective, Frieda is not in any way unethical. She goes out of her way to assist a needy person who she feels she can help. However, from the organizational perspective, she falls below expectations by contravening the rules. This example presents some of the challenges workers in the public administration face as they try to navigate he tightrope between social and organizational ethical expectation.

The decision to punish Frieda is based on what moral ground the party on the other end of this scenario is standing upon. From an organizational perspective, she should face the full wrath of the consequences of her action since she had prior knowledge of what was expected of her, yet chose to contravene the same.However, from a general standpoint, we cannot expect someone who uses her position in society to assist a demonstrated and proven person in need of assistance to be punished for her actions. That would be the perfect case of ‘double-standards’.

As part of the disciplinary committee tasked with making good the organization’s actions of punitive actions on those that contravene organizational rules, I would consider setting an example out of Freida so others shun the temptation to do so. But on closer inspection of her actions, it is evident that at the end of the day, she assisted a genuine case that the organization had, for whatever reason, overlooked (Geuras & Garofalo, 2010). Therefore, while she is supposed to be suspended, or even fired, such a consideration would definitely weigh in on my decision as part of the committee. I would suggest a last warning to her, and a general reminder for the rest of the workforce to fight the temptation to confuse personal ethical consideration with those of the organization.


Cunningham, R. (2005). Religion and Public Administration – The Unacknowledged Common (and Competitive) Ground. International Journal of Public Administration, 2(1), 55. doi:10.1080/01900690500240962

Frederickson, H. G. (1997). The spirit of public administration. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Geuras, D., & Garofalo, C. (2010). Taking your ethical temperature. In Practical ethics in public administration (pp. 67-69). Vienna, VA: Management Concepts.

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