Question: Explain the process of resolving ethical dilemmas in Public Administration.
Answer: Ethical dilemmas are one of the most challenging aspects that a civil servant faces in his professional life. These dilemmas check out the moral and integrity of public official while performing his duty.
Method of resolving ethical dilemmas
- Following rules
The best way to tackle ethical dilemmas is to follow the prescribed rules under the current situation. These rules and regulations will provide a possible exit from the tough conditions during that time. They also act as shielding mechanism when any questions are asked about the steps taken.
Ex: As a police officer when you encounter a situation where student protestors are to be stopped from demonstration on a important issue, protocol is followed rather than thinking about wrong and right.
- Public welfare
Sometimes in conditions where our steps could lead to some other consequence, we try to keep public welfare above all. The welfare prospect will trump all other explanation and will provide the guiding light.
Ex: Large group of people want to take part in a peaceful march in a communally sensitive area. The office rejects permission citing public order, eventhough it violates their freedom for peaceful assembly.
- Suggestion and contemplation
In some cases experiences of higher official or guides will help in getting out of dilemmas. These suggestions not only provide a help but also prevent oneself from taking any wrong decisions especially during the start of one’s career in public service.
People serving in public service have to be equipped with proper technique and measures to tackle ethical dilemmas in their life. Simulation in similar environment also helps in handling the situation better.
Thus, ethical dilemmas are very sensitive issues which make up the core challenges in public service. Tackling them requires proper training.