Determinants of ethical behavior of public administrators: Profession, position, and organizational climate

Diane L Wilde, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This research explores the relationship of profession, position, and organizational climate on the ethical attitudes and values of public administrators, represented by members of the American Society for Public Administration. Using a survey developed from the work of Willbern, this study looks at the values which are characteristic of government decision making and evaluates the attitudes of the respondents. Unlike many studies, this study defines hierarchical position in a manner that each respondent will find one and only one position that would be appropriate, allowing for comparison and replication. For the first time in the public sector, this study uses Victor and Cullen's five types of ethical climates to explore the impact of ethical climates on ethical attitudes of public administrators. ^ After testing three hypotheses and 24 sub-hypotheses, four null sub-hypotheses are rejected based on chi square tests. Executives are more supportive of certain ethical attitudes than those in other positions. Also individuals in two organizational climates—“Law and Professional Code” and “Rules”—are more likely to support certain ethical values that those in other climates. In this study, the sub-hypotheses for profession did not exhibit any statistical significance. Further research in these areas is recommended. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, Public Administration

Recommended Citation

Diane L Wilde, "Determinants of ethical behavior of public administrators: Profession, position, and organizational climate" (2002). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3061764.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3061764

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