Ethics are the moral guidelines that should guide all organizations. Ethics mostly applies to the decisions made by these institutions. Proper moral behavior from organizations demands that the people who interact with the organization be treated fairly and without bias. Government entities that serve the needs of the people should ascribe to a higher ethical standard (Goetsch, Davis & Goetsch, 2010). In the previous assignment, I looked at one such organization the Drug enforcement agency (DEA) and its fight against marijuana. The recent legalization of marijuana in some American states demands a reevaluation of the rules use to fight marijuana use. Do these rules stand up to an ethical reevaluation? One of the ethical issue regards the DEA’s fight against marijuana. Is it ethical for the drug enforcement agency to continue prosecuting marijuana users and peddlers, given that marijuana is semi legal and less harmful than other drugs such as cocaine or heroin? The solution to this ethical issue demands a paradigm shift by the drug enforcement agency in how it prioritizes the war on drugs. The second ethical issue regarded the research into the use and effects of marijuana. Currently, the United States government monopolizes most of the research into marijuana use and effects. This makes it highly likely that most of the scientific information regarding marijuana is biased. The government should let other private entities to have input on marijuana research in order to have an unbiased and clear perspective on marijuana usage.
All decisions that an organization makes have some impact. Proper ethics demands the evaluation of the impact in order to determine if the decision is moral. Organizations implement organizational structures in order to coordinate all the internal functions and operate optimally. Some organizational structures affect the ethics of the company. An organization’s structure may be set up to provide maximum value to the shareholder. In such an organization, the decisions are likely to be unethical towards the consumer. Organization should be set up to properly evaluate decisions and implement the proper ethical codes.
The gist of the first ethical issue first discussed in assignment two is whether it was ethically right to have harsh penalties against marijuana use considering its semi legal status. This issue affects other law enforcement agencies outside the DEA. The leadership of the country sets down the laws, which are then implemented by the judicial, and the law enforcement agencies (Hay, 2011). This ethical issue concerns all those organizations. The public endures the most casualties in the confusion regarding the state of marijuana use in the United States of America. One of the ethical concerns arising from this issue is whether it is fair to continue punishing people who were sentenced for marijuana use before the more lenient laws were implemented. The other ethical challenge arising from this issue is whether the government should continue to spend large sums of taxpayer money against the war on marijuana. One context which the ethical nature of the issue presented above would not be under question is if marijuana use was ascertained to be very detrimental to the body.
The second ethical issue regards the monopolization of marijuana research by the United States government. This creates issues for other organization that may wish to have an independent overview of the effects of marijuana use but cannot because of the dubious legal nature of the drug. This affects the public and other stakeholders who have no other option but to rely on the government’s word regarding marijuana. One ethical issue arising from this is the potential bias in the information about marijuana. The other ethical issue is the prosecution of organizations that may acquire marijuana in bulk for research purposes. These ethical conundrums would be minimized or considered a non-issues if the government allowed independent observers to take part in the marijuana research process.
The war on drugs involves the input of the police. They carry out the mandate of the law in pursuing individuals that are breaking the law. Because the police act as the foot soldiers of the law, they do not create it or issue out punishments they only ensure that it is followed. The ethical issues described above do not apply to the law enforcement agencies. For instance, one of the ethical challenges described above is whether it is right to continue punishing people who were sentenced before the lenient laws on marijuana were implemented. This issue is above the mandate of police agencies. It is up to the Judiciary and the lawmaking arm to decide on the implementation of marijuana laws.
Public sector administration has always been effective. Companies implement strategic management in order to survive the harsh competition that exists in the public sector. Public management is an attempt to use these robust and effective management skills in public administration (Segon, 2014). There are certain skills that any individual in a public management office must possess. Among these are data gathering, communication, and organizational skills. One must also have the ability to critically analyze problems and understand contemporary perspectives. Teamwork and leadership skills are also crucial. One of the activities that can help me improve these skills is taking management lessons at a school. Another activity that will help me to master the skills necessary for public administration is by working as an apprentice under a public management official (Hay, 2011).
Self-evaluating myself may make me an ineffective leader. This is because it may expose the leadership flaws that I possess. Instead of fixing them, I become complacent and accept the flaws as a fact of nature. This is the wrong attitude for any for public management official to possess and will ultimately lead to ethically flawed decisions.
As a leader operating in a public management capacity I should ensure that all my actions are transparent and open to the scrutiny of the public. Making myself beholden to the public will ensure that I work hard to suppress and overcome my flaws. Another way I can use to turn the negatives into positives is by setting high ethical and moral standards. Knowing that the negative traits will hinder me form achieving the self-imposed standards I will work harder to overcome the negative traits. This way the negatives propel me to become a better leader. The third strategy I can use to make myself a better leader is surrounding myself with people who are not afraid to give me their honest opinion. Through their honest evaluation of my traits, they will keep me in check (Morse, Buss & Kinghorn, 2014).
One of the potential barriers to success is the laxity and lethargy that manifests itself in all government organizations riddled with bureaucracy. As a leader, I can overcome this by maintaining a small and efficient team that takes a hands-on approach to leadership. Another potential obstacle is the hubris that engulfs most leaders. It does not matter how morally upright and humble a leader is, put them in power for long enough and they develop a sense on invincibility that will affect the effectiveness of their decisions. A way of combating this is by having limits on the time one can be a leader in any capacity. These terms should be long enough such that a leader can complete their mandate, but short enough to allow for fresh blood.
In concussion, there are many ethical decisions that organizations in both the private and the public sector must consider. Proper leadership and organizational structures are help to implement ethically sound decisions.
Goetsch, D., Davis, S., & Goetsch, D. (2010). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
HAY, C. (2011). INTERPRETING INTERPRETIVISM INTERPRETING INTERPRETATIONS: THE NEW HERMENEUTICS OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. Public Administration, 89(1), 167-182. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9299.2011.01907.x
Morse, R., Buss, T., & Kinghorn, C. (2014). Transforming Public Leadership for the 21st Century. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Oge.gov,. (2015). U.S. Office of Government Ethics - Use of Government Position & Resources. Retrieved 5 December 2015, from http://www.oge.gov/Topics/Use-of-Government-Position-and-Resources/Use-of-Government-Position---Resources/
Segon, M. (2014). Managing Organisational Ethics: Professionalism, Duty and HR Practitioners. Journal Of Business Systems, Governance & Ethics, 5(4). http://dx.doi.org/10.15209/jbsge.v5i4.191