Ethics in Public Administration: Evidence from Slovenia

Zlatko NEDELKO, Vojko POTOCAN

Abstract


The main purpose of this paper is to examine how employees’ personal ethics, expressed through their personal values and attitudes toward social and environmental issues, are associated with the ethics of organizations in public administration. The authors introduce their own theoretical model that examines the relations between employees’ personal ethics – expressed through employees’ personal values and attitudes toward natural and social environments – and the ethics of public administration. The reported study examined these relations and tested a proposed model based on the answers of 212 employees from public administration organizations in Slovenia. Employees’ attitudes toward natural and social environments and the ethics of their organizations were measured using a questionnaire designed to measure aspects of ethics whereas personal values were measured using the Schwartz value survey. The results demonstrated that employees’ self-enhancing values significantly influence their attitudes toward the natural environment. Employees’ self-transcendence and self-enhancement values significantly influence their attitudes toward the social environment and the ethics of organizations. In addition, research results about the mediation effect of employees’ attitudes toward natural and social environments on the association between the employees’ personal values and their perception of the ethics of public administration organizations reveals that employees’ social attitudes have a significant impact on the ethics of public administration while the impact of self-transcending and self-enhancing values becomes insignificant. Based on results of testing our model we can conclude that the employee’s attitudes toward to the social environment represent a significantly more powerful predictor of ethics in public administration organizations than the employees’ personal values. These results present a solid basis for further theoretical and practical advancement of public administration ethics.


Keywords


attitudes; ethics; natural environment; public administration; Slovenia; social environment; values.

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