"But Can You Count on Them to be Ethical?", with Jonathan Justice. Prepared for presentation at the Paul Van Riper Symposium, 63rd annual conference of the American Society for Public Administration, Phoenix, AZ, March 23, 2002.
The issue addressed in this paper is whether the linkage between accountability and ethics makes sense in light of what we know about social and psychological behavior. And if the connection between the two makes analytic sense, what are the implications of those linkages for our understanding of public administrative ethics? We will show that there is indeed (at the least) an analytic connection between accountability and ethics, and that the relationship is a complex one rooted in the fact that accountability is itself takes multiple and relatively distinct forms in the lives of public administrators. Furthermore, we contend that the ethics that emerge from these relationships pose a challenge to students of public administration ethics who presently focus on normative rather than empirical issues related to ethicality.