Ciarán O'Kelly and Melvin J. Dubnick, "Taking Tough Choices Seriously: Public Administration and Individual Moral Agency." Prepared for presentation at 66th Annual National Conference, American Society for Public Administration, Milwaukee WI, April 2-5, 2005. Revised for presentation at Conference on Ethics and Integrity of Governance: The first transatlantic dialogue, June 2-5, 2005, Leuven (Belgium).


Abstract: Using the concepts of thick and thin relationships as the basis for ethical behavior, this paper critiques the emphasis on discretion in the mainstream administrative ethics literature and argues that moral and other dilemmas facing public administrators provides a more useful frame. Two examples drawn from the UK Hutton Investigation into the death of David Kelly are used to demonstrate the relevance and usefulness of this approach.


Revised versions published as:
"
Accountability Through Thick and Thin: Making Assessments and Making Cases," with Ciarán O'Kelly, in ETHICS IN PUBLIC MANAGEMENT, 2nd edition, edited by H. George Frederickson and Richard K. Ghere (M.E. Sharpe, 2005), chapter 7 (pp. 139-162).

"
Taking Tough Choices Seriously: Public Administration and Individual Moral Agency," with Ciarán O'Kelly, JOURNAL OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION RESEARCH AND THEORY (J-PART), 16 (3) July, 2006: 393-415.