Menzel’s compliance model suggests that the employee’s conduct is regulated to spur obedience to minimum standards and legal prohibitions; what the law says, what the rules mean, and what one needs to do (Ethical Moments in Government page number). Employees must abide by the applicable rules and practices to stay out of trouble. If they break the rules, they will be subject to punishment. Punishment would be harsh to those who break the rules with willful intention and less harsh if the rules are broken due to ignorance (Menzel, “PM Plus”).
In sharp contrast, Menzel’s integrity-based model is value driven, not rules driven. It combines the awareness of public service ethos, ethical standards, and legal prohibitions, as well as the process of moral reasoning to inspire exemplary actions and ethical conduct (Menzel, Ethical Moments in Government page number). Values may differ depending on the mission, leadership, incentives, awareness, education, and training, aspirations, and culture (Menzel, “PM Plus”). The employee must choose what is right and what is wrong depending on these considerations.
Let us take the city manager’s ethical dilemma here. From a strict compliance point of view, the city manager has no deal with the neighboring community. A verbal agreement is not enforceable under law or under contract in such a situation. As there is no compliance-based ethical issue here, he could go back on his word with the neighboring community and accept the higher offer from his own community without violating professional ethics.
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The author examines ethical behavior according to Menzel’s models of the example of the city manager which deals with the neighboring community, in the context of public administration…
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