Essay on Public Interest and Ethics

You must choose and read (2) two articles on ethics, (1) two articles on the public interest, and (3) one of the specified codes of ethics from the following list.

Articles about ethics (students may select two articles).

E1: M. J. Dubnick (2003). Ethics and accountability: Reexamining the connections. 6(3), 405-441, International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior.

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Feldheim, M. A., Johnson, G., and 2004. Putting the public worker in the public service is normative education. 5(3), 7–29, Global Virtue Ethics Review.

E3: G. L. Hanbury (2004). Implications for public service in the twenty-first century from a “pracademics standpoint of ethics and honor! 187–204 in Public Organization Review, 4(3).

E4: K. Kernaghan, 2003. The values statement serves as the cornerstone for integrating values into public service. 711–719 in Public Administration Review, 63(6).

B. Limerick (2003), E5. Women’s perspectives on creating a public service that is ethical. 398–405 in Gender in Management, 18(8).

Public Interest Articles (two articles of the student’s choosing)

R. B. Denhardt and J. V. Denhardt were the PIs in 2000. The new model of government is to serve rather than to direct. 60(6), 549–559 of Public Administration Review.

P2: In 1998, King, C. S., Feltey, K. M., and Susel, B. O. Participation: Moving toward genuine citizen involvement in public administration. 58(4), 317-326; Public Administration Review.

Lewis, C. W. (2006), at P3. Public Administration Review, 66(5), 694–701, “In pursuit of the public interest.”

P4: Schubert, George A. Jr. Theorem, theosophy, or theory: what is “the public interest” in administrative decision-making? 51(2): 346–368 of the American Political Science Review.
Staats, E. B. (1988), is P5. Public interest and public service. 48(2), 601-605 of Public Administration Review.

URLs for codes of ethics

(Available on Blackboard) C1: American Society of Public Administration Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics of the International City/County Managers Association (available on Blackboard)

Your essay must be written entirely in your own words, with appropriate citations placed in-text and a reference list at the end. The APA reference format is required. On November 22, essays must be submitted through the “Assignment” function by 6:00 p.m.

After reading the articles you’ve chosen, write an essay addressing the following:

1. Describe and debate the ideas about public interest and ethics that you have learned from the articles you have read and one of the posted codes of ethics.
2. Describe how you interpret ethics and the public interest as a whole.
3. Using these ideas, explain how you view the public interest and ethics in relation to the administration of a public organization you are familiar with.

Please make sure your name is on the essay and put the code you choose to discuss next to your name in brackets (example: Bob Miller [E1, E4, P3, P5, & C1]). Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and in 12-point type with one-inch left, right, top, and bottom margins. Do not add extra lines between paragraphs; instead, use regular indented paragraphs. For full credit, essays must be at least three full pages long and no more than four full pages. They have to be turned in using Blackboard’s “Assignment” feature.


Essays are worth 30 points, or 7.5 percent of the overall course mark. They will be judged on two criteria: (2) writing mechanics and (1) comprehensiveness, accuracy, and critical thinking. The following are grade-related points:

A- = 27 B- = 24
C- = 21 D- = 18



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