Social Trends and Public Administration
A social trend is any form of behavior that may develop within a large population. The people involved follow the trend collectively for a considerable time span. This is because a certain type of behavior is considered novel by the majority of people. These social trends have a significant effect on the ethical leadership in public administration. They create opportunities and pose challenges for people involved in public administration. This calls for more dedication from these leaders. They have to remember that public organizations are not profit motivated.
Public administration is as old as the government. Therefore, it has witnessed all the technological changes during many centuries. This has profoundly affected the ethical leadership. To start with, changing technologies have constantly altered the environment in which governments are operating. New information and communication technologies have been continuously emerging. This has enabled the rapid distribution and diffusion of information on a global scale. In turn, this has enabled the members of the public to demand higher standards and levels of transparency, ethics and accountability in the public sector. This not only demands high performance of the public sector but prevents corruption at the same time.
The main factor that contributes to unethical leadership in the public sector is the prioritization of the people involved. Some of the leaders put their self-interest before that of the public. Such actions lead to corruption. As a result of technological changes and advancements, such activities have been substantially reduced since they can be easily identified. Organizations that monitor the activities of the government have cropped up. Global membership in these organizations has also been allowed by the dominant technologies which have been invented (Stillman, 2009). For example, the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) has the role of fostering ethical governance in public administration. It supports the setting of global and international standards for the public sector. This helps to keep the government leadership in check.
Technological changes have also allowed international dialogue. Global exchange of ideas and experiences has, since, become easy. Therefore, the public understand their rights more than before. This means that they can realize and discover unethical ways in which the government acts. They are aware more of the standards that the government should meet in public administration nowadays. In general, technology, as a social trend, has one key implication on the ethical leadership in public administration. It demands higher standards and levels of ethics. Unlike the ways such activities have been performed earlier, the government cannot hide from this now. This is because people now understand what they are entitled to.
Public administration has become easier as a result of technological advancement. E-public administration may be difficult to adopt. However, once it is adopted, it becomes easier to carry out the necessary activities. This is because information diffuses rather rapidly. This way the law can be implemented with exceptional ease. The rapid information diffusion is facilitated by the development of social networks. Therefore, all the activities of the government that require the transfer of information become simplified. This is an opportunity for the government to deliver its services efficiently. Therefore, technology enhances the competence of the public administration leaders.
There are certain problems that emerge from time to time, though. These issues create situations that require a thorough research. In turn, such investigations require technology. The new technologies, which emerge every day, ensure that the research is carried out properly. This means that the leaders are able to exhibit competence through the developing technologies (Martinez, 2009). The only challenge lies in adopting these new technologies. Once they have been adopted, they provide enormous opportunities. Technology also helps in educating the citizens of different countries. As a result, they begin to understand the laws better than before. This means that the work of public administrators becomes easier. Implementing government policies in an educated population is much easier than in a non-educated society. That is why one can conclude that this social trend contributes positively to ethical leadership in public administration.
The adoption and implementation of new advancements in technology require considerable knowledge from the leaders. Therefore, the opportunities that come with it cannot be effectively utilized without information. This means that personnel must be trained and educated properly. This ensures that information is passed to the leaders who occupy influential positions. It would be awkward if the public adopted technologies and trends that could not be adopted by the public administration. This would result to incompetence which, in turn, represents the lack of ethical values.
Public sector ethics has one principal function. It favors and calls for a more open atmosphere. This is a positive fact with regard to ethical leadership. However, this still poses some serious challenges in the public sector. Just like other organizations, public corporations have to exhibit professional competence. This may seem like a luxury for the public. However, it is not a luxury. It is a requirement that amounts to ethical leadership. The lack of professional competence means that the leaders are not ethical. Thus, they have to struggle to keep up with the changing standards. Such professional competence was a simpler task in the past (Winston & Edelbach, 2005). It was not prone to high changes as it is right now. For the government to exhibit competence, it has to keep up with the changing technologies and trends. This means adopting fresh information and communication systems.
The adoption of the newest technologies is a challenge in itself. Leaders of the public sector might find themselves at a great risk of being obsolete. The knowledge of the changing scientific and technological changes is mandatory in this case. Failure to reach these changing standards represents the lack of proper ethics. However, this is not the only challenge technology poses on the public sector. There are also other factors that arise after the technology has been adopted. For example, the modification or destruction of files and software is an activity that amounts to unethical behavior (Geuras & Garofalo, 2010). There are various reasons as to why the leaders might engage in such behavior. They could destroy or modify files in order to erase data that may directly affect their personal lives. However, the decisions that they make should be based on public interest. Self-interest should not be in question or consideration. Another factor is the respect for the individuals’ intellectual property. This includes things such as patents and copyrights. This is also a role that should be met by public administrators.
These are some of the challenges that technology has on the public administration. Like any other social trends, it causes the government to alter its behavior and activities in order to suit the needs of all individuals. This may even call for the resignation of some members in this sector. This is because they may be lacking the relevant knowledge to adopt and implement the trends which emerged due to the changes in the world. However, there exists a solution to this problem. The public sector should develop agencies whose main task will be monitoring and identifying any technological changes that occur. As a result, it will be much easier for the government to adopt these changes into their system. Therefore, their professional competence will not be doubted (Rainey, 2009). After the adoption of the technologies, the leaders of the public administration should ensure that there are no violations of their code of conduct and ethical requirements. In this way, they will ensure that their leadership is both relevant and ethical.
This essay proves how dynamic the lives of human beings can be. This is seen from changes in technology and social trends that arise on a daily basis. People want to keep up with the changing world in order to fit in it. This results to the existence and continuous emergence of social trends. Some of these trends could be favorable to ethical leadership while some would not. However, this should not be at the expense of ethical leadership, especially in the case of public administration. Therefore, the leaders have a role to play, as well as the people who are affected by these social trends in the nations.