College of Business, Westcliff University, Irvine, California, United States; Huizenga School of Business, Nova South-eastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
This paper explores the need for and importance of fostering and maintaining responsible conduct in public organizations. The author uses a case study approach by looking at ethical misconduct by several board members, administrators, and managers in one of the nation’s largest public school districts. Education is seen as one of the most important public goods and the need for ethically responsible conduct in educational organizations at the public school district and school board levels underscores the important role of an institution seen as vital to ethical progress, well-being, and posterity. The causes of ethical failure are explored from the perspective of leadership and culture, and the author recommends strong ethical and strategic leadership, trust-building, and ethical monitoring as important steps toward fostering and maintaining ethical conduct in the particular case in question, and for public organizations in general.
Keywords: Ethical leadership, public good, public service motivation (PSM), strategic leadership, trust-based model, trust-building.
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
* Address correspondence to this author at the College of Business, Westcliff University, Irvine, California, United State, Huizenga School of Business, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States;
Tel: 954-262-5162; Fax: 954-262-3974: E-mail: email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org