Filosofinen tiedekunta, 2013
Julkisjohtaminen: julkisjohtamisen ohjelma
Ethics management is concerned of the decision-making process as a whole, from the grass roots to the top management. It emphasizes the importance of getting the job done in an ethically correct manner. First step towards an organization of integrity is to understand the ethical dilemmas and problems that are possible in a public organization. Ethical atmosphere is also in a vital role in an organization of integrity.
The purpose of this research is to gain understanding of the ethics management measures and tools used in an international public organization context. The case that is studied is the European Commission. The international atmosphere brings a special environment to the organization: several, sometimes-colliding ways of working, interpreting organization rules and to treat each other on everyday situations at work place creates challenges. The research is narrowed down to investigate the ethics management considerations of the young professionals in the Commission. The research questions that this research attempts to give an answer are: What are the values and principles that guide the work in the European Commission? What are the ethics management tools used in the Commission? How these tools are affecting to young officials’ everyday work?
The research is divided roughly into three main parts: the first part is formulating the theoretical frame-work for the further empirical research conducted in a form of semi-structured themed interviews. The second part is quasi-empirical research on the case European Commission and its ethics management tools. The third part is the actual empirical part, where the interviews, participants to the interviews and the empirical research data are introduced and analysed.
At the end of the research conclusions and further research suggestions are presented. The values that guide the daily behaviour are independence, impartiality, objectivity, and loyalty. Also the values legality and proportionality are considered important. It became clear that there are several ethically sensitive situations in the daily operations of the European Commission. The interviewees felt that the codes of con-duct can be useful in a large public organization, but too detailed or too vague codes are problematic. The ethics training was considered to be eyes opening for some times naïve new comers. A clear pattern of solving a conflict of interest was found. The ethics system in the EC is based strongly on trust.
The shortcoming of this research is the fact that also makes it interesting: the chosen perspective gives a voice only to the young professionals’ views of the ethics management in the EC. In the future it would be fruitful to conduct a similar research for the older officials as well. Furthermore: conduct a comparison between these two perspectives.
ethics, ethics management, values