City of Austin Ethics Program: A Case Study




Aleman, Monica A.

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Ethics and ethical dilemmas in the workplace are common place in any and every organization. Managers and employees in the public sector, however are often held to a higher standard. The employees and managers of the City of Austin face challenging ethical dilemmas and must resolve complicated and complex issues. The purpose of this research is to assess the ethics program at the City of Austin. To gauge the ethics program at the City of Austin, three ideal type categories were identified. he ideal type categories are as follows: ethics codes, ethics training, and leadership. The Austin ethics code is assessed through document analysis. Structured interviews were conducted to assess the ethics program, ethics training and leadership. Additionally, annual surveys administered to employees at the City of Austin were also reviewed to determine employee attitudes concerning the ethical climate and environment within their department and the City of Austin. Overall, the evidence suggests that the City of Austin's ethics program is well designed and enhanced by such features as the 24-hour ethics hotline administered by the City Auditor's office. The research does reveal that the employees at the City of Austin possess various avenues and resources when confronted with ethical dilemmas in the work place.


An Applied Research Project Submitted to the Department of Political Science, Texas State University-San Marcos, in Partial Fulfillment for the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Public Administration, Fall 2004.


Austin, Texas, ethics, managers, employees, codes, training, leadership, Public Administration


Aleman, M. A. (2004). City of Austin ethics program: A case study. Masters of Public Administration, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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