n Journal of Public Administration - The impact of legislative directives and human behaviour on the ethical conduct of public service managers

Volume 42, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Ethics play a key role in the choices and decisions of public service managers and assists to set the climate, develops the vision, and shapes the behaviour of those who are involved in public departments. Ethical behaviour displayed by public managers serve as models for the behaviour of public officials and the general public. The Government's legislative directives enhance service delivery as well as the competence of public service managers. Numerous policies, strategies and programmes are directed at the rendering of effective services to South Africans by public managers. However, despite the pursuit of effectiveness and the condemnation of unethical behaviour by public managers, there are still allegations of unethical behaviour. This article reviews a number of human behavioural concepts considered important in addressing this concern. The concluding remarks are twofold : public managers need to provide continuous commitment, enforcement, and modelling of leadership in professional ethics by means of, among other things, policy structures, and realise the importance of changing their own mindsets while accepting the ethical standards established by the public service organisation, even if these differ from their own beliefs and culture.

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