n Journal of Public Administration - Administrative culture, accountability and ethics : gateways in search of the best public service

Volume 44, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



A universally acceptable administrative culture is perhaps an illusive concept in the administrative sciences. Different countries have different cultures and at times different cultures exist within the same country. The problems of developing a universal administrative culture may also vary, ranging from politics, social and economic factors, exacerbated by unequal levels of development of different countries and political instability in developing countries. However, the development of an acceptable administrative culture within a country is arguably the first step towards inculcating a sense of pride for the public service of any country.

The development of an administrative culture within a country must complement and be complemented by a sense of accountability and ethics by public managers. Cultured public managers need to cultivate a sense of accountability and ethics that transcend the legality of administrative action to include organisational and professional behaviour as well as morality of administrative action. The search for the best practices requires that people in administration be afforded personal space for personal initiatives and personal values that can assist them to develop personal accountability. This article argues for investment in human development through the development of an acceptable administrative culture and a sense of accountability and ethics that foster pride and ensures productivity and high quality customer service.

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