The moral character and ethical conduct of an individual primarily pertain to the fundamental values and standards that serve as criteria for judging human actions. It involves adhering to socially acceptable behavior that may not necessarily be formally codified as laws or rules.
The impact of demonstrating ethics and morals by a public official within their work environment can be seen in the following ways:
- Lack of objectivity, impartiality, and intellectual dishonesty in a public official can severely undermine governance, especially in situations involving social tensions or mob violence.
- It is crucial for officials to display compassion towards public issues and approach them with emotional intelligence, providing a sympathetic ear to those affected. This helps alleviate concerns and provide comfort to those involved.
- Political neutrality is of utmost importance for public officials. It ensures non-partisan interpretation of vaguely defined laws or rules, safeguarding the interests of vulnerable sections of society during their implementation.
- While there may be no formal penalty for failing to protect colleagues and subordinates, ethical behavior necessitates safeguarding them from unwarranted harassment or victimization. This fosters a positive work culture and ultimately influences the performance of the entire administration.
While not mandatory, acknowledging the achievements of peers and subordinates is ethically desirable as it boosts team morale.
- Ethical and moral conduct by public officials also benefits their own interests and performance in the following ways:
- Such attributes bring a great sense of personal satisfaction to the officer and earn them respect from colleagues and subordinates. They become role models for the general public.
- Ethical and moral behavior grants significant moral authority to the concerned officer, setting an example for the entire organization. This ultimately translates into improved performance and outcomes.
- Recognizing the work of others not only benefits the team but also creates a positive work environment, which is advantageous for the officer themselves.
- Ethical conduct also enhances one’s own career prospects. An officer’s reputation is built on their ethical behavior, which can prove beneficial in future endeavors.
Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that ethical behavior is advantageous for a civil servant both personally and professionally.