Promoting Personal & Organizational Ethics


Promoting Personal and Organizational Ethics

Ethics is what one ought to do–the kind of behaviors that would make the world a better place, especially if everyone engaged in them. The key question is: how does the conscientious public servant sort through competing considerations and determine “the right thing to do?” When it comes serving the public, how does one put one’s values into practice?

To determine what one ought to do, go to the root of the matter and think in terms of values. Research by the Institute for Global Ethics identifies ethical values that transcend virtually all cultures and religions. 

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”–Warren Buffett

Image of Good Governance Checklist: Good and Better Practices

Good Governance Checklist: Good and Better Practices

This resource outlines the good and better policies and practices that local agencies can put in place to promote and build public trust and confidence.

Image of Getting Public Employees Off to a Good Start

Getting Public Employees Off to a Good Start
October 2014

Frequent blind spots for public employees is not thinking how behaviors could be portrayed in the most unflattering light by a reporter or blogger.


The “Front Page” Test: An Easy Ethics Standard

The “front page” test is analytically useful because it encourages a public official to think about how his or her actions might look to the outside world.


A Leader’s Dilemma: Ethics versus Expediency?

This article analyzes situations that might cause leaders to ponder whether the ends justify the means.

Ethics Principles: Ethics v. Ethics Laws

Ethics Principles: Ethics v. Ethics Laws

In this video former Institute director JoAnne Speers, discusses ethics principles and ethics laws and the difference between how local officials must act and how they ought to act.


It May Be Legal, But Is It Ethical?
Public Sector Roundtable at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

What is the difference between acting lawfully and acting ethically?

This distinction and the interaction of laws and ethics in public service was the topic of discussion during a public sector roundtable at the Santa Clara University Markkula Center for Applied Ethics on August 9, 2013. ILG supporters JoAnne Speers and Hanson Bridgett’s Joan Cassman, were the panelists at the roundtable.