An Exploration of Five Theories to Explain and Manage the Unethical Behavior of Public Employees

By Patricia B. Strait.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This theory-based paper explores the ability of five ethics theories to explain, predict, and manage the unethical behavior of public employees. The theories discussed include: Naturalism Theory, Devil Theory, Pragmatism Theory, Emotive Theory, and Social View Theory. Emphasis is placed upon the theory’s ability to serve as a managerial strategy to control unethical behavior. Challenges regarding the implementation of these theories are also discussed. It is not the intention of this paper to suggest that one theory is inherently better than the other theories or that one of these theories is capable of serving in all organizational situations, but rather to inform the public practitioner as to the theoretical perspectives available so that he or she may choose the most appropriate theory according to the circumstances at hand, the employees involved, and the organization in question.

Keywords: Ethics, Public Employees, Theories, Management

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.119-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.183MB).

Dr. Patricia B. Strait

Professor and Program Chair, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia, USA

Dr. Strait began her career in the United States Navy where she served as an air traffic controller for four years. Upon finishing her tour with the navy, she held various positions in airport management. After completing her Ph.D., she served as a visiting professor of public management at Virginia Tech, and as a faculty member at Old Dominion University. Dr. Strait has published and written articles in both English and Spanish involving topics such as labor economics, immigration, and employee ethics. She has also been a speaker at several international conferences including: London, Quebec, Brussels, Vancouver, Valencia, Spain, Berne, Switzerland, and Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Strait currently serves as program chair of the Department of Human Resource Management and Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.


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