making local government more ethical

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Book Reviews

Robert Wechsler
After reading my recent blog post about bridging the gulf between administrative and government ethics, one of the great scholars of public administration, George Frederickson, sent me a copy of a 2009 lecture of his, which appeared in 2010 in the journal Public Integrity. Entitled "...
Robert Wechsler
I have done a poor job in this blog covering administrative ethics, that is, the field of study involving the professional conduct of public administrators. Writers on administrative ethics have done a poor job of covering government ethics, that is, the field of study involving conflicts of interest. Although the two fields overlap, they exist in mostly separate worlds.  For example, rarely does an administrative ethics professor show up at a Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL)...
Robert Wechsler

Self-Evaluation and Getting One's Bearings
To change oneself (and to support change in one's environment), self-evaluation is required. Before you change, you have to have your bearings. The problem is that, unlike evaluation of others, self-evaluation is rarely rational. It is more commonly emotional, taking "the rosiest possible interpretation of the facts," according to the Chip and Dan Heath in their book...
Robert Wechsler
You Can't Teach Ethics
In their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (Crown, 2010), Chip and Dan Heath say that there are two kinds of mindset:  the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Those with a fixed mindset believe that things and people are the way they are. There are people of integrity and there are people who are corrupt. Those with a growth...
Robert Wechsler
Simplifying Self-Supervision
In their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (Crown, 2010), Chip and Dan Heath note that self-control or, more accurately, self-supervision is an exhaustible resource. What looks like laziness or selfishness is often simply exhaustion. Self-supervision gets burned up by managing the impression we make on others, by coping with...
Robert Wechsler
Why Scandals Lead to Poor Ethics Reform
In their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (Crown, 2010), Chip and Dan Heath note that John Kotter and Dan Cohen argue in their book The Heart of Change that the sequence of change is not analyze-...

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