The Workplace Ethics of Public Servants in Developing Countries
Are the workplace ethics of public servants in developing countries as dismal as one infers from the international corruption perception index (CPI)? A survey of 888 KOICA fellows of the class of 2010 shows that on a five-dimension workplace ethics — work ethic, job competence, public service attitude, familiarity with ethical rules, and expectation of ethical conduct to have a bearing on career advancement — public servants in developing countries are not far apart from their counterparts in Korea, although they are noticeably inferior to their counterparts in South Korea on the subjects of work ethic and familiarity with ethical rules. Regression analysis shows that the CPI of 2010, the economists’ democracy index, and per capita income are neither a good reflection of the workplace ethics of public servants in developing countries, nor a signal indication of their moral and ethical leadership in public agencies and organizational ethical cultures. The study finds that moral and ethical leadership in governmental agencies, the adequacy of wages and salaries paid to public servants, and organizational ethical culture are the institutional factors that have the most significant bearing on the workplace ethics of public servants in developing countries.
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