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versão On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versão impressa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.76 no.4 Pretoria  2011


Values and ethics enter the real world: A framework for public leadership and governance


Die toetrede van waardes en etiek tot die werklikheid: 'n raamwerk vir openbare leierskap en staatsbestuur



A.M. Sindane

Public Management, University of the Free State, Blomfontein. E-mail:




Indications are that an ethical problem exists regarding the internalisation of norms and values in the public sector. This results in an unacceptable number of public scandals related to malfeasance and it indicates that mechanisms to curb ethical violations are not always effective. All over the world governments experience such ethical violations.
This article argues for a paradigm shift in public leadership and governance. What is required is a framework for the internalisation of values, ethics and norms to accentuate accountability. It is argued that answers to malfeasance do not lie in the ordinary process of education and training to conscientise public leaders about their role and compliance to policies, rules and regulations. Instead the solution is contained in the internalisation of values and ethics of public leadership and governance, and ensuring that these are upheld at all times. There should also be sanctions for unaccountability. Negotiating the reasons for not meeting set goals after the fact is a practice that compromises accountability. It is emphasised that accountability can thrive only in situations wherein values and ethics are rendered practical through public leadership and governance.

Key concepts: accountability, ethics, governance, public leadership, strategy values


Genoegsame bewyse bestaan dat daar 'n etiese probleem in die openbare sektor is met betrekking tot die internalisering van norme en waardes. Dit het tot gevolg dat 'n onaanvaarbare hoeveelheid openbare skandale in verband met met ampsoortredings voorkom. Dit toon ook aan dat meganismes om etiese oortredings aan bande te lê, nie altyd doeltreffend is nie. Wêreldwyd ervaar regerings soortgelyke etiese oortredings.
Hierdie artikel betoog vir 'n paradigmaskuif in openbare leierskap en staatsbestuur. 'n Strategie vir die internalisering van waardes, etiek en norme word benodig om aanspreeklikheid te beklemtoon. Daar word aangevoer dat antwoorde hiervoor nie te vind is in die gewone proses van onderrig en opleiding waar openbare leiers oor hulle rolle en nakoming van beleide, reëls en regulasies attent gemaak word nie. Dit is meer waarskynlik dat die antwoord lê in die internalisering van waardes en etiek van openbare leierskap en staatsbestuur, en die versekering dat dit te alle tye toegepas word. Daar behoort ook meetbare sanksies in plek te wees in gevalle van onverantwoordbaarheid. Om agterna oor die redes vir die nie-bereiking van doelwitte te onderhandel, is 'n praktyk wat aanspreeklikheid ondermyn. Daar word verder beklemtoon dat aanspreeklikheid slegs kan floreer wanneer waardes en etiek deur openbare leierskap en staatsbestuur prakties uitgeleef word.

Kernbegrippe: aanspreeklikheid, etiek, openbare, leierskap, staatsbestuur, strategieë waardes



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