Analysis of Gotta Love
“Analysis of Gotta Love Those Bread & Butter Unions” Originally Written by P. Nelson The ethics triangle is a model to follow to help militate against unethical decision-making. If Mayor Burns used this model it might have helped him make better decisions. When there is no moral discernment of what is right or wrong, a public official or administrator needs to analyze the situation carefully.
However, in the following case study this does not appear to be something Mayor Burns practiced. For the purposes of this paper the case study “Gotta Love Those Bread & Butter Unions” will be analyzed.
The source for all subsequent quotes is from this case study. The first unethical issue is that the newly elected Mayor Burns was motivated by his misdirected obligation. He felt he owed something to the Sealy Law Enforcement Officers’ Association and his two ex-students.
Professor Burns made promises during his campaign that the public was not aware of to his friends. He was willing to compromise his personal and professional integrity. This is not considered lobbying because it was not initially mentioned that there was an interest to influence any policy.
However, it was a tactic to get the chief fired. Duty and public interest are at the center of the ethics triangle. Mayor Burns breaks many of the key values listed as guidelines and the ethics triangle concepts.
His duty/obligation to the public interest is questioned. His character is questioned. His principles are questioned, and his concerns for consequences are questioned. Mayor Burns’ feelings of obligation to his ex-students, now police officers, clouded his judgment. This covers the virtue-based classification.
Mayor Burns was willing to repay them for their service, and the financial support they gave him during his campaign.
This also covers the virtue and principle-based concepts because he uses this as a reason for his behavior, which is a reflection of his character. Mayor Burns ignores the consequences and takes risk to achieve his goal to terminate the police chief, and by doing so did not consider the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens he was elected to represent. This covers consequence, duty, principle and virtue oncepts of the ethics triangle. In spite of Burns belief, it was not only his two police friends and the Association that were responsible for his election. It took votes from “ALL” of the citizens.
Unfortunately, many of his decisions and actions were consistently based on this unspoken loyalty he felt towards his two friends and the Association. Instead of Mayor Burns being concerned with his overall duty, role and responsibility as mayor to all Sealy citizens, who were responsible for his election, his loyalty was misdirected.
This obligation could be viewed as a conflict of interest, because his commitment to the officers overshadowed his commitment to the public. It also affected his decisions and how he carried out some of his duties in his official capacity as mayor. It appears he made some of these choices in order to encourage his friends and Association members to support him in attempts to secure his re-election. In an effort, to bring all these issues in view, each area of concern will be further elaborated in this analysis.
As mayor, Burns favors resolving issues that involve the police.
The public interest for the greater good and the “greatest” number was not initially a priority. However, it appears before Professor Burns was elected he was aware of the agenda of the two policemen. He communicates with his ex-students and is aware of their thought processes. The authors mention this knowledge is acquired by (unspoken) means.
Burns knows they have an agenda to get the police chief terminated. “Unspoken” desire or not Burns is aware these two officers “strongly disliked” the police chief (Thompson & Leidlein, 2009). They fancied the notion that Burns would be able to rein in the police chief” (Thompson & Leidlein, 2009). Regardless, if the expectations were unspoken or not, Burns made the police chief his focus once elected mayor. This brings into question the character, personal and professional integrity he had before he was elected. Burns willingness to terminate the chief before he verifies if the chief has committed any wrong doings brings his leadership ability into question.
He also keeps this a secret from the citizens and co-workers.
The authors did not mention if Mayor Burns ever spoke to the police chief to know him personally or professionally. However, Burns, “continued to have selected policemen come to him to complain” in order to obtain grounds to terminate him (Thompson & Leidlein, 2009). Mayor Burns continues to gather and solicit complaints to terminate the chief even after he knew the “city council, and the other citywide elected officials-the clerk and the treasurer” and citizens approved of the chief of police (Thompson & Leidlein, 2009).
However, the only people who have an interest in firing the police chief are Burns and his two police friends. Burns’ open door policy was mainly for police to enter his office freely to complain to him about the police chief.
Instead, of Burns sending them to a neutral official or another department that handles complaints, he took this endeavor on personally because of his conscious agreement.