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Responsibility and Accountability

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A Teaching Topic in Ethics and Accountability

Responsibility and Accountability

This teaching topic examines the challenges associated with assigning responsibility and accountability for outcomes in public management, given the large number of individuals and organizations that participate in government actions. This topic also addresses obstacles to effective decision-making including groupthink, as well as ethical questions surrounding the appropriate treatment of “whistleblowers” in public sector organizations.

Recommended Reading (Toronto PPG 2011)

Christian List and Philip Pettit, Group Agency (Oxford University Press, 2005),

Dennis F. Thompson, “The Problem of Many Hands,” Ch. 1 of Restoring Responsibility (Cambridge University Press, 2005), 11-32

Glen Whyte, “Recasting Janis’ Groupthink Model: The Key Role of Organizational Efficacy,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 73 (1998), 185-209
Terrance McConnell, “Whistle-blowing,” in R.G. Frey and Christopher Heath Wellman, eds., A Companion to Applied Ethics (Blackwell, 2003), 570-82.

Page Created by: Matthew Seddon

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School of Public Policy and Governance