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Introduction to Ethics, Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in

human actions

What Is Ethics?

Ethics is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending,

and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.
The term ethics derives from the Ancient Greek word ethikos, which is
derived from the word ethos (habit, custom or character).
As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions What is the
best way for people to live? and What actions are right or wrong in
particular circumstances?
In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality, by defining
concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and
The word ethics is commonly used interchangeably with morality and
sometimes it is used more narrowly to mean the moral principles of a
particular tradition, group or individual.
Some defines ethics as the science of the ideal human character or the
science of moral duty.
Some defines ethics as a set of concepts and principles that guide us in
determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures.
Ethics can also be used to describe a particular persons own, idiosyncratic
principles or habits. For example: Sachin has good ethics.
It may also be used to characterize the questions of right-conduct in some
specific sphere, even when such right-conduct is not examined
philosophically: business ethics, or the ethics of child-rearing may refer,
but need not refer, to a philosophical examination of such issues.
Most people confuse ethics with behaving in accordance with social
conventions, religious beliefs and the law and dont treat ethics as a stand-
alone concept.

What Ethics is not?

Ethics is not based on whether we feel something is right or wrong.

Sometimes, our feelings signal to us that we are facing an ethical dilemma,
and we want to do the right thing, but feelings also may prevent us from
behaving ethically, perhaps out of fear or conflicting desires.
Ethics is also not solely the purview of a religion or religious beliefs. Although
most religions incorporate an ethical code of conduct into their belief system,
religious faith is not required to be ethical and ethical principles apply to
everyone regardless of religious affiliation.
Being ethical does not always entail abiding by the letter of the law, although
most laws articulate ethical standards generally accepted by the citizenry.
Martin Luther King, Jr. employed nonviolent civil disobedience in the 1950s
and 1960s to defy discriminatory, segregationist legislation and advance the
cause of civil rights in the United States. Here law was not ethical.
Ethical behavior is not always aligned with what everybody else does or
even with what is generally regarded as socially acceptable. Just because
one is at a competitive disadvantage in an examination where there is a
cheating ring does not justify joining in and cheating also. Until recently,
smoking cigarettes in public places was the norm even though it is well-
documented that second-hand smoke endangers everyones health. Yet,
smoking in public areas remains legal in many places.
Ethics is not an exact science. It is not based on a set of scientific formulas
which consistently yield the same results or predict, with certainty, the right
approach in every moral quandary. As Aristotle observed in 350 B.C.E.: But
to what degree and how seriously a man must err to be blamed, it is not
easy to define by one principle,such questions of degree depend on
particular circumstances, and the decision lies with perception. In other
words, every situation is different and we need to be able to assess how we
should conduct ourselves based on the merits of the relevant factors and
what points us toward the best course of action. (Sometimes wrong act done
under force would not be called unethical. For Example if someone asks you
ransom by threatening life of your child, giving ransom might not be called
So to summarize, if we cannot rely on our feelings or gut instincts, religious
creed, the law, social norms, scientific methodology to know ethical values.

Four Major Areas of Study Within Ethics:

The four major areas of study within ethics are:

1. Meta-ethics
2. Descriptive ethics or comparative ethics
3. Normative ethics
4. Applied ethics

(1) Meta-ethics:

Meta-ethics is the branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of

ethical properties, statements, attitudes, and judgments.
While normative ethics addresses such questions as What should I do?,
thus endorsing some ethical evaluations and rejecting others, meta-ethics
addresses questions such as What is goodness? and How can we tell
what is good from what is bad?, seeking to understand the nature of ethical
properties and evaluations.
A meta-ethical theory, unlike a normative ethical theory, does not attempt to
evaluate specific choices as being better, worse, good, bad, or evil.
There are three kinds of meta-ethical problems, or three general questions:
1. What is the meaning of moral judgements? For Ex: What do the words
good, bad, right and wrong mean
2. What is the nature of moral judgements? For Ex: Are moral judgements
are universal or relative, of one kind or many kinds, etc.
3. How moral judgements be supported or defended? For Ex: How we can
know if something is right or wrong, if at all.

Answers to the three basic questions are not unrelated, and sometimes an
answer to one will strongly suggest, or perhaps even entail, an answer to
There are three theories to answer above three questions:
(a) Semantic theories

These theories mainly put forward a position on the first of the three
questions above, What is the meaning of moral terms or
judgements? They may however imply or even entail answers to the other
two questions as well.
Meta-ethical theories are commonly categorized as Cognitivist
theories or Non-Cognitivist theories.

Cognitivist theories:

Cognitivism is the meta-ethical view that ethical sentences express

propositions and can therefore be true or false, as opposed to non-

1. Moral realism or Ethical Objectivism

It holds that such propositions are not facts about any person or groups
subjective opinion, but about objective features of the world, independent of
human opinion.
Ethical naturalism a definist form of moral realism, which says that moral
features of the world are reducible to some set of non-moral features.
Ethical naturalism suggests that inquiry into the natural world can increase
our moral knowledge in just the same way it increases our scientific
Ethical non-naturalism is a non-definist form of moral realism, which says
that moral features of the world are irreducible to any set of non-moral
features. For Example: Goodness is a simple, undefinable, non-natural
property. It means that goodness cannot be reduced to natural properties
such as needs, wants or pleasures. Goodness cannot be defined in any
other terms. This is the central claim of non-naturalism. One cannot
substitute words referring to pleasure, needs or anything else in place
of good.
Advantages of Moral Realism: Moral realism allows the ordinary rules of
logic to be applied straightforwardly to moral statements. We can say that a
moral belief is false or contradictory in the same way we would about a
factual belief. Another advantage of moral realism is its capacity to resolve
moral disagreements: If two moral beliefs contradict one another, realism
says that they cannot both be right, and therefore everyone involved ought
to be seeking out the right answer to resolve the disagreement.
Disadvantages of Moral Realism: while realism can explain how to resolve
moral conflicts, it does not explain how these conflicts arose in the first place.
Others are critical of moral realism because moral truths cannot be observed
in the same way as material facts (which are objective), so it seems odd to
count them in the same category.

2. Ethical subjectivism

It is one form of moral anti-realism. It holds that moral statements are made
true or false by the attitudes and/or conventions of people.
The most common forms of ethical subjectivism are also forms of moral
relativism, with moral standards held to be relative to each culture or society,
or even to every individual.
Ethical subjectivism is also compatible with moral absolutism, in that the
individual or society to whose attitudes moral propositions refer can hold
some moral principle to apply regardless of circumstances. (That is, a moral
principle can be relative to an individual, but not relative to circumstances).
Ethical subjectivism stands in opposition to moral realism, which claims that
moral propositions refer to objective facts, independent of human opinion.
Ideal observer theory holds that what is right is determined by the attitudes
that a hypothetical ideal observer would have. An ideal observer is usually
characterized as a being who is perfectly rational, imaginative, and informed,
among other things. Though a subjectivist theory due to its reference to a
particular subject, Ideal Observer Theory still purports to provide universal
answers to moral questions.

3. Error theory

It is another form of moral anti-realism, holds that although ethical claims do

express propositions, all such propositions are false. Thus, both the
statement Murder is bad and the statement Murder is good are false,
according to error theory.
Since error theory denies that there are moral truths, error theory
entails moral nihilism (Moral nihilism is the meta-ethical view that nothing is
intrinsically moral or immoral) and, thus, moral skepticism (Moral skepticism
is metaethical view that no one has any moral knowledge).
Error theory is built by three principles:
1. There are no moral features in this world; nothing is right or wrong.
2. Therefore no moral judgements are true; however,
3. Our sincere moral judgements try, but always fail, to describe the moral
features of things.

Non-cognitivist theories:

Non-cognitivism is the meta-ethical view that ethical sentences do not

express propositions (i.e. statements) and thus cannot be true or false. Non-
cognitivism is another form of moral anti-realism.
If moral statements cannot be true, and if one cannot know something that
is not true, noncognitivism implies that moral knowledge is impossible.
One argument against non-cognitivism is that it ignores the
external causes of emotional and prescriptive reactions. If someone says,
John is a good person, something about John must have inspired that
reaction. If John gives to the poor, takes care of his sick grandmother, and
is friendly to others, and these are what inspire the speaker to think well of
him, it is plausible to say, John is a good person because he gives to the
poor, takes care of his sick grandmother, and is friendly to others.

1. Emotivism

Emotivism is a meta-ethical view that claims that ethical sentences do not

express propositions but emotional attitudes.
It holds that ethical sentences serve merely to express emotions. So Killing
is wrong means something like Boo on killing!.

2. Universal prescriptivism

Universal prescriptivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that, rather

than expressing propositions, ethical sentences function similarly to
imperatives which are universalizablewhoever makes a moral judgement
is committed to the same judgement in any situation where the same
relevant facts obtain.
Ex: Consider the moral sentence Murder is wrong. According to moral
realism, such a sentence claims there to be some objective property of
wrongness associated with the act of murder. According to emotivism,
such a sentence merely expresses an attitude of the speaker; it only means
something like Boo on murder! But according to prescriptivism, the
statement Murder is wrong means something more like Do not murder
what it expresses is not primarily a description or an emotion, it is
an imperative.
Criticism: It is the matter of weakness of will. Simply knowing what is right,
does not seem to motivate people to do right.

(b) Substantial theories:

These theories attempt to answer the second of the above questions: What
is the nature of moral judgements?
Amongst those who believe there to be some standard of morality (as
opposed to moral nihilists), there are two divisions: universalists, who hold
that the same moral facts or principles apply to everyone everywhere; and
relativists, who hold that different moral facts or principles apply to different
people or societies.

Moral universalism (or universal morality)

It is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic,

applies universally, that is to all people regardless of culture, race, sex,
religion, nationality, sexuality, or other distinguishing feature.
The source or justification of this system may be thought to be, for instance,
human nature, shared vulnerability to suffering, the demands of universal
reason, etc.
Not all forms of moral universalism are value monist; many forms of
universalism may be value pluralist.
Value monism is the common form of universalism, which holds that all
goods are commensurable on a single value scale.
Value pluralism is the idea that there are several values which may be
equally correct and fundamental, and yet in conflict with each other. A value
pluralist might, for example, contend that both a life as a nun and a life as a
mother realize genuine values (in a universalist sense), yet they are
incompatible (nuns may not have children), and there is no purely rational
way to measure which is preferable.

Moral relativism

It maintains that all moral judgements have their origins either in societal or
in individual standards, and that no single objective standard exists by which
one can assess the truth of a moral proposition.
Moral relativism may be any of several philosophical positions concerned
with the differences in moral judgements across different people and
Meta-ethical relativists, in general, believe that the descriptive properties of
terms such as good, bad, right, and wrong do not stand subject to
universal truth conditions, but only to societal convention and personal

Moral nihilism

Moral nihilism is the meta-ethical view that nothing is morally preferable to

anything else. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone,
for whatever reason, is neither morally right nor morally wrong.
Moral nihilism must be distinguished from moral relativism, which does allow
for moral statements to be true or false in a non-universal sense, but does
not assign any static truth-values to moral statements.

(c) Justification theories:

These are theories that attempt to answer questions like, How moral
judgments be supported or defended? or Why should I be moral?

Moral Knowledge is gained by inference:

Most posit that moral knowledge is somehow possible, as opposed to moral

skepticism. Amongst them, there are those who hold that moral knowledge
is gained inferentially as opposed to ethical intuitionism.
Empiricism is the doctrine that knowledge is gained primarily through
observation and experience.
Moral rationalism is the view according to which moral truths are knowable
a priori, by reason alone. Some prominent figures who have defended moral
rationalism are Plato and Immanuel Kant. Others who have rejected moral
rationalism are David Hume and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Moral Knowledge is gained without inference:

Ethical intuitionism is the view according to which some moral truths can be
known without inference (i.e., known without one needing to infer them from
other truths one believes).
Ethical intuitionism is the thesis that our intuitive awareness of value, or
intuitive knowledge of evaluative facts, forms the foundation of our ethical
(2) Descriptive ethics or comparative ethics

Descriptive ethics, also known as comparative ethics, is the study of

peoples beliefs about morality. It contrasts with prescriptive or normative
ethics, which is the study of ethical theories that prescribe how people ought
to act, and with meta-ethics, which is the study of what ethical terms and
theories actually refer to. For Ex:

1. Descriptive ethics: What do people think is right?

2. Meta-ethics: What does right even mean?
3. Normative (prescriptive) ethics: How should people act?
4. Applied ethics: How do we take moral knowledge and put it into practice?

Descriptive ethics is a form of empirical research into the attitudes of

individuals or groups of people. Those working on descriptive ethics aim to
uncover peoples beliefs about such things as values, which actions are right
and wrong, and which characteristics of moral agents are virtuous.
Research into descriptive ethics may also investigate peoples ethical ideals
or what actions societies reward or punish in law or politics. What ought to
be noted is that culture is generational and not static. Therefore a new
generation will come with its own set of morals and that qualifies to be their
ethics. Descriptive ethics will hence try to oversee whether ethics still holds
its place.
Descriptive ethics is on the less philosophical end of the spectrum, since it
seeks to gather particular information about how people live and draw
general conclusions based on observed patterns.

(3) Normative ethics:

Normative ethics is the study of ethical action. It is the branch of

philosophical ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when
considering how one ought to act. Normative ethics is distinct from meta-
ethics because it examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of
actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning of moral language and the
metaphysics of moral facts.
Normative ethics is also distinct from descriptive ethics, as the latter is an
empirical investigation of peoples moral beliefs. To put it another way,
descriptive ethics would be concerned with determining what proportion of
people believe that killing is always wrong, while normative ethics is
concerned with whether it is correct to hold such a belief. Hence, normative
ethics is sometimes called prescriptive, rather than descriptive.

Normative ethical theories:

There are disagreements about what precisely gives an action, rule, or
disposition its ethical force.
Broadly speaking, there are three competing views on how moral questions
should be answered:

1. Virtue ethics
2. Deontological ethics
3. Consequentialism

Virtue ethics focuses on the character of those who are acting, while both
deontological ethics and consequentialism focus on the status of the action,
rule, or disposition itself. The latter two conceptions of ethics themselves
come in various forms.
For example, a consequentialist may argue that lying is wrong because of
the negative consequences produced by lyingthough a consequentialist
may allow that certain foreseeable consequences might make lying
acceptable. A deontologist might argue that lying is always wrong,
regardless of any potential good that might come from lying. A virtue
ethicist, however, would focus less on lying in any particular instance and
instead consider what a decision to tell a lie or not tell a lie said about ones
character and moral behavior. As such, the morality of lying would be
determined on a case-by-case basis, which would be based on factors such
as personal benefit, group benefit, and intentions (as to whether they are
benevolent or malevolent).

1. Virtue ethics:

Virtue ethics, advocated by Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, focuses

on the inherent character of a person rather than on specific actions. Virtue
ethics emphasizes the role of ones character and the virtues that ones
character embodies for determining or evaluating ethical behavior.
The cardinal virtues are a set of four virtues derived initially from Platos
scheme, discussed in Republic. They consist of:

1. Prudence: also described as wisdom, the ability to judge between actions

with regard to appropriate actions at a given time.
2. Justice : also considered as fairness, the most extensive and most important
3. Temperance: also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention,
and moderation tempering the appetition.
4. Courage: also named fortitude, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the
ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation.
Aristotle categorized the virtues as moral and intellectual. He identified a
few intellectual virtues, the most important of which was wisdom. The
approximately two dozen moral virtues he identified includes above four
i.e. Prudence, Justice, Fortitude (Courage), Temperance
Aristotle argued that each of the moral virtues was a mean (called golden
mean) between two corresponding vices, one of excess and one of
deficiency. For example: courage is a virtue found between the vices of
cowardliness and recklessness.
In Chinese philosophy, a similar concept, Doctrine of the Mean, was
propounded by Confucius. Buddhist philosophy likewise includes the
concept of the Middle Path.

Criticism of Virtue theory:

Regarding virtues once supposedly applicable to women, many would have

once considered a virtuous woman to be quiet, servile, and industrious. This
conception of female virtue no longer holds true in many modern societies.
Proponents of virtue theory sometimes respond to this objection by arguing
that a central feature of a virtue is its universal applicability. In other words,
any character trait defined as a virtue must reasonably be universally
regarded as a virtue for all sentient beings. According to this view, it is
inconsistent to claim for example servility as a female virtue, while at the
same time not proposing it as a male one.
Another objection to virtue theory is that the school does not focus on what
sorts of actions are morally permitted and which ones are not, but rather on
what sort of qualities someone ought to foster in order to become a good
person. In other words, while some virtue theorists may not condemn, for
example, murder as an inherently immoral or impermissible sort of action,
they may argue that someone who commits a murder is severely lacking in
several important virtues, such as compassion and fairness.

2. Deontological ethics

Deontological ethics is the normative ethical position that judges the morality
of an action based on the actions adherence to rules. It is sometimes
described as duty or obligation or rule based ethics, because rules bind
you to your duty.
Deontology argues that decisions should be made considering the factors
of ones duties and others rights.
Some deontological theories include:

(a) Immanuel Kants Categorical Imperative or Kantianism:

Central to Kants construction of the moral law is the categorical imperative,
which acts on all people, regardless of their interests or desires. Immanuel
Kants Categorical Imperative, which roots morality in humanitys rational
capacity and asserts certain inviolable moral laws.
According to Kant, human beings occupy a special place in creation, and
morality can be summed up in an imperative, or ultimate commandment of
reason, from which all duties and obligations derive. He defined an
imperative as any proposition declaring a certain action (or inaction) to be
Kant formulated the categorical imperative in various ways:
His principle of universality requires that, for an action to be permissible, it
must be possible to apply it to all people.
His formulation of humanity as an ends in itself requires that It is immoral to
use another person merely as a means to an end, and that people must,
under all circumstances, be treated as ends in themselves. In other words, it
was not the consequences of actions that make them right or wrong but the
motives of the person who carries out the action. Kant argues that to act in
the morally right way, people must act from duty (deon). [Means to an
end refers to any action (the means) carried out for the sole purpose of
achieving something else (an end)].
Kant argues that those things that are usually thought to be good, such as
intelligence, perseverance and pleasure, fail to be either intrinsically good or
good without qualification. Pleasure, for example, appears not to be good
without qualification, because when people take pleasure in watching
someone suffering, this seems to make the situation ethically worse.

(b) Moral absolutism:

Some deontologists are moral absolutists, believing that certain actions are
absolutely right or wrong, regardless of the intentions behind them as well
as the consequences. Immanuel Kant, for example, argued that the only
absolutely good thing is a good will, and so the single determining factor of
whether an action is morally right is the will, or motive of the person doing it.
If they are acting on a bad maxim, e.g. I will lie, then their action is wrong,
even if some good consequences come of it.
Non-absolutist deontologists hold that the consequences of an action such
as lying may sometimes make lying the right thing to do.

(c) Divine command theory:

Although not all deontologists are religious, some believe in the divine
command theory. The divine command theory states that an action is right
if God has decreed that it is right.
The Divine Command Theory is a form of deontology because, according to
it, the rightness of any action depends upon that action being performed
because it is a duty, not because of any good consequences arising from
that action.
If God commands people not to work on Sunday, then people act rightly if
they do not work on Sunday because God has commanded that they do not
do so. If they do not work on Sunday because they are lazy, then their action
is not truly speaking right, even though the actual physical action
performed is the same.

3. Consequentialism (Teleology)

Consequentialism is the class of normative ethical theories holding that the

consequences of ones conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment
about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct. Thus, from a
consequentialist standpoint, a morally right act (or omission from acting) is
one that will produce a good outcome, or consequence. In other words, the
ends justify the means.
Consequentialism is usually distinguished from deontological ethics (or
deontology), in that deontology derives the rightness or wrongness of ones
conduct from the character of the behaviour itself rather than the outcomes
of the conduct. It is also distinguished from virtue ethics, which focuses on
the character of the agent rather than on the nature or consequences of the
act (or omission) itself.
Some Consequentialism theories include:

(a) State consequentialism or Mohist consequentialism

It holds that an action is right if it leads to state welfare,

through order, material wealth, and population growth.

(b) Ethical egoism

Ethical egoism is consequentialist ethics in which moral agents ought to do

what is in their own self-interest. In ethical egoism, the consequences for the
individual agent are taken to matter more than any other result. Thus,
egoism will prescribe actions that may be beneficial, detrimental, or neutral
to the welfare of others.

(c) Ethical altruism

Ethical altruism can be seen as a consequentialist ethics which prescribes
that an individual take actions that have the best consequences for everyone
except for himself.

(d) Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the moral action is

the one that maximizes utility. Utility is defined in various ways, including as
pleasure, economic well-being and the lack of suffering. Utilitarianism is a
form of consequentialism, which implies that the consequences of an action
are of moral importance.
Classical utilitarianisms two most influential contributors are Jeremy
Benthamand John Stuart Mill.
Bentham, who takes happiness as the measure for utility, says, it is
the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right
and wrong. Bentham introduces a method of calculating the value of
pleasures and pains, which has come to be known as the hedonic calculus.
[Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the primary or
most important intrinsic good. A hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure
(pleasure minus pain)]. Bentham says that the value of a pleasure or pain,
considered by itself, can be measured according to its intensity, duration,
certainty/uncertainty and propinquity/remoteness. In addition, it is necessary
to consider the tendency of any act by which it is produced . Finally, it is
necessary to consider the extent, or the number of people affected by the
Mill was brought up as a Benthamite with the explicit intention that would
carry on the cause of utilitarianism. In Mills book Utilitarianism, he rejected
a purely quantitative measurement of utility (unlike Bentham).

Q. What is the difference between the Theories of Mill and Bentham?

On the one hand J.S. Mill popularised the Utilitarianism of his father James
Mill and his friend Bentham and on the other hand, he continued his enquiry
into truth. Mills theory differs from Benthams even though Mill has founded
the school of Utilitarianism on Benthams principles. The theories of Mill and
Bentham differ from each other in the following respects.
Qualitative distinction in pleasures: Mill made qualitative distinctions in
different pleasures. According to Bentham, all pleasures are similar if the
quantity of pleasure be the same. Contrary to this, according to Mill, It is
better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied, better to be a
Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. In this way Mill clearly states that
sensous pleasure originating from animal tendencies is not everything.
Mental or intellectual pleasure is far superior.
Differences in the assumptions about human nature: Actually Mill and
Bentham differed in their assumptions relating to human nature. Bentham
did not look upon man as anything better than animal. According to him,
man is always in search of pleasure. Pleasures do not have qualitative
distinctions. According to Mill, man is not, merely an animal. He is superior
to animals. He has intellect and intellectual pleasure is superior to sensual
pleasure. Mans importance is due to his intellect. He does not run blind
folded after pleasures. He makes qualitative distinctions in pleasures.
Difference in ethical principles: The ethical principles of Mill and Bentham
also differ. According to Bentham man should carry out activities yielding the
maximum pleasure, without making qualitative distinctions. According to
Mill, Man is not to become an animal. His humanity is valuable. It is
creditable to be human being even by designing sensual pleasure. Mans
duty is to attain high qualities and nobler or great pleasures.

Ethics of care:

The ethics of care is a normative ethical theory: a theory about what makes
actions morally right or wrong. It is one of a cluster of normative ethical
theories that were developed by feminists in the second half of the twentieth
While consequentialist and deontological ethical theories emphasize
universal standards and impartiality, ethics of care emphasize the
importance of response. The shift in moral perspective is manifest by a
change in the moral question from what is just? to how to respond? Ethics
of care criticize application of universal standards as morally problematic,
since it breeds moral blindness or indifference.
This sort of outlook is what feminist critics call a justice view of morality. A
morality of care rests on the understanding of relationships as a response
to another in their terms.
Ethics of care is also a basis for care-focused feminist theorizing on maternal
ethics. Critical of how society engenders caring labor, many feminist
theorists suggest caring should be performed and care givers valued in both
public and private spheres.
Joan Tronto states there are four ethical elements of care:
1. Attentiveness
Attentiveness is crucial to the ethics of care because care requires a
recognition of others needs in order to respond to them.
2. Responsibility
In order to care, we must take it upon ourselves, thus responsibility. The
problem associated with this ethical element of responsibility is the
question of obligation. Obligation is often tied to pre-established societal
and cultural norms and roles. Tronto makes the effort to differentiate the
terms responsibility and obligation with regards to the ethic of care.
Responsibility is ambiguous, whereas obligation refers to situations
where action or reaction is due, such as the case of a legal contract.
3. Competence
To provide care also means competency. One cannot simply
acknowledge the need to care, accept the responsibility, but do not follow
through with enough adequacy.
4. Responsiveness
This refers to the responsiveness of the care receiver to the care.
Responsiveness signals an important moral problem within care: by its
nature, care is concerned with conditions of vulnerability and inequality.
Responsiveness does not equal reciprocity. Rather, it is another method
to understand vulnerability and inequality by understanding what has
been expressed by those in the vulnerable position, as opposed to re-
imagining oneself in a similar situation.

(4) Applied ethics:

Applied ethics is a discipline of philosophy that attempts to apply ethical

theory to real-life situations. The discipline has many specialized fields, such
as engineering ethics, bioethics, geoethics, public service ethics and
business ethics.
Applied ethics is used in some aspects of determining public policy, as well
as by individuals facing difficult decisions. The sort of questions addressed
by applied ethics include: Is getting an abortion immoral? Is euthanasia
immoral? Is affirmative action right or wrong? What are human rights, and
how do we determine them? Do animals have rights as well? and Do
individuals have the right of self determination?

Particular fields of application:

1. Bioethics

Bioethics is the study of controversial ethics brought about by advances in

biology and medicine. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions
that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine,
politics, law, and philosophy.
It also includes Primary care ethics which is the study of the everyday
decisions that primary care clinicians make, such as: how long to spend with
a particular patient, how to reconcile their own values and those of their
patients, when and where to refer or investigate, how to respect
confidentiality when dealing with patients, relatives and third parties.
Bioethics also needs to address emerging biotechnologies that affect basic
biology and future humans. These developments include cloning, gene
therapy, human genetic engineering, astroethics and life in space, and
manipulation of basic biology through altered DNA etc.
Many religious communities have their own histories of inquiry into bioethical
issues and have developed rules and guidelines on how to deal with these
issues from within the viewpoint of their respective faiths.

2. Business ethics

Business ethics (also corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or

professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical
problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of
business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire
Business ethics also has both normative and descriptive dimensions. As a
corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily
normative. Academics attempting to understand business behavior employ
descriptive methods.
The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the interaction of
profit-maximizing behavior with non-economic concerns.
Interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and
1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example,
today most major corporations promote their commitment to non-economic
values under headings such as ethics codes and social responsibility
charters. Governments use laws and regulations to point business behavior
in what they perceive to be beneficial directions. Ethics implicitly regulates
areas and details of behavior that lie beyond governmental control. The
emergence of large corporations with limited relationships and sensitivity to
the communities in which they operate accelerated the development of
formal ethics regimes.

3. Organizational ethics

Organizational ethics is the ethics of an organization, and it is how an

organization responds to an internal or external stimulus. Organizational
ethics is interdependent with the organizational culture. Although, it is akin
to both organizational behavior (OB) and business ethics, organizational
ethics is neither OB nor solely business ethics (which includes corporate
governance and corporate ethics). Organizational ethics express the values
of an organization to its employees and/or other entities irrespective of
governmental and/or regulatory laws.
An organization forms when individuals with varied interests and different
backgrounds unite on a common platform and work together towards
predefined goals and objectives. A code of ethics within an organization is a
set of principles that is used to guide the organization in its decisions,
programs, and policies.
There are at least four elements that aim to create an ethical culture and
behaviour of employees within an organization. These elements are:
1) a written code of ethics and standards (ethical code)
2) ethics training for executives, managers, and employees
3) the availability of ethical situational advice (i.e. advice lines or offices)
4) confidential reporting systems

4. Machine ethics

Machine Ethics is the part of the ethics of artificial intelligence concerned

with the moral behaviour of artificially intelligent beings. Machine Ethics
contrasts with roboethics, which is concerned with the moral behaviour of
humans as they design, construct, use and treat such beings. Machine
ethics should not be confused with computer ethics, which focuses on
professional behaviour towards computers and information.
The effort to actually program a machine or artificial agent to behave as
though instilled with a sense of ethics requires new specificity in our
normative theories.

5. Military ethics

Military ethics are concerned with questions regarding the application of

force and the ethos of the soldier and are often understood as applied
professional ethics.
Military ethics involves multiple areas, including the following among others:

1. what should be the laws of war

2. justification for the initiation of military force
3. decisions about who may be targeted in warfare
4. decisions on choice of weaponry, and what collateral effects such
weaponry may have
5. standards for handling military prisoners
6. methods of dealing with violations of the laws of war

6. Political ethics

Political ethics (also known as political morality or public ethics) is the

practice of making moral judgements about political action and political
It covers two areas. The first is the ethics of process (or the ethics of office),
which deals with public officials and the methods they use. The second area,
the ethics of policy (or ethics and public policy) concerns judgements about
policies and laws.
Criticism: Some critics (so called political realists) argue that ethics has no
place in politics. If politicians are to be effective in the real world, they cannot
be bound by moral rules. They have to pursue the national interest.
Another kind of criticism comes from those who argue that we should not
pay so much attention to politicians and policies but should instead look
more closely at the larger structures of society where the most serious
ethical problems lie. Advocates of political ethics respond that while
structural injustice should not be ignored, too much emphasis on structures
neglects the human agents who are responsible for changing them.

(a) Ethics of process:

A political leader may be required to commit acts that would be wrong if

done by private. In contemporary democracies, this idea has been reframed
as the problem of dirty hands (i.e. in handling messy situations, it is
impossible to come away clean). It is argued that the problem creates a
paradox: the politician must sometimes do wrong to do right. The politician
uses violence to prevent greater violence, but his act is still wrong even if
Some critics object that either the politician is justified or not. If justified, there
is nothing wrong, though he may feel guilty. Others say that some of the acts
of violence that this theory would allow are never justified, no matter what
the ends. In a democracy citizens should hold the leader responsible, and
therefore if the act is justified their hands are dirty too. He also shows that in
large political organizations it is often not possible to tell who is actually
responsible for the outcomesa problem known as the problem of many

(b) Ethics of policy:

In the other area of political ethics, the key issues are not the conflict
between means and ends but the conflicts among the ends themselves. For
example, in the question of global justice, the conflict is between the claims
of the nation state and citizens on one side and the claims of all citizens of
the world. Traditionally, priority has been given to the claims of nations, but
in recent years thinkers known as cosmopolitans have pressed the claims
of all citizens of the world.
Political ethics deals not mainly with ideal justice, however, but with realizing
moral values in democratic societies where citizens disagree about what
ideal justice is. In a pluralist society, how if at all can governments justify a
policy of progressive taxation, affirmative action, the right to abortion,
universal healthcare, and the like?
Political ethics is also concerned with moral problems raised by the need for
political compromise, whistleblowing, civil disobedience, and criminal

7. Public sector ethics

Public sector ethics is a set of principles that guide public officials in their
service to their constituents, including their decision-making on behalf of
their constituents.
Fundamental to the concept of public sector ethics is the notion that
decisions and actions are based on what best serves the publics interests,
as opposed to the officials personal interests (including financial interests)
or self-serving political interests.

8. Publication ethics

Publication ethics is the set of principles that guide the writing and publishing
in scientific journals.

Some more topics in Ethics:

Professional ethics:

Professional ethics encompass the personal, organizational and corporate

standards of behaviour expected of professionals.
Professionals, and those working in acknowledged professions, exercise
specialist knowledge and skill. How the use of this knowledge should be
governed when providing a service to the public can be considered a moral
issue and is termed professional ethics.
Professionals are capable of making judgements, applying their skills and
reaching informed decisions in situations that the general public cannot,
because they have not received the relevant training.
For example, a lay member of the public should not be held responsible for
failing to act to save a car crash victim because they could not give an
appropriate emergency treatment. This is because they do not have the
relevant knowledge and experience. In contrast, a fully trained doctor (with
the correct equipment) would be capable of making the correct diagnosis
and carrying out appropriate procedures. Failure of a doctor to help in such
a situation would generally be regarded as negligent and unethical. An
untrained person would not be considered to be negligent for failing to act in
such circumstances and might indeed be considered to be negligent for
acting and potentially causing more damage and possible loss of life.
One of the earliest examples of professional ethics is the Hippocratic oath
(a new physician to swear, upon a number of healing gods, to uphold specific
ethical standards) to which medical doctors used to adhere (now also).
Some professional organizations may define their ethical approach in terms
of a number of discrete components. Typically these include:
Obedience to the law
Valuing Time
Most professions have internally enforced codes of practice that members
of the profession must follow to prevent exploitation of the client and to
preserve the integrity of the profession. This is not only for the benefit of the
client but also for the benefit of those belonging to the profession.
Disciplinary codes allow the profession to define a standard of conduct and
ensure that individual practitioners meet this standard, by disciplining them
from the professional body if they do not practice accordingly. This allows
those professionals who act with conscience to practice in the knowledge
that they will not be undermined commercially by those who have fewer
ethical qualms. It also maintains the publics trust in the profession,
encouraging the public to continue seeking their services.
In cases where professional bodies regulate their own ethics, there are
possibilities for such bodies to become self-serving and to fail to follow their
own ethical code when dealing with renegade members.
In many countries there is some statutory regulation of professional ethical
standards. (Like in India Bar Council of India for lawyers)

Work Ethics:

Work ethic is a value based on hard work and diligence. It is also a belief in
the moral benefit of work and its ability to enhance character.
Workers exhibiting a good work ethic in theory would be selected for better
positions, more responsibility and ultimately promotion. Workers who fail to
exhibit a good work ethic may be regarded as failing to provide fair value for
the wage the employer is paying them and should not be promoted or placed
in positions of greater responsibility.
While some individuals try to get by doing as little work as possible, others
possess a dedication that leads them to give it their all every day. People
who possess a strong work ethic embody certain principles that guide their
work behavior, leading them to produce high-quality work consistently
Characteristics of good work ethics:


Reliability goes hand in hand with a good work ethic. If individuals with a
good work ethic say they are going to attend a work function or arrive at a
certain time, they do, as they value punctuality.
Individuals with a strong work ethic often want to appear dependable,
showing their employers that they are workers to whom they can turn.


Those with a good work ethic are dedicated to their jobs and will do anything
they can to ensure that they perform well. Often this dedication leads them
to change jobs less frequently, as they become committed to the positions
in which they work and are not eager to abandon these posts.
They also often put in extra hours beyond what is expected, making it easy
for their employers to see that they are workers who go beyond the rest of
the workforce and truly dedicate themselves to their positions.


Because they work at a consistently fast pace, individuals with a good work
ethic are often highly productive. They commonly get large amounts of work
done more quickly than others who lack their work ethic, as they dont quit
until theyve completed the tasks with which they were presented.
This high level of productivity is also due, at least in part, to the fact that
these individuals want to appear to be strong workers.


Cooperative work can be highly beneficial in the business environment,

something that individuals with a strong work ethic know well. Because they
recognize the usefulness of cooperative practices such as teamwork
they often put an extensive amount of effort into working well with others,
even if they do not enjoy working with the individuals in question.

Those with a good work ethic often also possess generally strong character.
This means they are self-disciplined, pushing themselves to complete work
tasks instead of requiring others to intervene.
They are also often very honest and trustworthy, as they view these traits as
befitting the high-quality employees they seek to become. To demonstrate
their strong character, these workers embody these positive traits daily,
likely distinguishing themselves from the rest.


Integrity stretches to all aspects of an employees job. An employee with

integrity fosters trusting relationships with clients, co-workers and
supervisors. Coworkers value the employees ability to give honest
feedback. Clients trust the employees advice. Supervisors rely on the
employees high moral standards.

Emphasis on Quality:

Employees with a strong work ethic care about the quality of their work. They
do their best to produce great work, not merely churn out what is needed.
The employees commitment to quality improves the companys overall

Q. What is Ethos?

Ethos is a Greek word meaning character that is used to describe the

guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology.
Ethos can simply mean the disposition, character, or fundamental values
particular to a specific person, people, corporation, culture, or movement.
The Ethos refers to the spirit which motivates the ideas and customs. Ethos
may change in response to new ideas or forces.

Q. What are Values and what is the difference between Values and Ethics?

Values are beliefs that a person holds about things and aspects of life. These
are guiding principles that mould a persons behavior all his life. Mostly the
values a person holds are developed by the company he keeps and the first
values he learns are from his parents. Later on he is taught more about
values in school. Societies have different value systems and people living in
these societies are guided by these values.
Values are guiding principles and when a person is in a dilemma as to what
direction he should take at any particular moment in his life, it is these values
that guide his action and behavior.
People also have their own value systems which act as the lens through
which they view the world around them and make judgments based upon
this value system. This makes the situation complex as when there is
contradiction between what are values for the society and personal values
held by a person.

Difference between Values and Ethics:

Values are guiding principles in life and every person has his own value
system that helps him in his behavior and action throughout his life. On the
other hand, ethics are moral codes of conduct that decide what is wrong and
what is right about the behavior of an individual or a group in a society.
Values can be universal as well as personal and are actually beliefs a person
has that help him behave in a particular manner all his life.
Ethics are unwritten code of conduct that are to be followed by an individual
or employees in an organization. Ethics is mainly based on the moral values.

Q. What is difference between ethics and morality?

Ethics and morals relate to right and wrong conduct. While they are
sometimes used interchangeably, they are different: Ethics refer to rules
provided by an external source, e.g., codes of conduct in workplaces or
principles in religions. Morals refer to an individuals own principles
regarding right and wrong.

Comparison chart

Principles or habits with respect

to right or wrong conduct. While
The rules of conduct recognized in respect
morals also prescribe dos and
What are they? to a particular class of human actions or a
donts, morality is ultimately a
particular group or culture.
personal compass of right and

Where do they
Social system External Individual Internal
come from?

Because society says it is the right thing to Because we believe in something

Why we do it?
do. being right or wrong.

Ethics are dependent on others for

Usually consistent, although can
definition. They tend to be consistent
Flexibility change if an individuals beliefs
within a certain context, but can vary
between contexts.

A person strictly following Ethical A Moral Person although

Principles may not have any Morals at all. perhaps bound by a higher
The Gray Likewise, one could violate Ethical covenant, may choose to follow a
Principles within a given system of rules in code of ethics as it would apply
order to maintain Moral integrity. to a system. Make it fit

Latin word mos meaning

Origin Greek word ethos meaningcharacter

Ethics are governed by professional and

Morality transcends cultural
Acceptability legal guidelines within a particular time
and place
Ethics in private and public relationships

Public Relations

Public relations is the practice of managing the spread of information

between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government
agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public.
Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure
to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not
require direct payment. This differentiates it from advertising as a form of
marketing communications.
The aim of public relations is to inform the public, prospective customers,
investors, partners, employees and other stakeholders and ultimately
persuade them to maintain a certain view about the organization, its
leadership, products, or political decisions.
It includes designing communications campaigns, writing news releases and
other content for news, working with the press, arranging interviews for
company spokespeople, website and social media content etc.
Public Relations has now become a vital function affecting management
decisions and influencing public opinion in every public or private
organisation. Today, it is indispensable for any organisation. The reasons
for it being so are as follows:

1. Advance in telecommunication and transport.

2. Opening up of traditionally closed societies and increasing globalisation.
3. Recognition of right of expression and freedom of information.
4. Governments employing Public Relation practice for staying in power, for
development task, etc.
5. Growth in business, amalgamations, collaborations, operating with
subsidiaries, spreading across national boundaries and in different cultures.

Ethics in Public Relations

Public Relations recognize a long-term responsibility and seek to persuade

and to achieve mutual understanding by securing the willing acceptance of
attitudes and ideas. It can succeed only when the basic policy is ethical, and
the means used as truthful. In Public Relations, the ends can never justify
the use of false, harmful or questionable means.
However, it is a difficult task to describe what is ethical and what is unethical.
It would be simpler to state it as a matter of choosing between the right and
wrong options in keeping with conscience. Anything that causes dissonance
in the mind brings about a feeling of guilt and dishonesty. And dishonest
communication cannot be an aid to cementing relationships. Public are also
not to be underestimated as fools. As Abraham Lincoln said, you can fool
some people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you
cannot fool all the people all of the time.
There are a number of acts that could be classified as unethical, ranging
from suppressing of news to misleading the audience. Unethical act in public
relations may include:

1. Suppressing unfavourable news

2. Misrepresenting facts
3. Postponing to serve a cause but actually serving some other interest
4. Promising results that cannot be obtained
5. Use of undesirable method towards pressurising editors for carrying publicity

With increasing education, the consumers and public have became aware
of their rights and a public Relations person may have to deal with pressure
groups like trade unions, consumer protection groups, environment
protection activities, etc. Therefore, it is imperative for a public Relations
practitioner to be serf regulating, ethical as also be careful about the legal
aspects of communication.

Values in Public Relationships

The importance of articulating ethics and the values that define and underpin
the public service, cannot be underscored. This is seen as critical to
providing both public officials and the public with a common frame of
reference regarding the principles and standards to be applied and
in assisting public officials to develop an appreciation of the ethical issues
involved in effective and efficient public service delivery.
An example of the importance attached to the above-mentioned ethical
principles is found in the Seven Principles of Public Life by the Nolan
Committee in the United Kingdom. (this can be applied to other public

Nolans Seven Principles of Public Life:

Ethics in Public Administration

The notion of ethics has expanded itself to involve all major realms of human
existence. Here, an attempt is made to outline certain salient aspects of
ethics in public administration. Broadly, they could be summarized as
following maxims:
1. Maxim of Legality and Rationality: An administrator will follow the law and
rules that are framed to govern and guide various categories of policies and
2. Maxim of Responsibility and Accountability: An administrator would not
hesitate to accept responsibility for his decision and actions. He would hold
himself morally responsible for his actions and for the use of his discretion
while making decisions. Moreover, he would be willing to be held
accountable to higher authorities of governance and even to the people who
are the ultimate beneficiaries of his decisions and actions.
3. Maxim of Work Commitment: An administrator would be committed to his
duties and perform his work with involvement, intelligence and dexterity. As
Swami Vivekananda observed: Every duty is holy and devotion to duty is
the highest form of worship. This would also entail a respect for time,
punctuality and fulfillment of promises made. Work is considered not as a
burden but as an opportunity to serve and constructively contribute to
4. Maxim of Excellence: An administrator would ensure the highest standards
of quality in administrative decisions and actions and would not compromise
with standards because of convenience or complacency. In a competitive
international environment, an administrative system should faithfully adhere
to the requisites of Total Quality Management.
5. Maxim of Fusion: An administrator would rationally bring about a fusion of
individual, organisational and social goals to help evolve unison of ideals
and imbibe in his behavior a commitment to such a fusion. In situation of
conflicting goals, a concern for ethics should govern the choices made.
6. Maxim of Responsiveness and Resilience: An administrator would respond
effectively to the demands and challenges from the external as well as
internal environment. He would adapt to environmental transformation and
yet sustain the ethical norms of conduct. In situations of deviation from the
prescribed ethical norms, the administrative system would show resilience
and bounce back into the accepted ethical mould at the earliest opportunity.
7. Maxim of Utilitarianism: While making and implementing policies and
decisions, an administrator will ensure that these lead to the greatest good
(happiness, benefits) of the greatest number.
8. Maxim of Compassion: An administrator, without violating the prescribed
laws and rules, would demonstrate compassion for the poor, the disabled
and the weak while using his discretion in making decisions. At least, he
would not grant any benefits to the stronger section of society only because
they are strong and would not deny the due consideration to the weak,
despite their weakness.
9. Maxim of National Interest: Though universalistic in orientation and liberal in
outlook, a civil servant, while performing his duties, would keep in view the
impact of his action on his nations strength and prestige. The Japanese, the
Koreans, the Germans and the Chinese citizens (including civil servants),
while performing their official roles, have at the back of their mind a concern
and respect for their nation. This automatically raises the level of service
rendered and the products delivered.
10. Maxim of justice: Those responsible for formulation and execution of
policies and decisions of governance would ensure that respect is shown to
the principles of equality, equity, fairness, impartiality and objectivity and no
special favours are doled out on the criteria of status, position,
power, gender, class, caste or wealth.
11. Maxim of Transparency: An administrator will make decisions and
implement them in a transparent manner so that those affected by the
decisions and those who wish to evaluate their rationale, will be able to
understand the reasons behind such decisions and the sources of
information on which these decisions were made.
12. Maxim of Integrity: An administrator would undertake an
administrative action on the basis of honesty and not use his power, position
and discretion to serve his personal interest and the illegitimate interests of
other individuals or groups.

Human Values role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating


What are human values?

Values are things that have an intrinsic worth in usefulness or importance

to the possessor, or principles, standards, or qualities considered
worthwhile or desirable.
Values constitute an important aspect of self-concept and serve as guiding
principles for an individual.
Human values are the virtues that guide us to take into account the human
element when one interacts with other human beings. They are the
many positive dispositions that create bonds of humanity between people
and thus have value for all of us as human beings. They are our
strong positive feelings for the human essence of the other.
Its both what we expect others to do to us and what we aim to give to other
human beings (Do unto the other what you wish for yourself). These
human values have the effect of bonding, comforting, reassuring and
procuring serenity.
Human values are the foundation for any viable life within society: they build
space for a drive, a movement towards one another, which leads to peace.
Human values thus defined are universal: they are shared by all human
beings, whatever their religion, their nationality, their culture, their personal
history. By nature, they induce consideration for others.
Human values are, for example:

brotherhood, friendship, empathy, compassion, love.

openness, listening, welcoming, acceptance, recognition, appreciation;
honesty, fairness, loyalty, sharing, solidarity;
civility, respect, consideration;
The function of most of these basic values is to make it possible for every
human to realize or maintain the very highest or most basic universal core
values of life, love and happiness.
Respect is one of the most important human value for establishing relations
of peace and yet it remains elusive: its understanding varies according to
age (child, teen,adult), to ones education and surrounding culture. It is
better understood when combined with other values: a disposition that is
deeper than civility, very close to consideration, and
approaching appreciation. Indeed, to respect someone, one must be able to
appreciate some of his/her human qualities, even if one does not appreciate
his/her opinions or past behaviour.
A value system is an enduring organization of beliefs concerning preferable
modes of conduct along a continuum of importance. Thus the importance of
different values co-varies with the importance of others in the value system.
For e.g. one may value honesty over success.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic value

An intrinsic value is a value that one has of itself, independently of other

things, including its context. For example, according to a fundamental form
of consequentialism, whether an action is morally right or wrong has
exclusively to do with whether its consequences are intrinsically better than
those of any other action one can perform under the circumstances.
An intrinsic value is something that is good in and of itself, The thing that
has true intrinsic value is happiness or pleasure. There are no physical
things that have intrinsic value.
An extrinsic (or relational) value is a property that depends on a things
relationship with other things. Extrinsic value is the value, which depends on
how much it generates intrinsic value.
It is something that is good because it leads to something else that is good,
It is a means to an end, ie money has extrinsic value because it can be used
to buy something that you want like a new pair of shoes, The new shoes
would have extrinsic value because they are comfortable and stylish and
they make you feel happy.
The reason that things have extrinsic value is because they themselves lead
to happiness or pleasure or they lead to a series of other things that
eventually lead to happiness.
Pleasure (Intrinsic Value) is the ultimate end to which all things of extrinsic
value are the means.

What is the difference between human values, ethical values and moral values?

Values that are said to be ethical are those that command respectful
behavior toward others, that is, towards other human beings, without
harming them. These can be applied to animal and plant life as well.
Moral values are in fact the same, but today, moralising rhetoric is not
well received. For this reason, some people refer to ethical values.
However, most people seem more interested yet in human values. These
are seen as much more positive, perhaps because we feel directly
concerned: we ourselves have a strong desire to have others be human
to us.
These human, ethical and moral values are universal values, felt deep down
inside each of us (our consciousness). They are also expressed formally in
laws, constitutions and various international texts (Declarations,
Conventions, etc..) asserting Human Rights. The recognition of these
universal values by many countries in the world is the first step toward their
implementation, calling for everyone to respect them. These texts aim in the
first place at guaranteeing the integrity (both physical and psychological) of
every human being, precisely because he/she is human: each person holds
the right not to be abused, whatever form those abuses may take. But the
ultimate goal is to promote a positive and concrete practice (attitudes,
behaviours and acts) establishing those human universal values as the
basis of human relationships, in a spirit of reciprocity and mutual respect of
those values.
Human values inspire us to better put into practice our moral values,
especially in conflict situations, when we tend to put them aside and become

Role of family and society in inculcating values:

The family and society is important in developing the moral values of child.
There is a close contact between the parents and children, which determine
the personality of child. Family is the foundation on which values are built.
Moral values like truthfulness, happiness, peace, justice are instilled in
childrens thoughts, feelings and actions and they function as ideals and
standards that govern their actions in their life. The value system practised
in the family becomes automatic to the young family members if they are
taught moral values systematically.
The family, shapes the childs attitude towards people and society, and helps
in mental growth in the child and supports his ambitions and values. Blissful
and cheerful atmosphere in the family will develop the love, affection,
tolerance, and generosity. A child learns his behavior by modelling what he
sees around him.
Family plays a major role in helping a child socialize and has great influence
and bearing on the progress of the child. Joint family system, the presence
of elders in the family plays the effective role in social and moral
development of the children. It will also help young generation of the family
to imbibe human values and eradicate their negative mental tendencies
when they are among elders.
Children identify themselves with their parents, other family elders and adopt
them as their personal models for emulation and imitation. The behavioural
problems are set correct only by the involvement of family in the childs life
as they spend most of their time in adolescence with the parents.
Family is the first social organisation that provides the immediate proximity
from which the kid can learn his behavior.
Social standards and customs defined by a family provide the emotional and
physical basis for a child. Values developed by a family are the foundation
for how children learn, grow and function in the world. These beliefs,
transmits the way of life a child lives and changes into an individual in a
society. These values and morals guides the individual every time in his
actions. Children turn out to be a good person because of the value taught
and given by his family members Ideas passed down from generation to
generation make up a family values. Customs and Traditions followed and
taught by the family leads a disciplined and organized life.
Families values helps the child to stand strong on his views despite others
efforts to break through with opposing beliefs. A child has a strong sense of
what is right and wrong and are less likely to become victims of deviant

Role of educational institutions in inculcating values:

In school, children are members of a small society that exerts a tremendous

influence on their moral development. Teachers serve as role model to
students in school; they play a major role in inculcating their ethical behavior.
Peers at school diffuse boldness about cheating, lying, stealing, and
consideration for others. Though there are rules and regulations, the
educational institutions infuse the value education to the children in an
informal way. They play a major role in developing ethical behaviour in
children. General Steps are:
Accountability: The children should be encouraged to be accountable for
their own actions and should learn to respect and treat others kindly.
Role model: The teachers are the first role model to the children outside their
family. When the children see the model showing concern for others,
motivating them for their good deeds and cooperating and helpful with their
academic issues, the children learn them by observing and imitate it with
fellow peers.
Helping: The children are taught basic morals and values in school. They
should be taught by emphasizing the idea through many activities, stories
and tales, which will encourage them to engage in more helping behaviors.
Appreciation: The teacher should appreciate the children for developing pro-
social behaviour, especially for any specific action they have done to help

Content and Structure of Attitude

What is Attitude?

An attitude is an expression and psychological tendency of some degree of

favor or disfavor toward a person, place, thing, or event (the attitude object).
An attitude is an evaluation of an attitude object, ranging from extremely
negative to extremely positive. Most contemporary perspectives on attitudes
also permit that people can also be conflicted or ambivalent toward an object
by simultaneously holding both positive and negative attitudes toward the
same object. This has led to some discussion of whether individual can hold
multiple attitudes toward the same object.
An attitude can be as a positive or negative evaluation of people, objects,
events, activities, and ideas. It could be concrete, abstract or just about
anything in your environment.
Attitude is the evaluation of various aspects of the world. It can be evaluation
of an idea, object, action (eg: playing cricket or watching football match etc)
or about a person (eg: towards Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar).
The attitude may be strong (eg: attitude towards drinking behaviour people
usually have strong opinion for or against drinking) or weak.
Attitudes are an important topic of study for social psychologists because
they help determine what we do what we eat, how we vote, what we do
with our free time, and so on.

What Is the Difference Between Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination?

Prejudice (attitudes), stereotypes (beliefs), and discrimination (actions) are

three separate facets of some of our more troubling social behaviors toward
one another.
Prejudice literally means prejudgment. Prejudice is an attitude about
another person based on his or her perceived membership in a group. So
people use the perceived group membership of another person to provide a
ready-made attitude about the person. Attitudes can be positive or negative.
A positive attitude toward a brand of milk might lead to purchasing that brand
on a regular basis. A negative attitude about snakes might lead to avoidance
of snake displays at a zoo. Negative prejudice, or attitudes about members
of perceived groups have negative connotations and lead to avoidance.
Where prejudice involves attitudes, stereotypes are cognitions or beliefs.
When making a stereotype, a person categorizes others in ways that are
overly simplistic based on perceived group membership. For example, the
stereotype that professors are absent-minded might be true of some, but is
highly unlikely to be true of all professors.
Discrimination is behavior based on stereotypes and prejudices. If a person
has negative beliefs and attitudes about a perceived group, he or she might
act on those beliefs and attitudes in situations such as hiring a new
employee. The actions of making hiring based on prejudice and stereotyping
are discriminatory. Although laws cannot influence peoples attitudes and
beliefs very much, laws can and do help prevent people acting on those
attitudes and beliefs in discriminatory ways.

Measurement of Attitude:

Attitudes can be difficult to measure because measurement is arbitrary,

meaning people have to give attitudes a scale to measure it against, and
attitudes are ultimately a hypothetical construct that cannot be observed
But still, following the explicit-implicit dichotomy, attitudes can be examined
through direct and indirect measures.
Whether attitudes are explicit (i.e., deliberately formed) versus implicit (i.e.,
subconscious) has been a topic of considerable research.

(a) Explicit Attitude and Its Measurement:

Explicit attitudes are attitudes that are at the conscious level, are deliberately
formed and are easy to self-report. For example: Imagine youre out with
some friends and meet someone new. This new acquaintance is wearing a
Chennai Superkings jersey, and they happen to be your favorite team. You
decide you already like this person and start a friendly conversation. From
an attitude perspective, you consciously noticed the jersey and determined
that this was obviously someone with which you would get along. Your
attitude is at the conscious level, was deliberately formed and you are able
to tell someone else about your attitude.
Explicit measures tend to rely on self-reports or easily observed behaviors.
These tend to involve bipolar scales (e.g., good-bad, favorable-unfavorable,
support-oppose, etc.)
(b) Implicit Attitude and Its Measurement:

Implicit attitudes are attitudes that are at the unconscious level, are
involuntarily formed and are typically unknown to us. For Example: Imagine
you are out with your friends. You vaguely notice some of the strangers
around you but dont meet anyone. You talk with your friends but feel
extremely uncomfortable. Maybe your friend even notices and asks whats
wrong, but you have no idea. In this scenario, it would be possible that one
of the strangers near you reminds you of someone from your past that you
greatly disliked. Your attitude towards this person is what is making you feel
uncomfortable. However, the attitude is at the unconscious level, was
involuntarily formed, and you have no idea its there, so you couldnt tell
anyone about it.
Implicit measures are not consciously directed and are assumed to be
automatic, which may make implicit measures more valid and reliable than
explicit measures (such as self-reports in which you can do manipulation in
self reporting). People can hold implicit prejudicial attitudes, but express
explicit attitudes that report little prejudice. Implicit measures help account
for these situations and look at attitudes that a person may not be aware of
or want to show.
The stronger an implicit attitude the more likely it is that it will show up in an
explicit attitude. Strong attitudes are stable and not easily changed due to
persuasion and can therefore help predict behaviors.
Implicit measures therefore usually rely on an indirect measure of attitude.

Structure of Attitude:

Attitude has three components as illustrated by the ABC Model: affective,

behavioral and cognitive. Three components:

1. Affective / Emotional component (How do you feel about it?)

2. Cognitive component (What do you think about it?)
3. Behavioral component (Are you walking the walk or just talking the talk?)

Although every attitude has these three components, any particular attitude
can be based on one component more than another.
A criticism of the tripartite view of attitudes is that it requires cognitive,
affective, and behavioral associations of an attitude to be consistent, but this
may be implausible.

ABC Components of Attitude:

(a) Affective component:
The affective component of attributes refer to your feelings or emotions
linked to an attitude object. For Example: Suppose Abhishek
has ophidiophobia (a phobia of snakes). A snake is an attitude object.
Whenever Abhishek is exposed to a snake whether he sees one or thinks
about one he feels extreme anxiety and fear. This is only one component
of this specific attitude.
An attitude that is stemmed from or originally created by an emotion is called
an affectively-based attitude. Attitudes about hot-button issues such as
politics, sex, and religion tend to be affectively-based, as they usually
come from a persons values. This type of attitude is used to express and
validate our moral belief or value systems.

(b) Behavioral component:

Behavioral component refers to the way one tends to act or behave when
exposed to an attitude object. For Example: Think about Abhishek and his
snake phobia again. We already identified the affective component of his
attitude towards snakes fear and anxiety. How do you think he behaves
when it comes to snakes? Most likely, he avoids them whenever possible. If
he does see one, he would probably scream or cries. This behavior is the
second component of that particular attitude.
The behavioral component of attitudes also refer to past behaviors or
experiences regarding an attitude object. For Example: Think about the
question: where does an attitude come from? Sometimes, we are unsure of
our feelings about a particular topic. Imagine a friend asks if you like Pizza.
Since you dont regularly eat Pizza and cant immediately recall what it
tastes like, you think back about the times that you have eaten it. You
remember that you normally eat all of the Pizza you are given, so conclude
that you must like it (or at least, that you dont dislike it). Because your
attitude is determined by observing your own behavior, this is an example
of behaviorally-based attitude.

(c) Cognitive component:

The cognitive component of attitudes refer to the beliefs, thoughts, and

attributes that we would associate with an object. Many times a persons
attitude might be based on the negative and positive attributes they
associate with an object.
For Example: We have already determined that Abhishek avoids snakes and
is scared when he is exposed to them. But, what does he think about snake?
It is likely he believes that all snakes are dangerous and gross. Beyond the
physical and emotional reaction of his phobia, there is also the cognitive
component of his attitude.
Understanding Components of Attitude with another example in summarised

1. Cognitive our thoughts, beliefs, and ideas about something. When a

human being is the object of an attitude, the cognitive component is
frequently a stereotype, e.g. welfare recipients are lazy
2. Affective feelings or emotions that something evokes. e.g. fear, sympathy,
hate. May dislike welfare recipients.
3. Behavioral tendency or disposition to act in certain ways toward
something. Might want to keep welfare recipients out of our neighborhood.
Emphasis is on the tendency to act, not the actual acting; what we intend
and what we do may be quite different.

Formation of Attitude:

Attitudes form directly as a result of experience and learning. They may

emerge due to direct personal experience, or they may result from
Social roles and social norms can have a strong influence on
attitudes. Social rolesrelate to how people are expected to behave in a
particular role or context. Social norms involve societys rules for what
behaviors are considered appropriate.
Attitudes can be learned in a variety of ways:

Classical Conditioning or Respondent Conditioning or Pavlovian Conditioning:

Classical conditioning theory involves learning a new behavior via the

process of association. Classical conditioning helps forming an attitude
when a neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus that naturally evokes an
emotional response (Learning through association).
Example: You are driving down a dark and curvy road when you narrowly
miss a collision with a large truck that has edged over into your lane. You
experience a rapid pulse, sweating palms, and your stomach begins to
churn. After this near miss, you continue driving down the road. A few days
later, as you approach the same curve, you begin to experience the same
reactions (your heart beats faster, your palms begin to sweat) but there are
no other vehicles around.
Classical conditioning was made famous by Pavlov and his experiments
conducted with dogs: Bell was rung when dogs received food. Food made
dogs salivate. Then whenever a bell was rung, dogs salivated even when
food was not

Consider how advertisers use classical conditioning to influence your

attitude toward a particular product. In a television commercial, you see
young, beautiful people having fun in on a tropical beach while enjoying a
sport drink. This attractive and appealing imagery causes you to develop a
positive association with this particular beverage.

Operant Conditioning or Instrumental Learning:

Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through

reinforcements and punishments for behavior. Behaviors or attitudes that
are followed by positive consequences are reinforced and are more likely to
be repeated than are behaviors and attitudes that are followed by negative
Operant conditioning can be used to influence how attitudes develop.
Imagine a young man who has just started smoking. Whenever he lights up
a cigarette, people complain, chastise him and ask him to leave their vicinity.
This negative feedback from those around him eventually causes him to
develop an unfavorable opinion of smoking and he decides to give up the
Operant conditioning is distinguished from classical conditioning in that
operant conditioning deals with the reinforcement and punishment to change
behavior. Operant behavior operates on the environment and is maintained
by its antecedents and consequences, while classical conditioning is
maintained by conditioning of reflexive behaviors, which are elicited by
antecedent conditions.

Observational learning (Observing the people around):

People also learn attitudes by observing the people around them. When
someone you admire greatly espouses a particular attitude, you are more
likely to develop the same beliefs. For example, children spend a great deal
of time observing the attitudes of their parents and usually begin to
demonstrate similar outlooks.

Functions of Attitude

Attitudes serve four major functions for the individual: (By Daniel Katz)

1. The adjustments / utilitarian / adaptive (or instrumental) function

2. The ego defensive function
3. The value expressive (or ego-expressive) function
4. The knowledge function.

Any particular attitude may satisfy one or more of these functions. The most
important function of any attitude can only be ascertained by considering it
in relation to the person who holds it and the environment in which they
operate. Consequently, what is apparently the same attitude may serve
rather different purposes depending on who holds it and where/when it
becomes salient to them.
Ultimately these functions serve peoples need to protect and enhance the
image they hold of themselves. In more general terms, these functions are
the motivational bases which shape and reinforce positive attitudes toward
goal objects perceived as need satisfying and / or negative attitudes toward
other objects perceived as punishing or threatening.
The functions themselves can help us to understand why people hold the

1. Adjustment Function

The adjustment function directs people toward pleasurable or rewarding

objects and away from unpleasant, undesirable ones. It serves
the utilitarian concept of maximizing reward and minimizing punishment. We
develop favorable attitudes towards things that aid or reward us.
We favor political parties that will advance our economic lot if we are in
business, we favor the party that will keep our taxes low, if unemployed we
favor one that will increase social welfare benefits.
We are more likely to change our attitudes if doing so allows us to fulfill our
goals or avoid undesirable consequences.
2. Ego Defensive Function

The ego-defensive function refers to holding attitudes that protect our self-
esteem or that justify actions that make us feel guilty.
This function involves psychoanalytic principles where people use defense
mechanisms to protect themselves from psychological harm. Mechanisms
For example a consumer who has made a poor purchase decision or a poor
investment may staunchly defend the decision as being correct at the time
or as being the result of poor advice from another person. Such ego
defensive attitude helps us to protect out self image and often we are
unaware of them.

3. Value expression function:

Whereas ego defensive attitudes are formed to protect a persons self

image, value expressive attitudes enable the expression of the persons
centrally held values. Central values tend to establish our identity and gain
us social approval thereby showing us who we are, and what we stand for.
Some attitudes are important to a person because they express values that
are integral to that persons self concept (i.e. their ideas about who they are).
EX: if you view yourself as a Muslim, you can reinforce that image by
adopting Islamic beliefs and values.
EX: We may have a self-image of ourselves as an enlightened conservative
or a militant radical, and we therefore cultivate attitudes that we believe
indicate such a core value.

4. Knowledge function:

Some attitudes are useful because they help to make the world more
understandable. They help people ascribe causes to events and direct
attention towards features of people or situations that are likely to be useful
in making sense of them. Consequently, they help to make the world more
understandable, predictable and knowable.
Humans have a need for a structured and orderly world, and therefore they
seek consistency stability definition and understanding. Out of this need
develops attitudes toward acquiring knowledge.
Attitudes achieve these goals by making things fit together and make sense.
I believe that I am a good person.
I believe that good things happen to good people.
Something bad happens to Abhishek.
So I believe Abhishek must not be a good person.
Stereotyping is an example of the knowledge function of attitudes.
Stereotypes are mental structures that allow us to predict the characteristics
a person based on the group they belong to. Using stereotypes to make
sense of people is quick and requires minimal mental effort both significant
advantages in a complicated and fast-moving world.
One of the more common stereotype examples is stereotypes surrounding
race. For example, saying that all Blacks are good at sports is a stereotype,
because its grouping the race together to indicate that everyone of that race
is a good athlete.
Of course, the down side of this type of thinking is that the inferences we
make about people based on stereotypes may be unhelpful and wildly
inaccurate. Possible prejudicial effects of stereotypes are:
Justification of ill-founded prejudices or ignorance
Unwillingness to rethink ones attitudes and behavior towards
stereotyped groups
Preventing some people of stereotyped groups from entering or
succeeding in activities or fields

Katzs functionalist theory also offers an explanation as to why attitudes

change. According to Katz, an attitude changes when it no longer serves its
function and the individual feels blocked or frustrated. That is, according to
Katz, attitude change is achieved not so much by changing a persons
information or perception about an object, but rather by changing the
persons underlying motivational and personality needs.
EX: As your social status increases, your attitudes toward your old car may
change you need something that better reflects your new status. (For that
matter, your attitudes toward your old friends may change as well).

Moral Attitudes

Moral attitudes gives a basis to the whole of moral life. Moral values are the
highest among all natural values. Moral values are the standards of good
and evil, which govern an individuals behavior and choices.
Moral values are always personal values. They can only inhere in man, and
be realized by man. A material thing, like a stone or a house, cannot be
morally good or bad, just as moral goodness is not possible to a tree or a
dog. Similarly, works of the human mind (discoveries, scientific books, works
of art), cannot properly be said to be the bearers of moral values; they cannot
be faithful, humble and loving. They can, at the most, indirectly reflect these
values, as bearing the imprint of the human mind.
Man alone, as a free being, responsible for his actions and his attitudes, for
his will and striving, his love and his hatred, his joy and his sorrow, and his
basic attitudes, can be morally good or bad. A man will have personality
radiating moral values if he is humble, pure, truthful, honest and loving.
As long as a man blindly disregards the moral values of other persons, as
long as he does not distinguish the positive value which inheres in truth, and
the negative value which is proper to error, as long as he does not
understand the value which inheres in the life of man, and the negative value
attached to an injustice, he will be incapable of moral goodness.

How Moral Values Are Derived?

How can man participate in these moral values? Are they given to him by
nature like the beauty of his face, his intelligence, or a lively temperament?
No, they can only grow out of conscious, free attitudes; man himself must
essentially cooperate for their realization. They can only develop through his
conscious, free abandonment of himself to genuine values. Individuals
morals may derive from society and government, religion, or self.
When moral values derive from society and government they, of necessity,
may change as the laws and morals of the society change. An example of
the impact of changing laws on moral values may be seen in the case of
marriage vs. living together.
In past generations, it was rare to see couples who lived together without
the benefit of a legal matrimonial ceremony. In recent years, couples that
set up household without marriage are nearly as plentiful as traditional
married couples in cities. But, not only are such couples more plentiful, they
are also more accepted by other individuals in our society, particularly in
western society.
Moral values also derive from within ones own self. This is clearly
demonstrated in the behavior of older infants and young toddlers. If a child
has been forbidden to touch or take a certain object early on, they know
enough to slowly look over their shoulder to see if they are being observed
before touching said object. There is no need for this behavior to be taught;
it is instinctive. Once, however, any form of discipline is applied to modify
the childs behavior, the child now gains the capacity within himself to
distinguish his right behavior from his wrong behavior. The choices that are
made by an individual from childhood to adulthood are between forbidden
and acceptable, kind or cruel, generous or selfish. A person may, under any
given set of circumstances, decide to do what is forbidden. If this individual
possesses moral values, going against them usually produces guilt.
Religion is another source of moral values. Most religions have built-in lists
of dos and donts, a set of codes by which its adherents should live.
Individuals who are followers of a particular religion will generally make a
show of following that religions behavioral code. It is interesting to note that
these codes may widely vary; a person whose religion provides for polygamy
will experience no guilt at having more than one spouse while adherents to
other religions feel they must remain monogamous.

Virtues of Moral Attitudes:

1. Reverence
2. Faithfulness
3. Awareness of Responsibility
4. Veracity
5. Goodness

1. Reverence

The capacity to grasp moral values, to affirm them, and to respond to them,
is the foundation for realizing the moral values of man. These marks can be
found only in the man who possesses reverence.
Reverence is a feeling or attitude of deep respect towards others tinged with
awe; veneration.
Reverence is the attitude which can be designated as the mother of all moral
life, for in it man first takes a position toward the world which opens his
spiritual eyes and enables him to grasp values.
The irreverent and impertinent man is the man incapable of any
abandonment or subordination of self. He is either the slave of his pride, of
that cramping egoism which makes him a prisoner of himself and blind to
values, and leads him to ask repeatedly: Will my prestige be increased, will
my own glory be augmented? Or he is a slave of concupiscence, one for
whom everything in the world becomes only an occasion to serve his lust.
He does not preserve a reverent distance from the world.
Irreverence can be divided into two types, according to whether it is rooted
in pride or in concupiscence. The first type is that of the man whose
irreverence is a fruit of his pride. He is the type of man who approaches
everything with a presumptuous, sham superiority, and never makes any
effort to understand a thing from within. He is the know-all, schoolmaster
type who believes that he penetrates everything at first sight, and knows all
things. He is the man for whom nothing could be greater than himself, who
never sees beyond his own horizon.
The other type of man who lacks reverence, the blunt, concupiscent man, is
equally blind to values. He limits his interest to one thing only: whether
something is agreeable to him or not, whether it offers him satisfaction,
whether or not it can be of any use to him. He drags himself about eternally
in the circle of his narrowness, and never succeeds in emerging from
himself. Consequently, he also does not know the true and deep happiness
which can only flow from abandonment to true values, out of contact with
what is in itself good and beautiful. He does not approach being as does the
first type in an impertinent way, but he is equally closed up within himself,
and does not preserve that distance toward being required by reverence.
This man also is blind to values.
The man possessing reverence approaches the world in a completely
different way. He is free from this egospasm, from pride and concupiscence.
He does not fill the world with his own ego, but leaves to being the space
which it needs in order to unfold itself.
This responsive attitude to the value of being is pervaded by the disposition
to recognize something superior to ones arbitrary pleasure and will, and to
be ready to subordinate and abandon oneself. It enables the spiritual eye to
see the deeper nature of every being. It leaves to being the possibility of
unveiling its essence, and makes a man capable of grasping values.
Reverence is the indispensable presupposition for all deep knowledge
above all, for the capacity to grasp values. Reverence is the presupposition
for every response to value, every abandonment to something important,
and it is, at the same time, an essential element of such response to value.
The fundamental attitude of reverence is the basis for all moral conduct
toward our fellowmen and toward ourselves. The basic attitude of reverence
is the presupposition for every true love. A similar reverence is evident in
justice toward others, in consideration for the rights of another, for the liberty
of anothers decisions, in limiting ones own lust for power, and in all
understanding of anothers rights.
Wherever we look, we see reverence to be the basis and at the same time
an essential element of moral life and moral values. Without a fundamental
attitude of reverence, no true love, no justice, no kindliness, no self-
development, no purity, no truthfulness, are possible.

2. Faithfulness or Constancy

Among the attitudes of man which are basic for his whole moral life,
faithfulness is ranked next to reverence. Faithfulness is the concept of
unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something and putting that loyalty
into consistent practice, regardless of extenuating circumstances.
One can speak of faithfulness in a narrow sense and in a large one. We
have the narrow sense in mind when we speak of fidelity toward men, such
as fidelity to a friend, marital fidelity, fidelity to ones country or to oneself.
The more faithful, the more constant a man is, the more substantial will he
be, the more capable of becoming a vessel of moral values, a being in whom
purity, justice, humility, love and goodness will dwell lastingly and will radiate
from him to the world about him.
This constancy in the true sense of the word is a fundamental moral attitude
of man. It is a necessary consequence of all true understanding of values,
and it is a component element of every true response to values, and
consequently of the whole moral life.
Only the man who is constant really grasps the demands of the world of
values; only he is capable of the response to value.
The eminent importance of faithfulness will stand out in a special way
against the background of human relationships. (Here faithfulness is taken
in its narrow sense, i.e. fidelity.) For what is love without fidelity? In the
ultimate analysis, it is nothing but a lie.
There are people to whom faithfulness appears in the light of a mere
bourgeois virtue, a mere correctness, a technical loyalty. In the opinion of
such people the man who is great, highly gifted and freed from petty
conventions, has no concern with it. This is a senseless misunderstanding
of the true nature of faithfulness.
This virtue is a free, meaningful response to the world of truth and of values,
to the unchangeable and intrinsic importance, to the real demands, of that
world. Without this basic attitude of faithfulness, no culture, no progress in
knowledge, no community, above all no moral personality, no moral growth,
no substantial, inwardly unified spiritual life, no true love, are possible. This
basic significance of fidelity, in the larger sense, must penetrate to the heart
of every relationship

3. Awareness Of Responsibility

When we call someone a morally conscious man, and another man a

morally unconscious one, we have in mind a difference which is decisive
from the ethical point of view. The unconscious man drifts through life; of
course, he grasps certain values, and responds to them, but this process
goes on in a manner that is deprived of an ultimate awakedness and of an
explicit character. His grasp of values remains more or less accidental. Even
when, at a given moment, he rejects something bad and affirms something
good, at heart this attitude is rather an affirmation of his own temperament
than a really enlightened cooperation with the implacable demands of
values, and conformity to those demands.
The unconscious man behaves according to the impulses of his nature; he
has not yet discovered within himself the capacity to direct himself freely
toward the objective demands of the world of values independently of what
is or is not congenial to his nature. Consequently, they ignore the necessity
for conscious effort to develop and improve their moral stature. In their lives
we find no moral self-education. This moral sluggishness is an obstacle to
the formation of a moral personality.
Reverence and that true fidelity, which we have called constancy, are closely
related to this moral awakedness. Moreover, they can only fully unfold
themselves in a morally conscious man. This moral awakedness is also the
soul of the fundamental moral attitude which we have called awareness of
responsibility. Only the man with this consciousness of responsibility can
justly appreciate the impact of the demands of the world of values. He
possesses that awakedness toward the world of values which places his life
under its sword of justice, which makes him at every moment aware of his
own position and duties in the cosmos, and makes him realize clearly that
he is not his own master. He knows that he cannot act freely according to
his arbitrary pleasure, that he is not his own judge.
The very opposite of the man who is conscious of his responses, is the
heedless and thoughtless man. The most radical type in this category is
represented by the man who does not in the least concern himself with the
world of values, but only with what is subjectively satisfying to him. He is the
coarse man subject to his own desires who blindly by-passes all values and
for whom the whole world offers only an occasion to secure more pleasure;
this is the same type of man we have designated earlier as one who lacks
Completely different from this totally corrupted type in whom no moral value
can flower at all, is the morally unconscious man of whom we have spoken
above, who really does grasp values, is affected by them, and sometimes
even conforms to them, but who has not a full understanding of them, since
he is deprived of a conscious and explicit awareness. He is also filled with a
deep thoughtlessness, with a lack of realization of the ultimate importance
of the world of values and its demands. He can be good-natured, amiable,
generous, ready to help, but all this without an ultimate attainment of moral
excellence. This man also does not possess a consciousness of
Finally, there exists a type of thoughtless man who makes a conscious moral
effort, but who, on account of a certain superficiality and frivolity in his nature
does not consider it necessary in making his decisions to have a clear and
precise notion of the value in question. He does not exert himself to work
out a clear idea of the question of value in a given case. What public opinion
says, what is advised by an acquaintance, what appears to him through
convention, as correct, suffices for him to take a position in a given case.
The thoughtlessness of such men lies in the fact that they do not take the
question of value seriously enough; that in spite of their good will, they reach
an affirmative or negative decision without having truly harkened to the voice
of values.
The man lacking in a sense of responsibility also responds too quickly,
without taking the trouble to test new experiences against the background
of truths he has already discovered. In lack of responsibility, in
thoughtlessness, there is also evident a lack of respect for reality. In lack of
responsibility, in thoughtlessness, there is also evident a lack of respect for

4. Veracity

Truthfulness is another of the basic presuppositions for a persons moral life.

An untruthful or mendacious person not only embodies a great moral
disvalue, but he is crippled in his whole personality; the whole of his moral
life; everything in him which is morally positive is threatened by his
The untruthful man lacks reverence toward values. He assumes a lordly
position over being, he deals with it as he pleases. This attitude implies an
element of arrogance, of irreverence and impertinence.
A liar considers the whole world, to a certain extent, as an instrument for his
own ends; everything which exists is an instrument for him; when he cannot
use it, then he will deal with it as non-existent.
One must distinguish three different kinds of untruthfulness. First of all, in
the artful liar who sees nothing wrong in affirming the contrary of what is true
when it is expedient for his aims. Here we are dealing with a man who clearly
and consciously cheats and betrays other men in order to reach his aims.
The second type is that of the man who lies to himself and consequently to
others. He is the man who simply erases from his mind everything in his life
which is difficult or disagreeable.This is the man who does not want to
recognize his own faults; he is the man who immediately twists the meaning
of every situation which is humiliating or disagreeable for him. His deception
is above all practiced upon himself, and only indirectly upon others. He first
deceives himself, and then cheats other men.
In the third type of untruthfulness, the break with truth is still less
reprehensible, but goes perhaps still deeper, and is reflected even more in
the very being of its perpetrators. We see it in that type of ungenuine persons
whose personality is a deception, who are incapable of experiencing real
joy, genuine enthusiasm, genuine love, whose every attitude is a sham, and
bears the stamp of pretense. These men do not want to deceive and dupe
others; neither do they wish to cheat themselves, but they are unable to
achieve a real and genuine contact with the world. They are those shadow-
like beings who are ungenuine; even though their intention is honest, their
joys and sorrows are artificial. Their untruthfulness is due to the fact that all
their attitudes are not really motivated by the object and are not enflamed by
contact with it, but are artificially stimulated; they pretend to conform to the
object, but in reality they are only phantoms without substance.
The man who is really truthful is opposed to the three above-mentioned
types of untruthfulness. He is genuine, he cheats neither himself nor other
people. Because of his deep reverence for the majesty of being, he
understands the basic demand of the value which inheres in every being.
The truthful person places the demands of values above every subjective
wish prompted by his selfishness or his comfort. He consequently abhors all
The truthful man who has a classical relationship with being, is the man
who in his every attitude and action is genuine and true. In his soul we do
not find sham attitudes. He is the genuine and straightforward man. He holds
himself free from personal pride, so that he is not moved to arrogate to
himself a position in the world other than the one which is objectively due
Veracity is, like reverence, fidelity or constancy and the awareness of
responsibility, a basis of our whole moral life. Like these other virtues, it
bears a high value in itself, and like these is also indispensable as a basic
presupposition of a personality in which genuine moral values may flower in
their plenitude.

5. Goodness

Goodness is the very heart of the whole reign of moral values. It is by no

accident that the term good means moral value as such, and also the
specific moral quality of goodness. Among the different moral values there
is none which embodies more completely the entire reign of moral values,
than goodness.
It is the center of all morality, and at the same time, its most sublime fruit. Its
central importance in the moral sphere is, therefore, of a completely different
type from that of the fundamental attitudes previously mentioned: reverence,
fidelity, awareness of responsibility and veracity. For, apart from their own
high moral value, these virtues are accepted as a presupposition for the
moral life. Goodness, on the contrary, is not a pre supposition, but the fruit
of moral life. It culminates all morality; it is the queen of all virtues.
What is goodness? What do we mean when we say that a man irradiates
goodness? We say this of a man when he is disposed to help, when he is
kindly, just, when he is ready to make sacrifices for others, when he pardons
wrongs done him, when he is generous, when he is full of compassion. All
these qualities are specific forms and manifestations of love. This indicates
the close connection which exists between love and goodness. Love is, as
it were, flowing goodness, and goodness is the breath of love.
The goodness of a man does not limit itself to benevolent intentions toward
one particular person whom one loves. When we say someone is good, we
mean that he continually manifests this open benevolence, that his attitude
toward every man has this loving, this generous character.
For goodness, like every other virtue, is not limited to a particular momentary
attitude, but it is a basic attitude and position.
There are three types of men who embody a specific antithesis to goodness:
the indifferent or cold man, the hardhearted one, and the wicked one. The
latter is the man who is an enemy of values: the man who is ruled by a basic
attitude of pride, and who lives in an impotent revolt against the world of
Another antithesis to goodness in the hardhearted person. He is the stern,
cold man who is never moved by compassion, whose ear is deaf to all
petitions, who tramples on everything without consideration.
Finally, the antithesis to the good man is the cold, indifferent man. He is the
man who by-passes his fellowmen with a blighting lack of comprehension;
the man who lives for his own comforts and enjoyments; he, too, is a typical
egoist, but he has a different complexion from the hardhearted man. He is
neither hostile toward others, nor brutally and unrelentingly hard, but he is
filled with indifference toward his fellowmen. He has not the sternness and
brutality of the hardhearted man. Instead of the awakedness and openness
of the good man, we find him circumscribed and blind regarding values, and
instead of the all embracing breadth of the good man we find in him a petty
One should beware of confusing goodness with good-nature. The good-
natured man is harmless and is an appeaser; because of a certain lassitude
and inertia of his nature, he lets himself be badly treated without noticing it.
His amiable attitude has its source in a completely unconscious tendency of
his nature. Goodness, on the contrary, flows from a conscious response of
love; it is ardent awakedness and never harmless lassitude. It is the most
intensive moral life, and not inertia and dullness; it is strength and not
weakness. The good man does not allow himself to be made use of because
he lacks the strength to resist, but he serves freely and humbles himself
Whereas the other fundamental attitudes, such as reverence, faithfulness,
awareness of responsibility and veracity respond to the world of values as a
whole, goodness not only responds to this world of values, but is, so to
speak, the reflection of the whole world of values in the person.

What is Spirituality?

The traditional meaning of spirituality is a process of re-formation which

aims to recover the original shape of man, the image of God.
In modern times the emphasis is on subjective experience. It may denote
almost any kind of meaningful activity or blissful experience. It still denotes
a process of transformation, but in a context separate from organized
religious institutions, termed spiritual but not religious.
Modern spirituality is centered on the deepest values and meanings by
which people live. It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged
immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover
the essence of his/her being.
Spirituality develops inner peace and forms a foundation for happiness. For
example, Meditation and similar practices are suggested to help
practitioners cultivate his or her inner life and character.
Spirituality causes a wide array of positive health outcomes, including
morale, happiness, and life satisfaction.
Spiritual practices may include meditation, mindfulness, prayer, the
contemplation of sacred texts, ethical development. Love and/or
compassion are often described as the mainstay of spiritual development
Waaijman discerns four forms of spiritual practices:
1. Somatic practices, especially deprivation and diminishment. The
deprivation purifies the body. Diminishment concerns the repulsement of
ego-oriented impulses. Examples are fasting and poverty.
2. Psychological practices, for example meditation.
3. Social practices. Examples are the practice of obedience and communal
ownership reform ego-orientedness into other-orientedness.
4. Spiritual. All practices aim at purifying the ego-centeredness, and direct
the abilities at the divine reality

Political Attitudes

Political attitudes are the attitudes of people to the areas of public life
covered by political psychology so for example views on nationalism,
political conservatism, political liberalism, political radicalism etc.
Political attitude tells us which party someone vote for, what kind of political
ideology someone prefer most, which social, economic, cultural,
international policy someone prefer etc.
The terms radical, liberal, moderate, conservative, and reactionary are
among the words most often used in political discourse.
Radicals are people who find themselves extremely discontented with the
status quo. Consequently, they wish an immediate and profound change in
the existing order, advocating something new and different for society.
Considerably less dissatisfied, but still wishing to change the system
significantly, are the liberals. All liberals share a belief in the equality,
intelligence, and competence of people.
Moderates find little wrong with the existing society, and their reluctance to
change it is exceeded only by the conservatives.
Differing from liberals in most respects, conservatives are dubious about
bold efforts to improve the world for fear that incompetent meddling might,
indeed, make things worse.
Only the reactionaries reject current institutions and modern values. They
would see society retrace its steps and adopt former political norms and
People on the right of the political spectrum revere authority, tradition,
elitism, and property rights, whereas those on the left emphasize political
liberty, social change, human equality, and human rights.
Beyond these philosophical convictions, there are several other motivations
that cause people to lean to the left or right. Psychological factors about the
need for change are important. Economic circumstances also play a part.
Age is another factor. Finally, ones view about the condition of human
nature is probably the most important consideration in determining with
which side of the spectrum one will identify. Each of these factors
predisposes peoples political attitudes about certain policy alternatives.
Just as peoples views can modify over time, thus changing their location on
the continuum, the spectrum can shift to the left or right while a person
remains stationary.
It is also appropriate to point out that the political spectrum of one society
bears no particular similarity to that of any other society unless the status
quo is the same in each. A given policy could be conservative in one society,
liberal in another, and radical in a third.

Political Attitude and Changing the System:

People at each point on the political spectrum have an attitude about

changing the existing political system (the status quo) by adopting certain
policies or by pursuing certain courses of action. Political change is endemic
to any society. Political change can be a very complex subject.
With reference to the spectrum of political attitudes, we must actually
learn four things about the change or policy option desired.
First, we must determine the direction, forward or back, in which a proposed
change would carry society. In other words, is the change progressive or
retrogressive? Our society generally has a favorable bias toward progress.
Progressive change simply means a change from the status quo to
something new and different in that society. Conversely, retrogressive
change refers to a return to a policy or institution that has been used by that
society in the past. For instance, the adoption of a universal compulsory
government medical insurance program in the United States is a progressive
policy because most people until 2018 are required to go to the marketplace
to buy insurance. On the other hand, one might agree with the majority of
the current U.S. Supreme Court that the states of the union are in some
ways sovereign. Such a stance has been rejected since the Civil War, so
reasserting it at this point is quite retrogressive, or reactionary.
The watershed between progressive and retrogressive change lies between
the conservative and reactionary sectors on the spectrum, and the line
between these two sectors can be taken to represent no important change
at all, or continuation of the status quo. In other words, everyone to the left
of the reactionary is progressive. Even conservatives are progressives in
that sense, although they do not want a great deal of change to the status
quo, the change they will allow is a transformation from what currently exists
to that which the society has yet to experience. Only the reactionary wants
a change from the status quo to something that existed previously.

The second thing one must determine when trying to locate desired policy
options on the spectrum is the depth of a proposed change. Would the
desired change amount to a major or a minor adjustment in the society?
Would it modify or replace an institution that is fundamental to the society as
it now exists? If so, what is the likelihood that the proposed change will cause
unforeseeable and uncontrollable effects once it is implemented?
Once again, as with the direction of change, the watershed for the depth of
change is at the line between conservative and reactionary, or at the status
quo point on the spectrum. The farther people find themselves from the
status quo, the more dissatisfied they are with the existing order and the
more intense their desire for change.
The third aspect is the speed at which people want change to occur.
Obviously, the more upset people are with the status quo, the more
impatient they are likely to be, and, therefore, as a general rule, the more
rapidly they would like to see the existing order transformed.
The fourth factor we must consider regarding the concept of change is the
method used to accomplish it. Political change can take place in a multitude
of ways: officially or unofficially; legally, illegally, or extralegally; smoothly or
abruptly; peacefully or violently.

What Factors Shape Political Attitudes?

Economic pressures:

Many people suspect that economic pressures are the primary motivation
for choosing a particular political position, and, indeed, this does appear to
be an important factor. People who are doing well in society usually do not
want it to change. By contrast, the poor have little to lose materially and
much to gain from progressive change. Or so it can be supposed.
Economics is not the only factor in the choice of political beliefs, however.
There are plenty of poor conservatives, and one can easily find rich liberals.
In fact, there is no single motivation for peoples political attitudes.


Age is often a significant factor. Usually, the young are more likely to be
liberal than the elderly. This is probably because the older generations have
a vested interest in the status quo that the younger generations have not yet
acquired. Young people lack not only wealth, but also a sense of
commitment and belonging. Fifty-year olds are likely to feel that they have a
stake in society, not only because they have helped create it, but also
because they have become used to it. The young have neither of these
reasons to be committed to the system.

Psychological factor:

Some people are also more psychologically suited for liberalism or

conservatism than others. To be a liberal, one must have a relatively high
tolerance for disorder.

Nature of People:

Perhaps the greatest single determining factor in whether one will tend to
the left or right is what one feels the nature of people to be. If one believes
that people are essentially bad, selfish, and aggressive, then one is likely to
lean to the right of the spectrum. Anyone who thinks that people are
inherently evil will tend to rely on strict laws and firm punishment for violators
in the belief that such measures are necessary to control errant behavior.
On the other hand, people who believe their fellows to be essentially well
meaning and rational will lean toward the left. They will try to avoid impeding
human liberty by unnecessarily severe laws, and they will try to reason with
Many other factors including family, gender, religion, race and ethnicity,
and region all contribute to political attitudes and behavior.


Despite family disagreements and generation gaps, children tend to grow

up and have the political attitude same as their parents do. Families are
generally the first, and often the most enduring, influence on young peoples
developing political opinions. As people grow older, other influences
crisscross the family, and naturally their attitudes tend to diverge from those
of their parents. However, the influence still remains.
Logically, the more politically active your family, the more likely you are to
hold the same beliefs. Just look at the Gandhi family (all are politically
dumb). They all hold the same general political views.


Generally women has political attitude influence by their husbands or other

family members but in many cases we see that they have a different political
Generally women tends to be liberal as they want equal rights, equal pay,
more opportunities etc. But their political views also depend on religion,
family, class etc.
Wherever chief minister is women (Like Jayalalita, Mamta Banerjee),
women are more inclined to vote for their parties. In recent elections women
also started voting for parties who support womens issues, such as
women protection, women reservation, equal pay, equal legal rights etc.


Affiliates of the Religious Right differ in their political attitudes and behavior
from everyone else. The religious right tends to support be more
conservative. This tendency is more clearly associated with social issues
such as gay rights, cow protection, etc than with economic issues or foreign
Christian voters are more likely to support Congress than are Caste Hindus.
Muslims tend to be focus more on security aspects and secularism than
other factors like economic development.

As a general rule, people of south tend to vote regional parties more than
north India. However, there are many exceptions to this tendency.
People of north India tends to have more conservative views on several
social, religious and economic issues.

Political ideologies:

Political Ideology is a certain ethical set of ideals, principles, doctrines,

myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, class, or large group that
explains how society should work, and offers some political and cultural
blueprint for a certain social order.
A political ideology largely concerns itself with how to allocate power and to
what ends it should be used. Some parties follow a certain ideology very
closely, while others may take broad inspiration from a group of related
ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them.
Political ideologies have two dimensions:

1. Goals: How society should work (or be arranged).

2. Methods: The most appropriate ways to achieve the ideal arrangement.

An ideology is a collection of ideas. Typically, each ideology contains certain

ideas on what it considers to be the best form of government (e.g.
democracy, theocracy, etc), and the best economic system (e.g. capitalism,
socialism, etc).
Ideologies also identify themselves by their position on the political spectrum
(such as the left, the center or the right).
Finally, ideologies can be distinguished from political strategies (e.g.
populism) and from single issues that a party may be built around (e.g.
opposition to European integration or the legalization of marijuana).
Political ideologies are concerned with many different aspects of a society,
some of which are: the economy, education, health care, labor law, criminal
law, the justice system, the provision of social security and social welfare,
trade, the environment, minors, immigration, race, use of the military,
patriotism and established religion.

Social Influence

Social influence occurs when ones emotions, opinions, or behaviors are

affected by others. Social influence takes many forms and can be seen in
conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion,
sales and marketing.

Three broad varieties of social influence:

1. Compliance is when people appear to agree with others, but actually keep
their dissenting opinions private.
2. Identification is when people are influenced by someone who is liked and
respected, such as a famous celebrity.
3. Internalization is when people accept a belief or behavior and agree both
publicly and privately.
1. Compliance

Compliance is the act of responding favorably to an explicit or implicit

request offered by others. Technically, compliance is a change in behavior
but not necessarily attitude- one can comply due to mere obedience, or by
otherwise opting to withhold ones private thoughts due to social pressures.
The satisfaction derived from compliance is due to the social effect of the
accepting influence (i.e. people comply for an expected reward or
Compliance refers to a response specifically, a submission made in
reaction to a request. The request may be explicit or implicit.

2. Identification:

Identification is a psychological process whereby the subject assimilates an

aspect, property, or attribute of the other and is transformed, wholly or
partially, by the model the other provides.
Identification is the changing of attitudes or behaviors due to the influence
of someone that is liked. Advertisements that rely upon celebrities to market
their products are taking advantage of this phenomenon. The desired
relationship that the identifier relates with the behavior or attitude change is
the reward.
3. Internalization:

Internalization is the process of acceptance of a set of norms established by

people or groups which are influential to the individual. The individual
accepts the influence because the content of the influence accepted is
intrinsically rewarding. It is congruent with the individuals value system, and
the reward of internalization is the content of the new behavior.


Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in behavior, belief

or thinking to align with those of others or to align with normative standards.
It is the most common and pervasive form of social influence.
Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group
norms. Norms are implicit, unsaid rules, shared by a group of individuals,
that guide their interactions with others. This tendency to conform occurs in
small groups and/or society as a whole, and may result from subtle
unconscious influences, or direct and overt social pressure.
Conformity can occur in the presence of others, or when an individual is
alone. For example, people tend to follow social norms when eating or
watching television, even when alone.
Conformity is sometimes in appearance only publicly appearing to
conform (compliance) or it may be a complete conformity that impacts an
individual both publicly and privately (conversion).
What appears to be conformity may in fact be congruence. Congruence
occurs when an individuals behavior, belief or thinking is already aligned
with that of the others and there is no change.
Another type of social response, which does not involve conformity with the
majority of the group, is called convergence. In this type of social response
the group member agreed with the groups decision from the outset and thus
does not need to shift their opinion on the matter at hand.
As conformity is a group phenomenon, factors such as group size,
unanimity, cohesion, status, prior commitment and public opinion help
determine the level of conformity an individual displays.

Why Conformity occurs?

In the case of peer pressure, a person is convinced to do something (such

as smoking) which they might not want to do, but which they perceive as
necessary to keep a positive relationship with other people, such as their
friends. Conformity from peer pressure generally results from identification
within the group members, or from compliance of some members to
appease others.
People often conform from a desire for security within a grouptypically a
group of a similar age, culture, religion, or educational status. This is often
referred to as groupthink: a pattern of thought characterized by self-
deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values
and ethics, which ignores realistic appraisal of other courses of action.
Unwillingness to conform carries the risk of social rejection. (Social rejection
occurs when an individual is deliberately excluded from a social relationship
or social interaction for social rather than practical reasons.)


In situations where conformity (including compliance, conversion and

congruence) is absent, there are non-conformity processes such as
independence and anti-conformity.
Nonconformity can fall into one of two response categories. First, an
individual who does not conform to the majority can
display independence. Independence, or dissent, can be defined as the
unwillingness to bend to group pressures. Thus, this individual stays true to
his or her personal standards instead of the swaying toward group
Also, a nonconformist could be
displaying anticonformity or counterconformity which involves the taking of
opinions that are opposite to what the group believes. This type of
nonconformity can be motivated by a need to rebel against the status quo
instead of the need to be accurate in ones opinion.
Hence, social responses to conformity can be seen to vary along a
continuum from conversion to anticonformity.

Predictors of Conformity:
(a) Culture:

Culture appears to play a role in willingness to conform to a group. It is found

that conformity was higher in Norway than in France. This has been
attributed to Norways long standing tradition of social responsibility, as
compared to Frances cultural focus on individualism. Japan likewise has a
collectivist culture and thus a higher propensity to conform.

(b) Sex:

Women are more persuadable and more conforming than men in group
pressure situations that involve surveillance. In situations not involving
surveillance, women are less likely to conform. This sex difference may be
due to different sex roles in society. Women are generally taught to be more
agreeable whereas men are taught to be more independent.
It was found that men and women conformed more when there were
participants of both sexes involved versus participants of the same sex.

(c) Age:

In the same way that gender has been viewed as corresponding to status,
age has also been argued to have status implications. Age as a status role
can be observed among college students. Younger students, such as those
in their first year in college, are treated as lower-status individuals and older
college students are treated as higher-status individuals. Therefore, given
these status roles, it would be expected that younger individuals (low status)
conform to the majority whereas older individuals (high status) would be
expected not to conform.

(d) Size of the group:

Although conformity pressures generally increase as the size of the majority

increases, a meta-analysis suggests that conformity pressures peak once
the majority reaches about four or five in number.
Moreover, a study suggests that the effects of group size depend on the type
of social influence operating. This means that in situations where the group
is clearly wrong, conformity will be motivated by normative influence; the
participants will conform in order to be accepted by the group. A participant
may not feel much pressure to conform when the first person gives an
incorrect response. However, conformity pressure will increase as each
additional group member also gives the same incorrect response.

Informational Social Influence:

Informational social influence occurs when one turns to the members of

ones group to obtain and accept accurate information about reality. A
person is most likely to use informational social influence in certain
situations: when a situation is ambiguous, people become uncertain about
what to do and they are more likely to depend on others for the answer; and
during a crisis when immediate action is necessary.
Looking to other people can help ease fears, but unfortunately they are not
always right. The more knowledgeable a person is, the more valuable they
are as a resource. Thus people often turn to experts for help. But once again
people must be careful, as experts can make mistakes too.

Normative social influence:

Normative social influence is a type of social influence leading to conformity.
Normative social influence occurs when one conforms to be liked or
accepted by the members of the group. When people do not conform with
their group and therefore are deviants, they are less liked and even punished
by the group. Normative influence usually results in public compliance, doing
or saying something without believing in it.

What is Groupthink?

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of

people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in
an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try
to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical
evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting
viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.
Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues
or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness
and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the
ingroup produces an illusion of invulnerability (an inflated certainty that
the right decision has been made). Thus the ingroup significantly overrates
its own abilities in decision-making, and significantly underrates the abilities
of its opponents (the outgroup).
Three antecedent conditions to groupthink.
1. High group cohesiveness
deindividuation: group cohesiveness becomes more important than
individual freedom of expression
2. Structural faults:
insulation of the group
lack of impartial leadership
lack of norms requiring methodological procedures
homogeneity of members social backgrounds and ideology
3. Situational context:
highly stressful external threats
recent failures
excessive difficulties on the decision-making task
moral dilemmas
Ways of preventing groupthink:
1. Leaders should assign each member the role of critical evaluator. This
allows each member to freely air objections and doubts.
2. Leaders should not express an opinion when assigning a task to a group.
3. Leaders should absent themselves from many of the group meetings to
avoid excessively influencing the outcome.
4. The organization should set up several independent groups, working on
the same problem.
5. All effective alternatives should be examined.
6. Each member should discuss the groups ideas with trusted people
outside of the group.
7. The group should invite outside experts into meetings. Group members
should be allowed to discuss with and question the outside experts.
8. At least one group member should be assigned the role of Devils
advocate. (someone who, given a certain argument, takes an alternative
position from the accepted norm, for the sake of debate or to explore the
thought further. )

Minority influence:

Minority influence, a form of social influence, takes place when a member of

a minority group, like an individual, influences a majority to accept the
minoritys beliefs or behaviour.
Majority influence (conformity) refers to the majority trying to produce
conformity on the minority, while minority influence is converting the majority
to adopt the thinking of the minority group. Unlike other forms of influence,
minority influence usually involves a personal shift in private opinion.

How it works:

Minority influence is more likely to occur if the point of view of the minority is
consistent, flexible, and appealing to the majority. Having a consistent and
unwavering opinion will increase the appeal to the majority, leading to a
higher chance of adaption to the minority view. However, any wavering
opinions from the minority group could lead the majority to dismiss the
minoritys claims and opinions.
Unlike majority influence, minority influence can rarely influence others
through normative social influence because the majority is indifferent to the
minoritys perspective of them. To influence the majority, the minority group
would take the approach of informational social influence or social proof. By
presenting information that the majority does not know or expect, this new
or unexpected information catches the attention of the majority to carefully
consider and examine the minoritys view. After consideration, when the
majority finds more validity and merit in the minoritys view, the majority
group has a higher chance of accepting part or all of the minority opinion.

Affecting factors:
(a) Size of minority
One view is that a minority of one is more influential than a minority of more
than one, as one person is more likely to be consistent over long periods of
time and will not divide the majoritys attention. A person may question
themselves How can they be so wrong and yet so sure of themselves?,
resulting in a tendency to reevaluate the entire situation, considering all
possible alternatives, including the minority view.
Other view is that, two people are more likely to be more influential than one
person as they are less likely to be seen as strange or eccentric.
More recent research has supported the second view due to the belief that
a minority with two or more, if consistent, has more credibility and is
therefore more likely to influence the majority.
Large and growing minorities are influential. If the size of the minority does
not grow, there is a possibility of a lone dissenter to change position,
affecting his or her consistency and credibility.

(b) Size of majority

As the size of the majority grows, the influence of the minority decreases,
both in public and in private attitude change. The social impact is the
multiplicative effect of strength (power, status, knowledge), the immediacy
(physical proximity and recency), and the number of group members.

(c) Behavioural style

Minority influence is effective as long as there is consistency over time and

agreement among the members of the minority. If this consistency were lost,
then the minority would lose its credibility. This can be the case if a member
of the minority deserts and joins the majority, as this damages the
consistency and unity of the minority.

(d) Situational factors

A persons position may affect the level of minority influence they exert. For
example, someone positioned close to another is more likely to influence the
opinion and/or behaviour of that person. Furthermore, those positioned at
the head of a table will have more influence than another in a less important


Obedience, in human behavior, is a form of social influence in which a

person yields to explicit instructions or orders from an authority figure.
Humans behave surprisingly obedient in the presence of perceived
legitimate authority figures.
Obedience is generally distinguished from compliance, which is behavior
influenced by peers, and from conformity, which is behavior intended to
match that of the majority.
Obedience can be seen as immoral, amoral (Lacking any sense of moral
principles) and moral. For example, in a situation when one orders a person
to kill another innocent person and he or she does so willingly, it is generally
considered to be immoral. However, when one orders a person to kill an
enemy who will end many innocent lives and he or she does so willingly, it
can be deemed moral.


Reactances can occur when someone is heavily pressured to accept a

certain view or attitude. Reactance can cause the person to adopt or
strengthen a view or attitude that is contrary to what was intended, and also
increases resistance to persuasion.
Reactance is the adoption or a view contrary to the view that they are being
pressured to accept, perhaps due to the perceived threat to behavioral
freedoms. This behavior has also been called anticonformity. Reactive
behavior is the result of social pressure.
Psychological reactance occurs in response to threats to perceived
behavioral freedoms. An example of such behavior can be observed when
an individual engages in a prohibited activity in order to deliberately taunt
the authority who prohibits it, regardless of the utility or disutility that the
activity confers.
An individuals freedom to select when and how to conduct their behavior,
and the level to which they are aware of the relevant freedomand are able
to determine behaviors necessary to satisfy that freedomaffect the
generation of reactance. It is assumed that if a persons behavioral freedom
is threatened or reduced, they become motivationally aroused. The fear of
loss of further freedoms can spark this arousal and motivate them to re-
establish the threatened freedom. Because this motivational state is a result
of the perceived reduction of ones freedom of action, it is considered a
counterforce, and thus is called psychological reactance.
The greater the magnitude of reactance, the more the individual will try to
re-establish the freedom that has been lost or threatened by social pressure.
There are four important elements to reactance theory: perceived
freedom, threat to freedom, reactance, and restoration of freedom.

Boomerang effect:
The boomerang effect refers to the unintended consequences of an attempt
to persuade resulting in the adoption of an opposing position instead. It is
sometimes also referred to the theory of psychological reactance, stating
that attempts to restrict a persons freedom often produce an anticonformity
boomerang effect.
It is more likely under certain conditions:
When weak arguments are paired with a negative source.
When weak or unclear persuasion leads the recipient to believe the
communicator is trying to convince them of a different position than what
the communicator intends.
When the persuasion triggers aggression or unalleviated emotional
When non-conformity to their own group results in feelings of guilt or
social punishment.
When the communicators position is too far from the recipients position
and thus produces a contrast effect and thus enhances their original

Cognitive dissonance theory analysis:

Dissonance theory can provide not only an explanation, but also a prediction
of both the intended and the unintended influence of persuasion on
attitudinal change.
Suppose that dissonance aroused in regard to some unspecified cognition.
According to Cognitive Dissonance Theory, the dissonance could be
reduced by a change in the cognition. Now suppose the resistance to
change is great (for example, the person is strongly committed to the original
cognition position), then the person will resort to other forms to reduce or
eliminate the dissonance. In this latter form, one can solve the discrepancy
problem through the boomerang effect. In other words, the dissonance can
be reduced by becoming more extreme in the original position, thereby
increasing the proportion of cognition supporting the initial stand and
decreasing the proportion of dissonant cognition.

Psychological reactance theory analysis:

Explained above.

Factors affecting the the strength of social influence:

Social impact theory:

It states that there are three factors which will increase peoples likelihood
to respond to social influence. Social impact is the result of social forces
including the strength of the source of impact, the immediacy of the event,
and the number of sources exerting the impact.

1. Strength: The importance of the influencing group to the individual.

2. Immediacy: Physical (and temporal) proximity of the influencing group to the
individual at the time of the influence attempt.
3. Number: The number of people in the group.

Dynamic Social Impact Theory:

This theory is considered an extension of the Social Impact Theory as it uses

its basic principles, mainly that social influence is determined by the
strength, immediacy, and number of sources present, to describe how
majority and minority group members influence one another.
Groups that are spatially distributed and interact repeatedly organize and
reorganize themselves in four basic patterns: consolidation, clustering,
correlation,and continuing diversity.

1. Consolidation as individuals interact with each other, over time, their

actions, attitudes, and opinions become uniform. In this manner, opinions
held by the majority of the group spread to the minority, which then
decreases in size.
2. Clustering individuals tend to interact with clusters of group members with
similar opinions. Clusters are common when group members communicate
more frequently with members in close proximity, and less frequently with
members who are more distant. Minority group members are often shielded
from majority influence due to clustering. Therefore, subgroups can emerge
which may possess similar ideas to one another, but hold different beliefs
than the majority population.
3. Correlation over time, individual group members` opinions on a variety of
issues converge and correlate with each other; this is true even of issues
that are not discussed by the group.
4. Continuing Diversity a degree of diversity can exist within a group if
minority group members cluster together or minority members who
communicate with majority members resist majority influence. However, if
the majority is large or minority members are physically isolated from one
another, this diversity drops.

Cialdinis Weapons of Influence:

In his work, Robert Cialdini defines six Weapons of Influence that can
contribute to an individuals propensity to be influenced by a persuader:
1. Reciprocity: People tend to return a favor.
2. Commitment and Consistency: People do not like to be self-contradictory.
Once they commit to an idea or behavior, they are averse to changing their
minds without good reason.
3. Social Proof: People will be more open to things they see others doing. For
example, seeing others helping poor may influence them to do so as well.
4. Authority: People will tend to obey authority figures.
5. Liking: People are more easily swayed by people they like.
6. Scarcity: A perceived limitation of resources will generate demand.
Opportunities seem more valuable when they are less available. Hard-to-get
things are perceived as better than easy-to-get things. You can use the
Scarcity Principle to influence others. The possibility of losing something is
a more powerful motivator than of gaining something. Let others (a
customer, your boss, a lover) know what they will be losing if they dont say
yes to your offer.


Social Influence is strongest when the group perpetrating it is consistent and

committed. Even a single instance of dissent can greatly wane the strength
of an influence.


Those perceived as experts may exert social influence as a result of their

perceived expertise. This involves credibility, a tool of social influence from
which one draws upon the notion of trust. People believe an individual to be
credible for a variety of reasons, such as perceived experience,
attractiveness, knowledge, etc.
Additionally, pressure to maintain ones reputation and not be viewed as
fringe may increase the tendency to agree with the group, known as


Culture appears to play a role in willingness to conform to a group. As we

have seen earlier, it was found that conformity was higher in Norway than in
France. This has been attributed to Norways longstanding tradition of social
responsibility, as compared to Frances cultural focus on individualism.
Japan likewise has a collectivist culture and thus a higher propensity to

Persuasion can attempt to influence a persons beliefs, attitudes, intentions,
motivations, or behaviors.
Persuasion is a process aimed at changing a persons (or a groups) attitude
or behavior toward some event, idea, object, or other person.
Systematic persuasion is the process through which attitudes or beliefs are
changed by appeals to logic and reason. Heuristic persuasion on the other
hand is the process through which attitudes or beliefs are changed because
of appeals to habit or emotion.

Theories of Persuasion:
1. Attribution theory

Attribution is the process by which individuals explain the causes of behavior

and events. Attribution theory is the study of models to explain those
Humans attempt to explain the actions of others through either dispositional
attribution or situational attribution.
Dispositional attribution, also referred to as internal attribution, attempts to
point to a persons traits, abilities, motives, or dispositions as a cause or
explanation for their actions. For Example: A citizen criticizing a Prime
Minister by saying the nation is lacking economic progress because the
Prime Minister is either lazy or lacking in economic intuition is utilizing a
dispositional attribution.
Situational attribution, also referred to as external attribution, attempts to
point to the context around the person and factors of his surroundings,
particularly things that are completely out of his control. For Example: A
citizen claiming that a lack of economic progress is not a fault of the Prime
Minister but rather the fact that he inherited a poor economy from the
previous Prime Minister is situational attribution.
Fundamental attribution error (also known as the correspondence
bias or attribution effect) is peoples tendency to place an undue emphasis
on internal characteristics (dispositional explanations) to explain someone
elses behavior in a given situation, rather than considering external factors
(situational explanations). In general, people tend to make dispositional
attributions more often than situational attributions when trying to explain or
understand a persons behavior. This happens when we are much more
focused on the individual because we do not know much about their situation
or context.
When trying to persuade others to like us or another person, we tend to
explain positive behaviors and accomplishments with dispositional
attribution, but our own negative behaviors and shortcomings with situational
2. Classical conditioning

Conditioning plays a huge part in the concept of persuasion. It is more often

about leading someone into taking certain actions of their own, rather than
giving direct commands. In advertisements for example, this is done by
attempting to connect a positive emotion to a brand/product logo. This is
often done by creating commercials that make people laugh, using a sexual
undertone etc.
This conditioning is thought to affect how people view certain products,
knowing that most purchases are made on the basis of emotion. Just like
you sometimes recall a memory from a certain smell or sound, the objective
of some ads is solely to bring back certain emotions when you see their logo
in your local store. The hope is that by repeating the message several times
it will cause the consumer to be more likely to purchase the product because
he/she already connects it with a good emotion and a positive experience.

3. Cognitive dissonance theory

Cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an

individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at
the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing
beliefs, ideas, or values.
Human beings constantly strive for mental consistency. Our cognition
(thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes) can be in agreement, unrelated, or in
disagreement with each other. Our cognition can also be in agreement or
disagreement with our behaviors. When we detect conflicting cognition, i.e.
dissonance, it gives us a sense of incompleteness and discomfort. For
example, a person who is addicted to smoking cigarettes but also suspects
it could be detrimental to his health suffers from cognitive dissonance.
We are motivated to reduce this dissonance until our cognition is in harmony
with itself. We strive for mental consistency. There are four main ways we
go about reducing or eliminating our dissonance:
1. changing our minds about one of the facets of cognition
2. reducing the importance of a cognition
3. increasing the overlap between the two, and
4. re-evaluating the cost/reward

Revisiting the example of the smoker, he can either quit smoking, reduce
the importance of his health, convince himself he is not at risk, or evaluate
the reward of his smoking to be worth the cost of his health.

The most famous example of how cognitive dissonance can be used for
persuasion comes from Festinger and Carlsmiths 1959 experiment in which
participants were asked to complete a very dull task for an hour. Some were
paid $20, while others were paid $1, and afterwards they were instructed to
tell the next waiting participants that the experiment was fun and exciting.
Those who were paid $1 were much more likely to convince the next
participants that the experiment really was enjoyable than those who
received $20. This is because $20 is enough reason to participate in a dull
task for an hour, so there is no dissonance. Those who received $1
experienced great dissonance, so they had to truly convince themselves that
the task actually was enjoyable in order to avoid feeling like they were taken
advantage of, and therefore reduce their dissonance.

4. Elaboration likelihood model

Persuasion has traditionally been associated with two routes.
Central route: Whereby an individual evaluates information presented to
them based on the pros and cons of it and how well it supports their
Peripheral route: Change is mediated by how attractive the source of
communication is and by bypassing the deliberation process.

Elements / Components of Persuasion

The components or factors involved in the communication process

are source, message, channel, receiver and destination.
Source factors include the perceived sender of the communication.
The message refers to what he says and includes style, content and
organization, while Channel designates the medium (e.g. press, radio,
television) through which the message is communicated.
As regards the receiver factors, it refers to the persons (e.g. age, sex, etc.)
to whom the communication is directed and the destination indicates the
behaviour (e.g. voting) the communication is designed to influence.
The process of persuasion involves a series of successive steps: The
communication is presented; the person pays attention to it; he
comprehends the contents of the message and also the basic conclusion
being urged. However, for persuasion to be effected the individual must
agree with or yield to the point being urged and then finally act on it or in
other words carry out the behaviour implied due to the new change in his
A communication model of persuasion that identifies the following major
components: the source; the message itself; the context of the message;
and the audience.

1. The Source
The source of a persuasive message is the communicator who is presenting
it. A source is more persuasive if he or she is seen as credible
(believable) and attractive.
There are two ways for a source to be credible: (a) claiming to be
an expert, and (b) appearing to be trustworthy. When a tennis star endorses
a particular brand of athletic shoe, she is persuasive because she is an
expert. When an actor who always plays heroes endorses a product, he is
persuasive because his career as a good guy makes him appear
There are also two ways for a source to be attractive: (a) physical
appeal and (b) similarity to the audience. When automobile commericals
feature beautiful men and women at the wheel, advertisers hope that the
models physical appeal will make the commerical persuasive. When a beer
commerical portrays a group of blue-collar men enjoying a particular brand
of beer, the commerical is persuasive to audience members who consider
themselves similar to the characters depicted.

2. The Message

Persuasive messages can involve emotional appeals or rational arguments.

When time is limited, short emotional appeals may be more effective than
rational arguments. For example, anti-smoking campaigns with slogans like
Smokers Stink! may be more persuasive than lists of recent statistical
findings about the health of smokers versus nonsmokers.
Should a message be one-sided or should it present both sides of an
issue?Research shows that when the audience is highly involved and
already sympathetic, a one-sided message is more persuasive. In contrast,
when an audience is undecided or uninvolved, a two-sided message seems
more fair and persuasive. There is also evidence that more intelligent
audiences are persuaded better by two-sided messages, probably because
they more readily recognize that there are two sides to the issue.

3. The Context

Advertisers often have difficulty overcoming the internal arguments that

compete with their persuasive messages. When we listen to or read a
persuasive message, we are usually free to limit our attention or silently
counter argue with its arguments. For this reason, many salespeople will try
to prevent internal counterarguing by distracting a customer. For example,
if a customer is urged to try out a new appliance while the salesperson
talks about its features, the cusotmer will already be paying attention to two
things- using the appliance and listening to the salesperson and will have
difficulty rehearsing counterarguments.
Research has shown that when subjects are distracted, they are more likely
to accept a persuasive message than when they have been allowed to
concentrate on their counterarguments.

4. The Audience

Numerous research efforts have focused on the recipients of persuasive

messages, the audience, to discover when some people are more
persuadable than others.
Many audience characteristics interact with message variables, like
involvement or intelligence. Intelligent recipients are more persuaded by
complex messages, while unintelligent recipients are more persuaded by
simple emotional messages.
Other audience research has identified characteristics
like age or lifestyle as relevant to persuasiveness. For example, young
people may be more likely to accept a message that promised popularity,
while older people would find security or health a more appealing promise.

Other Methods and Techniques of Persuasion:

(1) Four Persuasion Styles:
(a) Negative feeling: Aggression

When people care less about the other person and particularly when they
are feeling angry or in a negative mood, they easily fall into aggressive
methods where the basic message is Do as I say or Ill harm you.
While aggression can come from a generally unpleasant personality, it is
often due to a lack of skill in other methods.

(b) Negative thinking: Deception

A more subtle form of negativity is deception, where we may lie and

manipulate the other person, for example with faked friendship, clever
argument or outright lying. The basic message is Believe me (do not
challenge me).

(c) Positive feeling: Affection

When we are emotionally driven but largely concerned about the other
person or our relationship with them, then we typically use methods based
in kindness and affection, such as being friendly and asking nicely. The
basic message is Help me now, my friend, and I will help you in return some
other day.
Friendly methods require trust and are common in relationships where rules
of exchange mean that give and take balance out over time. Affection can
be faked and this approach can be deception in disguise.

(d) Positive thinking: Reason

Perhaps the most difficult approach can be in crafting reasonable arguments

where we expect the other person to carefully consider what we say and
respond with a counter-arguments that perhaps refute some of our
proposals and add further facts or reasoning that lead to different
conclusions and eventual agreement.
People who use the reasoned approach are often more open to being
persuaded, though this must be done with valid reason rather than with other
methods described above.
When we consider ourselves to be reasonable and civil, we often prefer this
method. However, when we suspect that the other person may be deceptive,
using false facts or plausible but fallacious reasoning, then we may
defensively resort to negative approaches.

(2) Cialdinis Six Principles of Influence:

(a) Reciprocity:

Principle: We feel obliged to give back to people who have given to us.
Give people something. Then ask for something in return. You do not need
to limit your request to something of equivalent value; you can ask for things
that are far bigger than what you gave.
For Example: A sales person does a lot of research for a customer, in the
assumption that this will make the customer feel obliged to reciprocate by

(b) Consistency and Commitment:

Principle: We feel we must always align our outer actions and promises with
our inner choices and systems, such as our beliefs and values.
When we make a promise, we feel obliged to work hard to fulfil that promise.
When we make a decision, we like to feel that this is the right decision for
When we do something that is out of alignment with our beliefs, values and
other aspects of our self-image, we may change those inner aspects in order
to restore alignment.
When we have committed to something, we tend to justify this commitment
by inventing new rationale and otherwise seeking confirmation that we have
made the right choice.
Example: Youd probably be more likely to support a colleagues project
proposal if you had shown interest when he first talked to you about his

(c) Social Proof:

Principle: We copy what others do, especially when we are unsure. People
will be more open to things they see others doing.
Emphasize the credibility and numbers of people who are acting in the way
you want the target person to follow. Show how they are similar to the target
For Example: An advertiser shows a happy family in selling goods to people
who are likely to have families.

(d) Liking:

Principle: The obligations of friendship.

Be friendly. Show that you like them. Be interested in them and their world.
Two things that increase liking in particular are similarity and praise. If you
show that you are like them in some way, they will like you.
For Example: A sales person develops an easy and friendly introduction
conversation that gets customers to like them.

(e) Authority:

Principle: We defer to people who seem superior.

When a person asserts something as being true, if we believe they know
more than us then we are far more likely to accept what they say as true
without question.
A person dresses to look like a university professor and speaks using
technical-sounding terms. He is able to bluff his way into a conference.

(f) Scarcity:

Principle: We want now what we may not be able to get in the future.
When things become less available, they become more desirable. If we have
the choice of getting it now or only possibly getting it in future, then we
choose getting it now.
This increase in desire and consequent acquisitive action happens even if
we do not need the item now. It is the scarcity that drives our desire, not the
utility of the item in question.
For Example: A shop has a sale, with signs such as last few, limited
availability and special offer today only.
(3) Low-Balling:

First, low-balling is a persuasion technique that deliberately offers a product

at a lower price than one intends to charge. Imagine you are out shopping,
and a salesman has convinced you to buy a new product. You are pretty
excited about the product as you follow him to the register. However, as he
is checking you out, he realizes that the price sticker on the product, Rs 250,
is incorrect. He apologizes and tells you that the real price is actually Rs
350. You respond graciously that its not his fault and confirm you would still
like to complete the transaction.
Low-balling is pretty successful in convincing us to pay a higher price by
ensuring our buy-in at a lower level. Once we have made a decision to
purchase something, our need to be consistent in behavior assures us our
choice was right, even if the price is later increased.
The key to successful low-balling is not only to make the initial offer attractive
enough to gain compliance, but also to not make the second offer so
excessive that its refused.

(4) Foot-in-the-Door:

The other persuasion technique is foot-in-the-door, which starts with a small

request in order to gain eventual compliance with larger requests. Imagine
you receive an e-mail from a friend asking you to sign a petition that favored
a particular charity. The request is small, simple, and easy enough, so you
go ahead and sign. A week later, that same friend calls and thanks you for
your signature, and asks if you would be willing to put a small sign in your
yard. After you do that, your friend convinces you to make a small donation,
and also volunteer an entire Saturday to help the cause.
Now, if your friend had originally asked you to give up a Saturday
volunteering for a charity that you had no commitment to, its unlikely you
would have done it. However, because your friend started small and built up
to the bigger request, he ensured your commitment.
The foot-in-the-door technique works by first getting a small yes and then
getting an even bigger yes. Like low-balling, this technique works because
of our desire to be consistent. From the beginning, we justify our agreement,
typically convincing ourselves that our original action was because of
genuine interest in the subject. With subsequent requests, especially those
that are extensions of the first request, we feel obligated to act consistently
with that internal explanation.

(5) Door-in-the-Face:
In the door-in-the-face (DITF) technique, the persuader attempts to
convince the respondent to comply by making a large request that the
respondent will most likely turn down. The respondent is then more likely to
agree to a second, more reasonable request, compared to the same
reasonable request made in isolation.
Example: Will you donate $100 to our cause? [response is no]. Oh. Well
could you donate $10? [This time probability of yes increases]
The DITF technique can be contrasted with the foot-in-the-door (FITD)
technique, in which a persuader begins with a small request and gradually
increases the demands of each request.

Resisting Persuasion: Attitude Inoculation

It is possible to resist unwanted persuasion. If, because of an aura of

credibility, something have intimidated us into unquestioning agreement, we
can rethink our habitual responses to authority. We can seek more
information before committing time or money. We can question- what we
dont understand.

Strengthening Personal Commitment:

Before encountering others judgments, you make a public commitment to

your position. Having stood up for your convictions, you become less
susceptible (or less open) to what others have to say.

Challenging Beliefs:

When you attack a committed person and your attack is of inadequate

strength, you drive him to even more extreme behaviors in defense of his
previous commitment

Developing Counterarguments:

A mild attack might build resistance. Like inoculations against disease, weak
arguments prompt counterarguments, which are then available for a
stronger attack.
Could we inoculate people against persuasion much as we inoculate them
against a virus? Is there such a thing as attitude inoculation? Could we take
people raised in a germ-free ideological environmentpeople who hold
some unquestioned belief-and stimulate their mental defenses? And
would subjecting them to a small dose of belief-threatening material
inoculate them against later persuasion?
That is what McGuire did. First, he found some cultural truisms, such as Its
a good idea to brush your teeth after every meal if at all possible. He then
showed that people were vulnerable to a massive, credible assault upon
these truisms (for example, prestigious authorities were said to have
discovered that too much tooth brushing can damage ones gums). If,
however, before having their belief attacked, they were immunized by first
receiving a small challenge to their belief, and if they read or wrote an essay-
in refutation of this mild attack, then they were better able to resist the
powerful attack.
There are two basic key components to successful inoculation. The first
is threat,which provides motivation to protect ones attitudes or beliefs.
Refutational preemption is the second component. Refutational
preemption is the cognitive part of the process. It is the ability to activate
ones own argument for future defense and strengthen their existing
attitudes through counterarguing.


Reactance is a motivational reaction to offers, persons, rules, or regulations

that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms. Reactance occurs
when a person feels that someone or something is taking away his or her
choices or limiting the range of alternatives.
Reactances can occur when someone is heavily pressured to accept a
certain view or attitude. Reactance can cause the person to adopt or
strengthen a view or attitude that is contrary to what was intended, and also
increases resistance to persuasion.
When certain free behaviors are threatened or removed, the more important
a free behavior is to a certain individual the greater the magnitude of the
There are four important elements to reactance theory: perceived freedom,
threat to freedom, reactance, and restoration of freedom.

Snowball effect

The snowball effect means something of little to no significance building up

to become miraculous and great.
A small snowball which is placed on a steep hill will go down much faster
and collect more snow and become much bigger a lot quicker than if it
werent a steep hill. Basic laws of physics. However, the faster the snowball
goes down the hill, the harder it will be to control the snowball toward the
end of the path thereby possibly being destructive.
Like a snowball, most of us are starting our careers or experiences with
small significance. We probably have little to no power right now and will
continue to have no power for a while. To become the all mighty powerful
snowball, we must go down the right path.

If we get rich to quick or too fast, we might lose control and be headed down
a path of utter disappointment. Its always better to go down the not so steep
hill of life so we can progress.

What is Integrity?

The word integrity evolved from the Latin word integer,

meaning whole orcomplete. In this context, integrity is the inner sense of
wholeness deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency
of character. One may judge that others have integrity to the extent that
they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.
Integrity means following your moral or ethical convictions and doing the
right thing at all times and in all circumstances, even if no one is watching
you. Having integrity means you are true to yourself and would do nothing
that demeans or dishonors you.
If one would have to teach only one value to live by, it should be
this: Success will come and go, but integrity is forever. It takes having the
courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be.
Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to
lose, so one should never allow oneself to ever do anything that would
damage ones integrity.
Integrity can stand in opposition to hypocrisy, in that judging with the
standards of integrity involves regarding internal consistency as a virtue.
Following quotes explain Integrity:

Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right
thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with
integrity. W. Clement Stone
Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobodys going to know
whether you did it or not. Oprah Winfrey
One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.
Chinua Achebe
You are in integrity when the life you are living on the outside matches who
you are on the inside. Alan Cohen
In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence,
and energy. And if they dont have the first one, the other two will kill you. -
Warren Buffet

How to Have Everyday Integrity?

Keep your promises even if it takes extra effort.

Never betray a friends trust even if you get in trouble.
Return money that you noticed someone dropped without expecting a
Ignore someones advice on how to cheat on your taxes and not get caught.
Do not let someone else take the blame for something you did.
If someone gives you confidential information, never tell anyone what you
When it is obvious to you a relationship is over, dont drag it out but discuss
it openly.
For a person with integrity, the end does not justify the means.

Integrity in the Workplace:

Work when you are supposed to and save socializing, snacking, searching
the Internet and personal phone calls for break time.
Show respect to coworkers with appropriate conversation and empathy.
If you are in management, keep your employees informed so they will know
what is coming and what needs to be done.
Be responsible. Do what you say you will do.
Use materials for work and not personal use.
If you make a mistake and a teams project gets messed up or you miss a
deadline, own up to your mistake. Dont let teammates take the fall.
Work together as a team. This builds trust and shows integrity.
If you find yourself in a conflict of interest, get out of it as soon as possible.
Dont accept praise of acclaim for someone elses work. That includes
stealing someones idea or pretending to have worked on a successful
If your company asks you to do something against your personal code of
conduct, refuse. If it means losing a good paying job, so be it. Find a more
ethical company to work for.

What is difference between Integrity and Honesty?

Honesty is truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness; freedom from deceit or

fraud. Integrity is adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of
moral character; honesty. The difference, therefore, is that honesty simply
means telling the truth, while integrity means having high moral character
and living by a strict set of ethics and principals (i.e., doing the right thing,
whether it benefits you or not). You can have honesty without integrity, but you
cannot have integrity without honesty.
But although integrity needs honesty, it does not mean you always have to
be absolutely honest to others. It just means you have to be absolutely
honest to your self.
While honesty can also be defined in negative terms as the absence of
deceit, integrity has to be defined in positive terms. Integrity is an active
adherence to principles, to values.
Honesty is certainly a virtue, but the demands of honesty are not necessarily
as rigorous as those of integrity. For instance, a person might honestly sell
a product that has not been thoroughly tested under the premise that the
product has not been shown to be unsafe. However, to act with integrity a
person would have to either (A) explicitly warn a consumer that the product
is untested or (B) refrain from selling the product entirely if there was any
possibility of harm for the consumer. The difference here is between a
necessary course of action (integrity) and a passive adherence to the truth
If honesty only requires that a person avoid telling lies or intentionally
deceiving others, it leaves open many possibilities to act immorally. One can
be honest and immoral at the same time (as in above example).
Honesty is defined by a persons relationship to truth and deception, but
integrity is defined by a persons relationship to principles, to codes of
conduct and/or to morality. Integrity stands as a more broadly demanding
concept, morally, in comparison to honesty.
Depending on ones values, integrity may sometimes demand action
(politically in form of protest or socially in the form of aiding those in need).
Honesty, to the contrary, only demands that a person refrain from lying.

Impartiality and Non-partisanship

What is difference between impartiality and nonpartisanship?

Impartiality is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based

on objective criteria, rather than on the basis of bias, prejudice, or preferring
the benefit to one person over another for improper reasons.
Impartiality means that civil servants in carrying out their official work,
including functions like procurement, recruitment, delivery of services etc,
should take decisions based on merit alone.
Non-partisanship is not being specifically owned or affiliated with
any group, party or cause. Non-partisanship can be called political neutrality
Impartiality connotes that the behaviour of, and treatment by an
administrator to any individual or entity has to be solely on the basis of merit.
An administrator has to take several key decisions such as recruitment,
procurement and allotment. For these decisions to be effective and efficient,
there has to be absolute impartiality.
However, non partisanship implies that the administrator is to do his task
without any fear of, or favour to any political party. The values of the
administrator will flow from the constitution not from the ideology of any
political party.
Impartiality is the quality of an individual where one is unbiased while
distributing any goods or services among several people or selecting a
person from a set of people based on certain set of qualities and skills.
Non-partisanship is the practice of no involvement with any political party
even if the person has strong belief in any political ideology.

Why these two values (Impartiality and Non-partisanship) are important for an

In democracy, an efficient civil service must have set of values that

distinguishes it from other professions. Integrity, dedication to pubic service,
impartiality , political neutrality, anonymity and non-partisanship are said to
be hallmarks of an effective civil service. The community has a right to
expect the civil service functions fairly, impartially and efficiently.
Impartiality enables the administrator in filling up the gaps of trust deficit
between the subjects and the Government.
Impartiality provides legitimacy to the conduct of administrator and makes it
more effective.
The role of administrators should be to adopt an partial (non-neutral in true
sense) approach towards serving the poor and disadvantaged, over and
above personal gain and vested interests. Eg The recent move of the
Government not to ban websites having porns but at the same time ensuring
that child pornographic sites are blocked specifies an impartiality towards
general content and partiality towards child pornographic content for greater
Non-partisanship strengthens the democratic procedures and institutions
along with maintaining the integrity of the service.The administrators are
always at a constant interface with the politicians, hence it is necessary to
aloof themselves from any political ideology and do his duty no matter the
party in power.
Significance of non partisanship can be appreciated by considering a
situation in which this virtue is absent. If the administrator is inclined to any
political party, there would always be a group that would remain alienated
from the government services as they would have voted for losing party.
It strongly attracts other pre requisites of noble administration like
transparency and honesty.

What is difference between neutrality and impartiality?

Although the principles of neutrality and impartiality have been interlinked

and regarded as synonymous, or even as inseparable, they need to be
clearly distinguished.
The principle of impartiality is about relieving the suffering of individuals
based solely on need, and without discrimination as to nationality, race,
religious beliefs, class, or political opinions. After the principle of humanity it
is the most fundamental aspect of the very concept of humanitarianism.
Impartiality does not mean inaction.
Neutrality, on the other hand, is about not taking sides in a conflict or
engaging in controversies of a political, racial, religious, or ideological
Neutrality usually means not taking sides with warring parties and
impartiality refers to nondiscrimination and proportionality.
Theoretically, one can abandon strict neutrality but remain impartial: I can
abhor your politics and blame you for starting a war, but still provide medical
relief to your wounded as well as to those of your enemy.
A civil servant need not to be neutral always. For example in helping weaker
section of society, he has to take side of weak and vulnerable and help them.

What is difference between objectivity and impartiality?

Impartial has the connotation of being not partial and not prejudiced.
Objective has the connotation of being based on facts without feelings or
Objectivity is sticking to the facts, being guided by the evidence and
considering an event will be closer to the truth the more supporting evidence
it has.
Taking Example in Journalism:

It is common to require journalists to be objective and impartial.

Objectivity is a method, not an element of style. In other words:

1. Do not write stories that give equal weight to each side of an argument if
the evidence behind each side of the argument is not equal. Doing
so misrepresents the balance of opinions or facts. Your obligation is to those
facts, not to the different camps whose claims may be false.
2. Do not simply report the assertions of different camps. As a journalist your
responsibility is to check those assertions.

Impartiality is dependent on objectivity. It is not giving equal coverage to all

sides, but rather promising to tell the story based on objective evidence
rather than based on your own bias or prejudice. All journalists will have
opinions and preconceived ideas of what a story might be, but an impartial
journalist is prepared to change those opinions, and change the angle of the
story. In the process they might challenge strongly-held biases of the society
they report on.
Impartiality is about not taking sides, to give up making value judgments and
treat as equivalent different versions of an event, believing the truth is
somewhere in the middle.

Q. What is nepotism?

Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives. The term originated with the

assignment of nephews to cardinal positions by Catholic popes and bishops.
Nepotism can occur in various fields including: politics, entertainment,
business, and religion.
Nepotism is a common accusation in politics when the relative of a powerful
figure ascends to similar power seemingly without appropriate qualifications.
Nepotism can also occur within organizations, when a person is employed
due to their familial ties. It is generally seen as unethical, both on the part of
the employer and employee.
Nepotism at work can mean increased opportunity at a job, attaining the job
or being paid more than other similarly situated people. Arguments are
made both for and against employment granted due to a family connection,
which is most common in small, family run businesses. On one hand,
nepotism can provide stability and continuity. Critics cite studies that
demonstrate decreased morale and commitment from non-related
employees, and a generally negative attitude towards superior positions
filled through nepotism.
Q. What is the difference between cronyism and nepotism?

Both words are used to show disapproval. If you are accused of nepotism,
then you use your position to promote or help the members of your family; it
is favouritism based on kinship. The word comes from the Latin nepos
meaning nephew.
Nepotism at work refers to favouring relatives in employment or economic
terms as opposed to them being judged on ability and/or merit in a specific
However, nepotism can be viewed in terms of people giving somebody a
boost up to allow them to get into an organisation but will be treated in the
same manner as everybody else.
Although nepotism is in the sense of the word, refers to relatives, it can also
mean to allow friends to be incorporated into an organisation or to be granted
simply favour in general.
The word crony is used to refer to a friend with whom you spend a lot of
time. When you accuse someone of cronyism, what you mean is that the
person is using his official position to help his friends.
Cronyism is a more specific form of favouritism that refers partial towards
friends and partial towards associates. As the old saying goes, Its not what
you know but who you know.
Cronyism occurs within a network of insiders who provide favours to one
another due to association.
Nepotism is an even narrower form of favouritism. (compared to cronyism)

Q. What do you understand by non-partisanship in public administration? How will

you ensure non-partisanship in administration when you become an IAS officer?

Non partisanship in public administration means not to side with any group
or party. For a public servant, rule of law should guide his conduct
irrespective of his personal preferences. Use of discretionary powers should
be guided by ethical guidelines implicit in the constitution like fundamental
duty and directive principles of state policy.
In a diverse country like India where religion, caste, community, class, region
etc play an important role in society being non-partisanship for an
administrator assumes greater significance.
As an IAS officer I will take the following steps:

1. Maintaining contact with industrialist, builders, NGOs, politicians etc. only at

the professional level via meetings, conferences etc. and not at the personal
2. Ensuring transparency via a website for my department where all decisions
and reasons for taking the decision will be uploaded real time.
3. Ensuring accountability by assigning time bound tasks to officers and
monitoring the progress.
4. Citizens participation via 247 helpline and regular meetings with civil
5. Creating a citizens charter which will be derived from the ethics implicit in
the constitution and which will serve as guideline in cases where the law is
ambiguous. This will help my department in successfully navigating the grey

Thus by leading by example, laying guidelines for the exercise of

discretionary powers and by promoting transparency, accountability and
citizens participation I will ensure non-partisanship in administration.

Objectivity and Subjectivity:

Objective fact means a truth that remains true everywhere, independently of

human thought or feelings. For instance, it is true always and everywhere
that 2 plus 2 equals 4.
On the other hand, a subjective fact is one that is only true under certain
conditions, at certain times, in certain places or for certain people. For
instance, That painting is beautiful may be true for someone who likes it,
but not for everyone.
The words objectivity and subjectivity have different meanings according
to whether we are speaking ontologically or epistemologically.
Ontology is about things. Ontological statements are statements about what
we think is real. Epistemology is about knowledge. Epistemological
statements are statements about what we think is true.
In the realm of ontology, objective things are mind-independent and
subjective things are mind-dependent. In other words, objective
phenomena are those that exist outside of, or independently of, the human
mind. This includes things like rocks, trees, physical bodies, and concrete
behaviours. Subjective things, on the other hand, exist only in the human
mind. This includes thoughts, feelings, perceptions, motivations, desires,
fears, dreams, and so on.
In the realm of epistemology, a statement is objectively true if it is true for
all rational observers, that is, if all rational people, exposed to the same
evidence, would be able to agree on the same conclusion. A statement is
subjectivity true if even rational observers exposed to the same evidence
would be unable to agree on the same conclusion.
So, for instance, a rose is objectively real that is, ontologically objective
because it is a physical object which exists independently of the human
mind. A statement like this rose has seven thorns on its stem is
epistemologically objective because it can be verified and agreed on by all
rational observers. However, the statement this rose is beautiful is
considered subjective because beauty is considered something that rational
observers may legitimately disagree on.

Objectivity in Decision Making:

Subjective refers to personal perspectives, feelings, or opinions entering the

decision making process. Objective refers to the elimination of subjective
perspectives and a process that is purely based on hard facts.
Objective decisions are not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in
considering and representing facts. Taking an objective approach to an
issue means having due regard for the known valid evidence (relevant facts,
logical implications and viewpoints and human purposes) pertaining to that
issue. If relevant valid evidence is denied or falsified, an objective approach
is impossible. An objective approach is particularly important in science, and
in decision-making processes which affect large numbers of people
(e.g. politics, beurocracy).
In decisions affecting large numbers of people (such as in politics,
administration) ignoring relevant evidence or alternative interpretations
could lead to policies which, although perhaps well-intentioned, have the
opposite effect of what was really intended.
Taking an objective approach may not always be relevant, particularly in
cases where it is impossible to be objective either because the relevant facts
and viewpoints necessary are lacking, or because it is the subjective opinion
or response that happens to be important.
Sometimes an objective approach is impossible because people will
naturally take a partisan, self-interested approach. That is, they will select
out those views and facts which agree with their own.
A scientist or politician may never be neutral (they may have a vested
interest in particular theories or policies) but they might also take an
objective approach in the sense of remaining open to alternative viewpoints
and new evidence.
Taking an objective approach often contrasts with arguments from authority,
where it is argued that X is true because an authority Y says so. The
presumption is that Y is an authority capable of taking the most objective
Theres a limit to our objectivity as human beings, but with practice and with
solid strategies in place, one can make the most objective decision possible.

Dedication to Public Service

What is Dedication?
Dedication is the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose, thought or
Dedication is an important personality characteristic of an individual. In organizational
context, dedicated employees work towards achieving the organizational goals.

What is Motivation and how it is different from dedication?

Motivation is the reason for self-engaging in a particular behavior to achieve a purpose. It

is the push of the mental forces or impulses to accomplish, to encourage an action you are
Motivation doesnt last. Motivated is generally a short-term state. Motivation may get you
started, but it certainly wont finish the job. That is why it is recommended to be motivated
daily. We are inspired by possibilities, encouragements, even necessities.
Motivation is generally based on the reward gained by performing a certain action.
Motivation will push you to get started and may carry you into the first stages of
accomplishing a goal. However, it soon drops off and may show up again later in the
process. The reason for this drop in motivation is simple. Without any obvious benefits
from our actions, the brain doesnt send the same signals.
Dedication will carry you through a lack of motivation. It is your ability to continue acting
when motivation is lacking. Motivation will bring you to base camp, dedication will drive
you up the mountain.
Self-motivation is a driving force within you that activates your actions without being
directed by others. It is a fire from within ~ a burning desire, so to speak. Becoming self-
motivated gives you the power to decide. You make your own choices and hold yourself
responsible/accountable to the results from your activities or inactivity.

What is Perseverance?

Perseverance is the act or quality of holding to a course of action, belief, or purpose. To

persist or act in spite of opposition or discouragement is to persevere.
Persevering means to keep going through a hard time without giving up.

What is Commitment?

Commitment is an agreement to perform a particular activity at a certain time in the future

under certain circumstances. Commitment is the act of binding yourself to a course of
Commitment is action. No excuses. No debate. No lengthy analysis. No whining about
how hard it is. No worrying about what others might think. No cowardly delays.
Very often, we utilize this word in regard to proclamations we may make about the
seriousness of our relationships. For example, Im committed to you suggests that I may
not be seeking another relationship or that Im going to be monogamous.

What is Spirit of Service?

Under Spirit of Service, people feel the need to contribute to their countries or society in a
particular way. The Public Servants work with grace, great enthusiasm and exceptional
professionalism. Spirit of Service is about believing in what you are doing.
Working in India partly gives the impression that the spirit of service in the public sector
is dying. You begin to see this from airports of certain countries. You meet immigration
officers and airport staff that show on their faces that they are at pains attending to you.
They would rather be elsewhere.
You get similar experience as you go to the Ministry of Lands to follow up on your
application for a piece of land you would want to acquire. The public servant sitting on the
other side of the table looks very disinterested in attending to you. His attention is split
between attending to you and listening to the small radio on his table. The story is the same
when you rush to a clinic or hospital because you have suspected malaria. The officers
attending to you are unable to hide their displeasure in the work they do. Things get a lot
nastier when you go to the police station to report an incident. You are ridiculed for having
your items stolen and then given a lecture on what you should do next not attract thieves.

What is Self-Actualisation?

Expressing ones creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and
the desire to give to society are examples of self-actualization. It is the organisms master
motive, the only real motive: the tendency to actualize itself as fully as possible is the
basic drive the drive of self-actualization.
According to Abraham Maslow, the basic needs of humans must be met (e.g. food, shelter,
warmth, security, sense of belongingness) before a person can achieve self-actualization
the need to be good, to be fully alive and to find meaning in life.

Some public servants dedicate their lives to public service even at the cost of their personal life
and comfort. Which factors determine a civil servants dedication to public service?

There are some profession in which personnel dedicate their lives to public service even at
the cost of their personal life, fun and comfort. It is against the famous theory of Motivation
(Maslows hierarchy of need). Where someone risks his life and comfort for anything other
than Physiological, Safety, Love, Esteem and Self-actualisation needs, it goes outside the
explaination of Maslows Hierarchy of need.
Following factors gives explanation to this:

1. Institutionalisation: This happens especially in case of Police and Army forces. Here a new
recruit is so deeply institutionalised to deliver their duty through training/drills that it makes
them ready for Call of Duty. Also, the recruits are just like normal person while joining
with intent of job and economical security , but with training and institutionalization they
start taking nations interest first.
2. Altruism + Self-Actualisation: This can be found in statesman, noble doctors and honest
civil servant. In this case, many person actually have Altruism as their trait and consider
doing good for nation as self-actualisation of their potential and caliber. They devote their
time, effort and even work-life balance using their management skill, team working and
knowledge to strive for better and better results in public space. They consider their duty
as of supreme priority and attain satisfaction on delivering it with nearest perfection.
3. Early Socialisation and Value development in an Individual:- Individuals who were
instilled values of patriotism, service and sacrifice in their childhood stage reflect them
later by serving society. Their parents , school and community played a significant role in
instilling such values to them.
4. Benevolence:- Benevolence toward all is the ethical spirit of public administration. It is
about public interest and business administration is about the private interest. Without
benevolence, public administration is merely governmental work. With benevolence, our
field has a meaning and purpose beyond just doing a good job; the work we do becomes
noblea kind of civic virtue
5. Tolerance and Compassion towards weaker Section
6. Fearlessness and Courage
7. Spirit of Service and Sacrifice
8. A sense of Mission and Focus

Q. What is betrayal?

Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a presumptive contract, trust, or confidence that

produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals,
between organizations or between individuals and organizations. Often betrayal is a
complete break from previously decided upon or presumed norms by one party from the

Q. What is the difference between fearlessness, courage and bravery?

Fearlessness is the complete absence of fear. You simply do not

feel it.
Courage is the ability to face and confront fear, pain, danger and
uncertainty and take action in spite of it.
Courage is a result of mindfulness. It is ones decision to fight despite
frightful consequences. Bravery is an inherent characteristic. It doesnt
involve much thinking and rather manifests itself second to human nature
for those who have it.

Empathy, Tolerance and Compassion towards the weaker sections

What is Tolerance?

Tolerance can be defined as a fair and objective attitude towards those

whose lifestyle differs from yours.
Take a moment to think about your lifestyle: your behaviors, actions,
thoughts, and environment. Now think about someone elses. Chances are
there are some aspects of other peoples lives which annoy you. Many
people are surrounded by others who appear to be incompetent and
annoying. Understanding tolerance can help shift our attitudes toward
others, leading us toward a more productive and happy life.
Tolerance refers to the skills we need to live together peacefully. In times of
peace, people have a chance to prosper socially, economically and
emotionally. Tolerance creates a society in which people can feel valued
and respected, and in which there is room for every person, each with their
own ideas, thoughts and dreams.
This is why we believe tolerance is important: because it is an essential
aspect of a healthy, livable society. In fact, it is the only way in which a
country as diverse as India (politically, religiously, economically) can
function and use each and every difference to make its people thrive rather
than suffer.
In this globalisation, where people of different backgrounds, cultures and
religions are living together, and where the world has become multicultural
and full of diversity, establishing tolerance and harmony has become very
crucial and important, and fostering mutual love and affection has become
Without tolerance and harmony the lasting peace of societies cannot be
maintained, and loyalty for each other cannot be established.
Tolerance does not mean that only one person or party shows tolerance and
the others do not. When some people disagree on a certain issue they must
advocate and express their opinion in a respectful manner, and hateful and
provocative words should not be used. Tolerance must be shown from both
sides on issues, in order for it to be effective.

What is difference between Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion? Which of these

three qualities is most essential for a public servant and why?

Sympathy refers to acknowledging another persons emotional hardsh

ips and providing comfort and assurance. Sympathy is the feeling that
you care about and are sorry about someone elses trouble, grief,
misfortune, etc.
Empathy refers refers to understanding what others are feeling.
Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is
experiencing from within the other persons frame of reference, i.e., the
capacity to place oneself in anothers shoes
Compassion refers to a step further, where a person not
only feels empathy but also a desire to help alleviate the
suffering of the other person. Compassion is the response to the suffering
of others that motivates a desire to help.
Thus, the emphasis here is on action and wanting to help. In, other
word while Sympathy focuses on awareness, empathy focuses on ex
perience and Compassion
focuses on action.
For example, consider
the issue of child labour. On seeing a child waiter in a restaurant if
a person is just feeling sad, then he is sympathetic.
But if he also connects himself or own children with that child or
memorises any of his live experience, then he is empathetic. But when
someone unleashes himself from only being a spectator and make some
arrangements according to his
capacity for the good (like informing NGOs, arranging education,
counselling his parents etc) , then he has compassion.
A public servant must possess all the three qualities depending on
situation. Public servants are meant to serve and this requires developing
a humanistic outlook and to go out-of-the way.
These qualities [Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion] ensure that
the public servants act sensitively and interpret the rules so as to advance
public interest. This is all the more important in a country like India where
most the citizens are not aware of their rights and obligations
owing to their socio -
economic conditions rather than out of ignorance. In their
absence, the administration will become mechanistic, rigid and ineffective.

Why having tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections is important
for a civil servant?

Tolerance and compassion make a civil servant to lead with not only head
but also heart. They are the fundamental components of character and
positive relationship which will be helpful to deliver the services and
requirements fulfilling the needs of weaker sections.
For example, suppose a grievance redressal meeting was held exclusively
for the differently abled in a Collectorate. Despite being held only for the
differently able, the meeting was convened at the first floor of the
Collectorate which had no ramp and was not disabled-friendly in any
manner. It led to agitation of the petitioners who started protesting
immediately at the venue.
It is clear from the above example that empathy and in-depth understanding
for the weaker sections be it differently able or any senior citizen is
mandatory for a civil servant at every stage. Deprivation of that essential
quality leads to collapse in public administration and efficient service
A civil servant takes an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India at the
time of joining service; if he does his job in the spirit of this oath he is bound
to work for the rights and advancement of the weaker sections of society.
Concepts of Emotional Intelligence


In 1983, Howard Gardners Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple

Intelligencesintroduced the idea that traditional types of intelligence, such as
IQ, fail to fully explain cognitive ability. He introduced the idea of multiple
intelligences which included both interpersonal intelligence (the capacity to
understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people) and
intrapersonal intelligence (the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate
ones feelings, fears and motivations).
The first use of the term emotional intelligence is usually attributed to
Wayne Paynes doctoral thesis, A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional
Intelligence from 1985. However, the term became widely known with the
publication of Golemans Emotional Intelligence Why it can matter more
than IQ (1995). It is to this books best-selling status that the term can
attribute its popularity.


Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor ones own and other
peoples emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label
them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and
People with high EQ demonstrate a high level of self awareness, motivation,
empathy, and social skills.
Daniel Goleman, believes that IQ is a threshold quality: It matters for entry-
to high-level management jobs, but once you get there, it no longer helps
leaders, because most leaders already have a high IQ. According to
Goleman, what differentiates effective leaders from ineffective ones
becomes their ability to control their own emotions and understand other
peoples emotions, their internal motivation, and their social skills.
(Intelligence Quotient / IQ is ability to learn, understand and apply
information to skills, logical reasoning, word comprehension, math skills,
abstract and spatial thinking, filter irrelevant information.) Tfggg

Currently, there are three main models of EI:

1. Ability model
2. Mixed model
3. Trait model

1. Ability Model:

The ability-based model views emotions as useful sources of information

that help one to make sense of and navigate the social environment. The
model proposes that individuals vary in their ability to process information of
an emotional nature and in their ability to relate emotional processing to a
wider cognition. This ability is seen to manifest itself in certain adaptive
The model claims that EI includes four types of abilities:

1. Perceiving emotions the ability to detect and decipher emotions in faces,

pictures, voices, and cultural artifactsincluding the ability to identify ones
own emotions. Perceiving emotions represents a basic aspect of emotional
intelligence, as it makes all other processing of emotional information
2. Using or facilitating emotions the ability to harness emotions to facilitate
various cognitive activities, such as thinking and problem solving. The
emotionally intelligent person can capitalize fully upon his or her changing
moods in order to best fit the task at hand.
3. Understanding emotions the ability to comprehend emotions language
and to appreciate complicated relationships among emotions. For example,
understanding emotions encompasses the ability to be sensitive to slight
variations between emotions, and the ability to recognize and describe how
emotions evolve over time.
4. Managing emotions the ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and
in others. Therefore, the emotionally intelligent person can harness
emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals.

2. Mixed model:
The model introduced by Daniel Goleman focuses on EI as a wide array of
competencies and skills that drive leadership performance.
Golemans model outlines five main EI constructs:

1. Self-awareness the ability to know ones emotions, strengths,

weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others
while using gut feelings to guide decisions.
2. Self-regulation / Self-management involves controlling or redirecting ones
disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
3. Social skill managing relationships to move people in the desired direction
4. Empathy considering other peoples feelings especially when making
5. Motivation being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement.

First four of these five main EI constructs can be explained by following


EI as a learned capabilities:

Goleman includes a set of emotional competencies within each construct of

EI. Emotional competencies are not innate talents, but rather learned
capabilities that must be worked on and can be developed to achieve
outstanding performance. Goleman posits that individuals are born with a
general emotional intelligence that determines their potential for learning
emotional competencies.
Emotional competence refers to ones ability to express or release ones
inner feelings (emotions).
Emotional capital is the set of personal and social emotional competencies
which constitute a resource inherent to the person, useful for the personal,
professional and organizational development and takes part in social
cohesion, to personal, social and economic success. Furthermore, because
of its impact on performance (as at work), on well-being (life satisfaction,
health etc) and on social cohesion and citizenship, emotional capital should
be taken into account seriously by public and educational policy-makers and
practicians and companies

3. Trait model:

Petrides proposed a conceptual distinction between the ability based model

and a trait based model of EI.
EI refers to an individuals self-perceptions of their emotional abilities. This
definition of EI encompasses behavioral dispositions and self-perceived
abilities and is measured by self report, as opposed to the ability based
model which refers to actual abilities, which have proven highly resistant to
scientific measurement.
An alternative label for the same construct is trait emotional self-
efficacy. Self-efficacy is the extent or strength of ones belief in ones own
ability to complete tasks and reach goals.
The trait EI model is general and subsumes the Golemans Mixed Model
discussed above.

Emotional Intelligence and Personality:

Personality is defined as a specific criteria of an individual such as acting,

feeling and thinking which these kind of attitude have been explored through
various of theoretical ideas including humanities, cognitive as well as trait
theory. Trait in EI is a kind of behaviour of an individual who feel and act in
specific way which differentiate them from other individual. They are trusted
to be consistent and stable in their lifetime.

Difference between person with low Emotional Intelligence and High

Criticism of Emotional Intelligence:
1. Cannot be recognized as form of intelligence

Golemans early work has been criticized for assuming from the beginning
that EI is a type of intelligence.
The essence of this criticism is that scientific inquiry depends on valid and
consistent construct utilization, and that before the introduction of the term
EI, psychologists had established theoretical distinctions between factors
such as abilities and achievements, skills and habits, attitudes and values,
and personality traits and emotional states.Thus, some scholars believe that
the term EI merges and conflates such accepted concepts and definitions.
Goleman tries to make us believe he is presenting something new, when in
fact much of what he is reporting has been studied for years under
personality research.
2. Confusing Skills With Moral Qualities

The common but mistaken perception of EI is that it is a desirable moral

quality rather than a skill. A well-developed EI is not only an instrumental
tool for accomplishing goals, but has a dark side as a weapon for
manipulating others by robbing them of their capacity to reason.

3. EI has little predictive value

Goleman made unsupported claims about the power and predictive ability
of emotional intelligence.
The studies conducted on EI have shown that it adds little or nothing to the
explanation or prediction of some common outcomes (like work success).
Similarly, many researchers have raised concerns about the extent to which
self-report EI measures correlate with established personality dimensions.

4. Other Criticisms:

Goleman represents his work as scientific when it does not hold up to

scientific scrutiny. Unlike IQ, emotional intelligence has no as definite
objective test.( IQ, or intelligence quotient, is score derived from one of
several standardized tests designed to assess an individuals intelligence.)
He implies that anyone can learn emotional intelligence and fails to
acknowledge either the relatively fixed nature of the personality traits he
includes in his definition of EI or the differences in innate potential among
His personal beliefs about what is appropriate contradict the academic
theory concerning the value of our emotions. He still seems to regard
emotions as largely something to be controlled and restrained, rather than
something to be valued.

Utilities and Application of Emotional Intelligence in Administration and


Emotional Intelligence (EI) can be a valuable tool a administrator and

managers in government or any company. Since research on Emotional
Intelligence began, results overwhelmingly show that people high in various
combinations of emotional competencies outperform people who are weak
in those areas. When emotional competencies are used in leader selection,
for example, performance and retention rates increase significantly.
The research shows that the most successful people, those who consistently
outperform their peers, exhibit more of the skills and traits known as
Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence and Leadership:

Studies show that high performing leaders tend to have higher Emotional
Intelligence than their peers. For Ex: We have many example of a more
successful non-technical CEO in a technical company compared to a
technical CEO. The reason is that EI becomes more decisive factors rather
than IQ in many areas of leadership.

Goleman believed that leaders with high in emotional intelligence are the
key of organisational success. Goleman stated that, as leaders, they must
have the ability to know employees feelings especially in the workplace
environment, to interfere when trouble occur among the employees, able to
control their own feeling, and able to realize the political and
social interventions within an organisations.
Effective leadership basically correlated with the ability of the leaders
to establish confident among employees, respect and intelligently build
relationship with the employees.

Emotional Intelligence and Team Building:

Emotional Intelligence has a significant impact on team member

relationships and their effectiveness in reaching a teams goals.
Understanding our own EI strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of
other team members, provides a means for improving the interpersonal
dynamics of teamwork.
EI training can help team members learn how:

1. individual EI fits with the EI of other team members, managers, clients, etc.
2. work assignments can be made and accomplished more effectively
3. to improve communication
4. to minimize the negative aspects of conflict
5. to present information most effectively
6. to design more effective problem solving groups
7. to assist team members in maximizing their individual and collective

Emotional Intelligence and Conflict:

Emotional Intelligence significantly influences how we go about solving

interpersonal problems. Thus, conflict in organizations often stems from EI
differences. Understanding how to use our EI more effectively helps us solve
interpersonal problems more effectively and efficiently and increases the
overall effectiveness of work teams. When people understand the basics of
how they are different from each other and their strengths and weaknesses,
they can take steps to reduce conflict and become more accepting.
EI training can help to manage conflict which might include:

1. Overcoming EI Differences
2. Problem solving
3. Emotional Dynamics
4. Working Together

Emotional Intelligence and profession:

There is a relationship between EI and the outcome in the job performance
in workplace. Profession such as cabin crew, hospitality staff as well as jobs
related to the customer service officers are the kinds of task that need high
emotional level. In this situation, the employees are expected to have
positive emotion and has the ability to hide the negative emotions

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace:

EI has found to be beneficial in daily life as well as in workplace environment.

Nevertheless, the appliance of EI has been most often documented in the
workplace situation.
There are four significant reasons why the environment of the workplace is
the best applied setting for assessing and improving EI competencies

1. EI competencies are crucial for success in doing work task

2. Most of the leaders enter the workplace lacking in competencies needed to
succeed in doing work task
3. Employers already have the standard means in order to provide EI training
4. Most people spend their time in workplace

Emotional intelligence at work is about how people and relationships

function: (a) Relationships between colleagues, between directors and staff;
(b) Relationships between the organisation and its customers, stakeholders,
suppliers, competitors, networking contacts, everyone.
Founded on excellent practice and understanding of communication, the
emotionally intelligent business consistently excels in all these areas and
has insight into how this happens.
An organisation which is emotionally intelligent has staff who are: (a)
motivated, productive, efficient, aligned with the business, and committed;
(b) effective, confident, likable, happy, and rewarded.
Emotional intelligence is applicable to every human interaction in business:
from staff motivation to customer service, from brainstorming to company
presentations. But the subject is far deeper and wider than these examples,
and emotional intelligence must be able to understand and deal with:

1. how we assess people

2. how relationships develop
3. how our beliefs generate our experience
4. as well as resistance, power struggles, judgement, competition, vision,
leadership, success, and much more.

Only in a business in which the staff are emotionally intelligent can they work
together to maximum effectiveness. This can only increase the
organisations success, however measured. Emotional intelligence is
essential for excellence.
In terms of economic point of view, research has revealed that the cost-
effectiveness of emotional intelligence especially in the workplace has found
to be an interests topic among organisations. It is to be found out that hiring
process of employees when taken into consideration of emotional
intelligence aspect can help organisations to be economic in their
management.Benefits of using EI in Selection

1. Hire the best fit candidate the first time

2. Put the right person into the right job
3. Reduce costly mis-hires
4. Create targeted developmental plans based on the results
5. Reduce the expense of screening and training candidates who dont stay
with the organization
6. Improve employee satisfaction with the right job fit that plays to their

In conclusion we can say that Emotional intelligence influences organizational

effectiveness in a number of areas:

1. To identify and recruit top talent and retaining them

2. To identify potential leaders in its ranks and prepare them to move up.
3. To make better use of the special talents available in a diverse workforce.
4. Development of talent
5. Helping people to be motivated, committed, creative, innovative and to to
cope with massive, rapid change.
6. Teamwork
7. Employee commitment, morale, and health
8. Innovation
9. Productivity
10. Efficiency
11. Sales
12. Revenues
13. Quality of service
14. Customer loyalty
15. Client or student outcomes
16. Making good decisions about new markets, products, and strategic

Need for Further Research:

As a matter of fact, through the emerging of several ideas and modern
concepts of EI , it has been proved that much work is needed to be done
in order to precisely determine the finding about what EI exactly
encompasses and how it can be effectively applied in the governance and

Future research in these following areas are significant in the topic

of emotional intelligence field:

1. The correlation between EI and personality. For this case, more research is
acquired in this area in order to examine the accurate relationship between
EI and personality constructs.
2. The reliability of EI models based on cognitive intelligence. In fact, this
matter need to be considered related to the issue of the validity and the used
of I.Q tests. Additional research need to be done for establishing EI as the
best mode lover the standard model.
3. The exact measurement for emotional intelligence. More research is
necessitated especially in finding its reliability as well as its validity for
measuring EI.
4. The context of training in emotional intelligence. In fact, training in EI
is found to be more beneficial compared to another leadership skill
training. Because of this reason, future research is needed in examining
whether training in EI provides a better recovery towards the organisational

Moral Thinkers and Philosophers from World: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

Much of Western philosophy finds its basis in the thoughts and teachings of
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle: the Big Three ancient Greek philosophers.
The virtue ethics of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, and the Stoics
were very individualistic and primarily concerned with helping one person
become a better person though self-improvement.
Virtue ethics emphasizes the role of ones character and the virtues that
ones character embodies for determining or evaluating ethical behavior.
Virtue ethics is one of the three major approaches to normative ethics, often
contrasted to deontology (mainly Kantianism), which emphasizes duty to
rules, and consequentialism (Mainly utilitarianism), which derives rightness
or wrongness from the outcome of the act itself.
Although virtue ethics lacks in popularity, many people still think it is
indispensable. Virtue ethics requires us to understand how to be transform
ourselves into better people. That means we have to understand
what is moral, how to be motivated to be moral, and how to actually behave


According to Socrates, the ideal life focuses on self-development, especially

the pursuit of goodness, virtue, justice, integrity, and friendship. Materialism
is the enemy of achieving the ideal life. Socrates actually never wrote
anything down but his ideas were written down after he died.
Socrates was a leader, he had followers and the Greeks blamed him for a
war. it wasnt Socrates fault but the needed to blame it on someone and he
was against the war. he was found guilty with a penalty of death and had to
drink hemlock.


Platos beliefs and writings contributed much to organized study of ethics.

Plato believed that all people in some way desired happiness. A persons
actions do not always create happiness but this is because people do not
know what their actions will produce. Happiness is a result of a healthy soul
but moral virtue makes up the health of the soul.
People do not always seek to be virtuous but this is because they do not
realize that moral virtue produces happiness. However, Plato set forth that
if a person knows that moral virtue leads to happiness, he or she should act
according to this knowledge. Being moral or ethical, then, has its basis in
knowledge or reason. If a person knows that virtue leads to happiness but
acts contrary to this idea, he or she is immoral, and immoral behavior is the
sign of a diseased soul.
Plato said that good men had to be those who were just, temperate,
courageous and wise. He was speaking of moral excellence in a somewhat
similar way than that of Socrates. In his work, The Republic, he presents all
these characteristics. The relation he gives between State, citizens and
moral excellence; he says that for a State to be good, it has to allow, help
and even encourage people to be good as individuals; that good citizens
were those who were good as persons and thus useful to the nation; and
that moral excellence, or Virtue, is the basis of every sound society and the
only way to have great men lead other great men properly.

Platonic Idealism:

In The Republic, his major treatise on the ideal state, Plato believed that the
physical world around us is not real; it is constantly changing and thus you
can never say what it really is. There is a world of ideas which is a world of
unchanging and absolute truth. This is reality for Plato. Does such a world
exist independent of human minds? Plato thought it did, and whenever we
grasp an idea, or see something with our minds eye, we are using our mind
to conceive of something in the ideal world.
In the allegory of the cave, created by Plato., the world was like a cave, and
a person would only see shadows cast from the outside light, so the only
reality would be thoughts.


Aristotle was Platos best student. lato influenced Aristotle, just as Socrates
influenced Plato. One of his best known ideas was his conception of The
Golden Mean avoid extremes, the counsel of moderation in all things.
Aristotle concludes that (a) the proper object of virtue is happiness and (b)
we can become wise through habit.
Aristotle categorized the virtues as moral and intellectual. He identified a
few intellectual virtues, the most important of which were
wisdom; sophia (theoretical wisdom) and phronesis (practical wisdom). The
main moral virtues he identified include:

1. Prudence
2. Justice
3. Fortitude (Courage)
4. Temperance

Aristotle argued that each of the moral virtues was a mean (called golden
mean) between two corresponding vices, one of excess and one of
deficiency. For example: courage is a virtue found between the vices of
cowardliness and rashness.
Aristotle spoke of the good citizen as being someone who does what he is
intended to by the government and accomplish his social role. He said that
there could be good men who were not good citizen. He then considered
that being a good citizen doesnt make you a good person.

Difference between Plato and Aristotle:

In Philosophy:

Plato believed that concepts had a universal form, an ideal form, which leads
to his idealistic philosophy. Aristotle believed that universal forms were not
necessarily attached to each object or concept, and that each instance of an
object or a concept had to be analyzed on its own. This viewpoint leads to
Aristotelian Empiricism. For Plato, thought experiments and reasoning
would be enough to prove a concept or establish the qualities of an object,
but Aristotle dismissed this in favor of direct observation and experience.
In logic, Plato was more inclined to use inductive reasoning, whereas
Aristotle used deductive reasoning. The syllogism, a basic unit of logic (if A
= B, and B = C, then A = C), was developed by Aristotle. (Deductive
logic uses given information, premises or accepted general rules to reach a
proven conclusion. On the other hand, inductive logic involves making
generalizations based upon behavior observed in specific cases.)
Both Aristotle and Plato believed thoughts were superior to the senses.
However, whereas Plato believed the senses could fool a person, Aristotle
stated that the senses were needed in order to properly determine reality.
An example of this difference is the allegory of the cave, created by Plato.
To him, the world was like a cave, and a person would only see shadows
cast from the outside light, so the only reality would be thoughts. To the
Aristotelian method, the obvious solution is to walk out of the cave and
experience what is casting light and shadows directly, rather than relying
solely on indirect or internal experiences.

In Ethics:

Plato was Socratic in his belief that knowledge is virtue, in and of itself. This
means that to know the good is to do the good, i.e., that knowing the right
thing to do will lead to one automatically doing the right thing; this implied
that virtue could be taught by teaching someone right from wrong, good from
evil. Aristotle stated that knowing what was right was not enough, that one
had to choose to act in the proper mannerin essence, to create the habit
of doing good. This definition placed Aristotelian ethics on a practical plane,
rather than the theoretical one espoused by Socrates and Plato.
For Socrates and Plato, wisdom is the basic virtue and with it, one can unify
all virtues into a whole. Aristotle believed that wisdom was virtuous, but that
achieving virtue was neither automatic nor did it grant any unification
(acquiring) of other virtues. To Aristotle, wisdom was a goal achieved only
after effort, and unless a person chose to think and act wisely, other virtues
would remain out of reach.
Socrates believed that happiness could be achieved without virtue, but that
this happiness was base and animalistic. Plato stated that virtue was
sufficient for happiness, that there was no such thing as moral luck to grant
rewards. Aristotle believed that virtue was necessary for happiness, but
insufficient by itself, needing adequate social constructs to help a virtuous
person feel satisfaction and contentment.

In political theory:
Plato felt that the individual should subsume his or her interests to that of
society in order to achieve a perfect from of government.
His Republic described a utopian society where each of the three classes
(philosophers, warriors, and workers) had its role, and governance was kept
in the hands of those deemed best qualified for that responsibility, those of
the Philosopher Rulers.
Aristotle saw the basic political unit as the city (polis), which took precedence
over the family, which in turn took precedence over the individual. Aristotle
said that man was a political animal by nature and thus could not avoid the
challenges of politics. In his view, politics functions more as an organism
than as a machine, and the role of the polis was not justice or economic
stability, but to create a space where its people could live a good life and
perform beautiful acts. Aristotle moved beyond political theory to become
the first political scientist, observing political processes in order to formulate

Moral Thinkers and Philosophers from World: Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill

Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the best moral

action is the one that maximizes utility.
Classically, Jeremy Bentham defined utility as the aggregate pleasure after
deducting suffering of all involved in any action. John Stuart Mill expanded
this concept of utility to include not only the quantity, but quality of pleasure.
Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism, which states that the
consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong. This
view can be contrasted or combined with virtue ethics which holds virtue as
a moral good. Some believe that ones intentions are also ethically
Egoism, utilitarianism, and altruism are all forms of consequentialism, but
egoism and altruism contrast with utilitarianism, in that egoism and altruism
are both agent-focused forms of consequentialism (i.e. subject-focused or
subjective). However, utilitarianism is held to be agent-neutral (i.e. objective
and impartial).
Ethical egoism is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to
do what is in their own self-interest. Ethical altruism, which holds that moral
agents have an obligation to help others. Egoism and altruism both contrast
with ethical utilitarianism, which holds that a moral agent should treat ones
self with no higher regard than one has for others (as egoism does, by
elevating self-interests and the self to a status not granted to others). But
it also holds that one should not (as altruism does) sacrifice ones own
interests to help others interests, so long as ones own interests are
substantially equivalent to the others interests and well-being.
Ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything
in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them,
assuming that their actions do not infringe on the equal rights of others. It is
also the idea that every persons pleasure should far surpass their amount
of pain. Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aristippus, a
student of Socrates.

Jeremy Bentham

At the outset of the nineteenth century, an influential group of British thinkers

developed a set of basic principles for addressing social problems.
Extrapolating from Humes emphasis on the natural human interest in utility,
reformer Jeremy Bentham proposed a straightforward quantification of
morality by reference to utilitarian outcomes. His An Introduction to the
Principles of Morals and Legislation(1789) offers a simple statement of the
application of this ethical doctrine.

Benthams moral theory was founded on the assumption that it is the

consequences of human actions that count in evaluating their merit and that
the kind of consequence that matters for human happiness is just the
achievement of pleasure and avoidance of pain.
He argued that the hedonistic value of any human action is easily calculated
by considering how intensely its pleasure is felt, how long that pleasure lasts,
how certainly and how quickly it follows upon the performance of the action,
and how likely it is to produce collateral benefits and avoid collateral harms.
Taking such matters into account, we arrive at a net value of each action for
any human being affected by it.
The principle of utility, then, defines the meaning of moral obligation by
reference to the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people who
are affected by performance of an action.

James Mill

A generation later, utilitarianism found its most effective exponent in John

Stuart Mill. Raised by his father, the philosopher James Mill, on strictly
Benthamite principles, Mill devoted his life to the defence and promotion of
the general welfare.
Mills Utilitarianism (1861) is an extended explanation of utilitarian moral
theory. In an effort to respond to criticisms of the doctrine, Mill not only
argued in favor of the basic principles of Jeremy Bentham but also offered
several significant improvements to its structure, meaning, and

Mill fully accepted Benthams devotion to greatest happiness principle as the
basic statement of utilitarian value. But he did not agree that all differences
among pleasures can be quantified. On Mills view, some kinds of pleasure
experienced by human beings also differ from each other in qualitative ways,
and only those who have experienced pleasure of both sorts are competent
judges of their relative quality. This establishes the moral worth of promoting
higher (largely intellectual) pleasures among sentient beings even when
their momentary intensity may be less than that of alternative lower (largely
bodily) pleasures.
What motivates people to do the right thing? Mill claimed universal
agreement on the role of moral sanctions in eliciting proper conduct from
human agents. But unlike Bentham, Mill did not restrict himself to the
socially-imposed external sanctions of punishment and blame, which make
the consequences of improper action painful. On Mills view, human beings
are also motivated by such internal sanctions as self-esteem, guilt, and
conscience. Because we all have social feelings on behalf of others, the
unselfish wish for the good of all is often enough to move us to act morally.
Even if others do not blame or punish me for doing wrong, I am likely to
blame myself, and that bad feeling is another of the consequent pains that I
reasonably consider when deciding what to do.
It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be
Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a
different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The
other party to the comparison knows both sides (Book: Utilitarianism by Mill)

It seems to directly contradict utilitarianism. If somebody holds that pleasure

is the only good, and pain is the only evil, then in what sense can Socrates
dissatisfied be better than a pig satisfied? The latter seems to clearly have
more pleasure than the former.
His argument suggests that there is quality of value that is higher in the
pleasure of the former over the pleasure of the latter. Basically Mill contends
that a highly cultured person is a happier person, a person who gets more
pleasure out of life than an airheadeven if such a person experiences a
great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction as a result of being educated and
The being whose capacities of enjoyment are low has the greatest chance
of having them fully satisfied; and a highly endowed being will always feel
that any happiness which he can look for, as the world is constituted, is
imperfect. But he can learn to bear its imperfections, if they are at all
bearable; and they will not make him envy the being who is indeed
unconscious of the imperfections, but only because he feels not at all the
good which those imperfections qualify.
The lower people might think they have it better, but that is only because
they are not actually able to compare the two states whereas the higher
person can compare them and knows he/she has it better.

On Liberty

John Stuart Mills On Liberty (1859) is the classic statement and defence of
the view that governmental encroachment upon the freedom of individuals
is almost never warranted. A genuinely civil society, he maintained, must
always guarantee the civil liberty of its citizenstheir protection against
interference by an abusive authority.
The tyranny of the majority is especially dangerous to individual liberty, Mill
supposed, because the most commonly recommended remedy is to
demand that the recalcitrant minority either persuade the majority to change
its views or learn to conform to socially accepted norms.
The proper balance between individual liberty and governmental authority,
he proposed, can be stated as a simple principle: The only purpose for
which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized
community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
Although society has a clear responsibility for protecting its citizens from
each other, it has no business interfering with the rest of what they do. In
particular, anything that directly affects only the individual citizen must
remain absolutely free. No society is truly free unless its individual citizens
are permitted to take care of themselves.

The Subjection of Women

One of John Stuart Mills last and finest literary efforts was written in support
of a political cause of which he had long been a leading champion. The
Subjection of Women (1869) offered both detailed argumentation and
passionate eloquence in bitter opposition to the social and legal inequalities
commonly imposed upon women by a patriarchal culture.
Mill pointed out, the domination of men over womenlike conquest or
slavery in any other formoriginated in nothing more than the brute
application of physical power. Mill argued that reliance upon physical
strength and violence should not be tolerated.
Although it is often claimed that male domination over women is a purely
natural expression of biological necessity, Mill found little genuine evidence
for this. Any conventional social discrimination, made familiar by long
experience and social prevalence, will come to seem natural to those who
have never contemplated any alternative. The appearance of voluntary
submission by women is even more misleading, on Mills view, since it could
as easily reflect enslavement of mind and feeling as genuine sentiment.
Efforts to secure suffrage for women had been a major issue of Mills own
service in the British Parliament.

Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions

What is Ethical Dilemma?

Ethical dilemmas or moral dilemmas or ethical paradoxes, are situations in

which there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which
resolves the situation in an ethically acceptable fashion. In such cases,
societal and personal ethical guidelines can provide no satisfactory outcome
for the chooser.
An ethical dilemma is a complex situation that often involves an apparent
mental conflict between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result
in transgressing another.

Types of Ethical Dilemmas:

Ethical dilemmas are in three broad categories:

1. Personal Cost Ethical Dilemmas: It arises from situations in which
compliance with ethical conduct results in a significant personal cost to the
decision maker in an difficult situation.
2. Right-versus-Right Ethical Dilemmas: It arises from situations of two or more
conflicting sets of bonafide ethical values.
3. Conjoint Ethical Dilemmas: It arises when a careful decision-maker is
exposed to a combination of the above-indicated ethical dilemmas in
searching for the right-thing-to do.

Ethical dilemmas also arise in the following situation:

1. When his professional directives are in contrast with his own personal values
2. Working towards the best interest of the community versus being responsive
to the government.
3. Ethical dilemmas can arise, when two equally striking options are justified
as `right in certain situations.
4. For a public servant attempting to function as a professional, the demands
of law, his duty, fairness, due process, provides a productive ground in which
ethical dilemmas arises. Whistle blowers face this problem because their
disclosure may institute a crime when the on-going misconduct is severe.
5. Ethical standards are not codified, so there are always chances that
dilemma arises and disagreements always occur about proper behaviour.
6. An ethical dilemma arises in a situation when the choices or behaviour is
undesirable and presents harmful ethical consequences. Right or wrong is
not clearly identifiable.

Process of resolving an ethical dilemma in administration

An ethical dilemma is more complex and demanding than a problem of what

it appears to be. These dilemmas cannot be solved based on its initial status
of presentation. The decision maker faces a difficult situation in which he
faces mutually exclusive alternatives that choosing one option means
negating the other that is equally important.
However a dilemma is also dealt appropriately by altering and reformulating
all the options in a systematic and coherent manner. To resolve ethical
dilemmas, a sequence of logical reasoning sets is proposed to integrate and
rearrange the process of dealing with ethical dilemmas. They are:

1. Accountability: The loyalty of the bureaucracy to the ministers is grounded

on their obligation to be answerable and responsible to the legislature who
is accountable to the will of the people and their general interest. It is then a
fundamental ethical duty bearing on civil servants to show a spirit of
impartiality and discretion and keep their own personal preferences out in
the performance of their duties and responsibilities.
2. The rule of law and the principle of legality: The rule of law is fundamental
and universal to politics and society. Respect and adherence to the principle
of legality is an important requirement to exercise authority. Law establishes
the minimum standard for morality. Unethical conduct means violation of
law. Thus far enforcement of law should be priority in case of dilemma.
3. Professional integrity: In administrative profession, knowledge and expertise
should be used with certain standards defining professional ethics such as,
avoiding corruption in the delivery of services.
4. Responsiveness: The government responsiveness to its citizens is a key
issue in political economy. In this respect, ethical reasoning in state action
entails that public institutions be responsive to society and pay attention to
the needs and demands of the people, facilitating access to services and
creating an enabling environment for sustainable human and social

Ethical Dilemma Situations:

Personal Friendships

Ram had several friends including Shyam and Mohan. Shyam has recently
met and started dating a wonderful lady named Deepa. He is convinced this
is a long term relationship. Unknown to Shyam, Ram observed them at a
restaurant several days ago and realized Deepa is the wife of his other friend
Ram is deciding whether to tell Shyam that Deepa is married when he
receives a call from Mohan. Mohan suspects his wife is having an affair and
since they and Ram share many friends and contacts, he asks if Ram has
heard anything regarding an affair.
To whom does Michael owe greater friendship to in this situation? No matter
who he tells, he is going to end up hurting one, if not both friends. Does he
remain silent and hope his knowledge is never discovered?

Societal Dilemmas

A pregnant woman leading a group of people out of a cave on a coast is

stuck in the mouth of that cave. In a short time high tide will be upon them,
and unless she is unstuck, they will all be drowned except the woman,
whose head is out of the cave. Fortunately, (or unfortunately,) someone has
with him a stick of dynamite. There seems no way to get the pregnant
woman loose without using the dynamite which will inevitably kill her; but if
they do not use it everyone will drown. What should they do?
Information Access:

Tony, a data analyst for a major casino, is working after normal business
hours to finish an important project. He realizes that he is missing data that
had been sent to his coworker Robert.Tony had inadvertently observed
Robert typing his password several days ago and decides to log into
Roberts computer and resend the data to himself. Upon doing so, Tony
sees an open email regarding gambling bets Robert placed over the last
several days with a local sports book. All employees of the casino are
forbidden to engage in gambling activities to avoid any hint of conflict of
Tony knows he should report this but would have to admit to violating the
companys information technology regulations by logging into Roberts
computer. If he warns Robert to stop his betting, he would also have to
reveal the source of his information. What does Tony do in this situation?

Professional Life Versus Family Life:

Akash works in the claims department of a major hospital. Paperwork on a

recent admission shows that a traumatic mugging caused the patient to
require an adjustment in the medication she is prescribed to control anxiety
and mood swings. Akash is struck by the patients unusual last name and
upon checking her employment information realizes she is one of his
daughters grade school teachers.
Akashs daughter seems very happy in her school and he cannot violate
patient confidentiality by informing the school of a teachers mental illness
but he is not comfortable with a potentially unstable person in a position of
influence and supervision over his eight year old daughter. Can Akash
reconcile these issues in an ethical manner?

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is

involved in multiple interests, financial interest, or otherwise, one of which
could possibly corrupt the motivation of the individual or organization.
A conflict of interest is a situation that has the potential to undermine the
impartiality of a person because of the possibility of a clash between the
persons self-interest and professional interest or public interest.
A conflict of interest is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that
professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly
influenced by a secondary interest. Primary interest refers to the principal
goals of the profession or activity, such as the protection of clients, the health
of patients, the integrity of research, and the duties of public
office. Secondary interest includes not only financial gain but also such
motives as the desire for professional advancement and the wish to do
favours for family and friends.
The secondary interests are not treated as wrong in themselves, but become
objectionable when they are believed to have greater weight than the
primary interests. The conflict in a conflict of interest exists whether or not a
particular individual is actually influenced by the secondary interest. It exists
if the circumstances are reasonably believed (on the basis of past
experience and objective evidence) to create a risk that decisions may be
unduly influenced by secondary interests.
The presence of a conflict of interest is independent of the occurrence of
impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and
voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs.For Example: When a
government official has a personal monetary interest in a matter up for vote,
it is best for the official to abstain from voting to avoid the appearance of
a conflict of interest.
In an organizational setup there can arise a situation when the organization
goals and objectives do not remain in sync with the personal goals of its
employee in question. This is also called conflict of interest. For Example:
1. Persons conscience does not allow him to act in a manner his
organization wants him to act eg shooting a person in encounter might be
against personal ethics of the officer.
2. Persons beliefs eg religious notions and customs might come against his
professional course of action eg approving application of a homosexual
3. Persons greed/selfish motives might supersede the organizational goals
eg son of public servant working in an organization where govt has majority

Q. What is the view of the Supreme Court of India on the cases of conflict of
interest at high public offices? Do you think there should be a law to punish
individuals involved in such cases?

SC in Tansi Land Deal case (2003) has recommended for self-imposed

discipline, where persons in public life are expected to maintain high
standards of probity. SC in A.K Kraipak case acknowledges the fact that it
is difficult to show whether a person was biased in mind when he shows
favors to others.
Conflict of Interest comes under the principle of Natural Justice and is not
codified. According to the Supreme Court, the rules of Natural Justice are
not embodies, yet must be applied based on the facts and evidence of
individual cases.
Arguments supporting need for conflict of interest law to punish individuals:

Cases of conflict of interest increasing in public domain in India.

Such punitive law will act as deterrent for officials while showing favors to
individuals or industries in their official capacity

Arguments against:

There is still debate on definition of conflict of interest. In cases of financial

favour, it can be quantified but not in case of behavioral favor
There are enough provision in current laws like in Anti-Corruption Law or
cooling off period for officials

What should be done?

What should be done instead is to codify the principles which need to be

by officials in cases of Conflict of Interest. For eg. Canada has laid
down a Conflict of Interest and Post Employment Code while in the UK,
MPs need to declare Pecuniary interests in a register of financial interest.
In India, a start was made in the Rajya Sabha which has a register
of interest.
However, it is not public information. As a first step the register sho
uld be made public and a similar provision be made for the Lok Sabha and
state assemblies. The principle should also be extended to include top
officials in administration .
Codified principles for dealing with Conflict of Interest, along with publicly
interests by MPs, MLAs and top officials could have a salubrious im
pact on any misuse of official powers for personal interest.

Other Mitigations in case of Conflict of Interest:

Recusal: Those with a conflict of interest are expected to recuse themselves

from (i.e., abstain from) decisions where such a conflict exists. Judges are
supposed to recuse themselves from cases when personal conflicts of
interest may arise.
Disclosure: Politicians and high-ranking government officials should
disclose financial informationassets such as stock, debts such as loans,
and/or corporate positions held, typically annually.
Removal: Sometimes, people who may be perceived to have a conflict of
interest resign from a position or sell a shareholding in a venture, to eliminate
the conflict of interest going forward. For example, Lord Evans resigned as
a non-executive director of the UK National Crime Agency after a tax-
avoidance-related controversy about HSBC, where Lord Evans was also a
non-executive director.

Sources of ethical guidance: Laws, rules, regulations and conscience


Conscience is an aptitude, intuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing

right from wrong. In psychological terms conscience is often described as
leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go
against his moral values and and feelings of pleasure and well-being when
our actions, thoughts and words are in conformity to our value systems..
Etymologically the word conscience derives from the Latin conscienta,
meaning with-knowledge .In the Greek word translation, conscience
means moral awareness. Commonly used metaphors for conscience
include the voice within and the inner light. It implies a persons moral
sense of right and wrong as well as consciousness of ones own actions.
Expressions such as gut feeling and guilt are often applied in conjunction
with conscience. In this sense the conscience is not necessarily a product
of a rational deduction but is something that can be influenced by the
indoctrination of ones parentage, social class, religion or culture.
The extent to which conscience informs moral judgment before an action
and whether such moral judgments are or should be based in reason has
occasioned debate through much of the history of philosophy.
John Locke argued that the conscience was proof for the concept of innate
principles but deliberated whether these principles provide moral absolutes,
whether they are objective or subjective if conscience be a proof of innate
principles, contraries may be innate principles; since some men with the
same bent of conscience prosecute what others avoid. Thomas Hobbes
likewise pragmatically noted that the conscience can be potentially mistaken
therefore opinions formed on the basis of conscience, even with full honest
conviction should not always be trusted.
According to Fromm it is a reaction of ourselves to ourselves; the voice of
our true selves that guides us to achieve our full potential. Sigmund Freud
believed that conscience was acquired through experience and that it was
the part of the human mind that seeks to make sense of disorder and to deal
with the internal conflicts caused by guilt. He believed that the conscience
was influenced by both early and later life beliefs.
Immanuel Kant formulated the idea of the critical conscience which was
rather like a court of law in our minds where the prosecutors or conscience
excuse or accuse thoughts and actions. He also argued that although moral
people feel contentment within the soul after following the instruction of
ones conscience, they should not do good deeds for the sake of
experiencing this inner peace, rather they should do it as part of their duty.
Rousseau expressed a similar view that conscience somehow connected
man to a greater metaphysical unity.
A conscience aims to make moral decisions in overwhelming forces of
inescapable situations despite the risk of adverse consequences. If
conscience goes, then everything collapses, conscience is central to our
identity and it is as component in the moral decisions making process,
however, failure to acknowledge and accept that conscientious judgements
can be seriously mistaken on account of their relativistic nature, may only
promote situations where one`s conscience is manipulated by others to
provide unwarranted justifications for non-virtuous and selfish acts.
Without adequate constraint of external, altruistic, normative justification,
conscience may be considered morally blind and dangerous both to the
individual concerned and humanity as a whole.

Is Conscience the most reliable guide to ethical decision making? Discus.

It is debateable as to whether or not the conscience is the most reliable form

of decision making or not. However there are many different opinions on
conscience when it comes to decision making. The idea of the conscience
has developed from early christian views, however it has now developed
through the psychological views of it being linked or part of the mind. The
idea of the conscience was also later developed by Freud who suggested
that the conscience could be explained best by using scientific knowledge
instead of using religious views and opinions on the conscience.
Secular perspectives of the conscience support the statement that the
conscience is not a reliable guide to ethical decision making as it
demonstrates that there is subjectivity within our moral values due to
individual experiences and upbringing. Ethical decision-making help us to
make the correct decisions when it comes to moral judgement. However,
the secular approaches do not provide an accurate method of understanding
what the right path is.
St Paul believed the conscience was a moral guide, which is within and
doesnt need any rules or theories to be followed. St Pauls idea of the
conscience is universal to everyone this means that you dont have to be a
christian to relate and use the conscience as a moral guide. St Pauls idea
is that everyone has a conscience within as a moral guide. However it may
not always be best use our conscience as our moral guide. As if we do use
our conscience, the how can people be committed for crimes, as they
believed it was right.
Butler was a christian theologian and philosopher who believed that the
conscience was a God given ability to reason. Due to the fact that they were
both christians St Paul and Butler agreed on many of their ideas. Butler
thought that the conscience should be seen as a judge within everybody, a
judge that makes moral decisions for us, he suggests that as it is within all
of us and appears to have a higher authority we therefore must listen to it,
and take on board the decision in which our conscience makes. One of the
main weaknesses is the idea that not everyone can have the same type of
conscience as young children and people with mental illnesses will not have
the same.
Saint Augustine saw the conscience as the voice of God speaking to us from
within it is the law of God in our hearts that we use to understand right and
wrong actions. For him, the conscience must always be in every
circumstance turned towards the good and away from all that is evil.
Hence from religious perspectives state that the conscience is a reliable
guide to ethical decision-making as it relies on our innate ability to determine
what is good and bad.

How conscience can act as source of ethical guidance for bureaucrats, politicians
and citizens in a democratic set- up.?

Conscience is the inherent intuitive capacity to differentiate between right

and wrong. Inner Voice is important especially in democracy as it has
multiple stakeholders such as citizens,NGOs,corporates to be administered
by the politicians who are elected by them only.
But at individual level.every person has conscience which helps them to
take important decision.Thus it can act as strong tool to evade away the
individual self centered thinking.
Political Level:- Conscience can help in reducing corruption,nepotism and
profit seeking behaviour.Thus provoke them to act in benevolence of society
at large and uphold the constitution principles. At each and every decision
they should keep in mind that they were elected to serve the citizens and
not to serve their own needs and greeds
Bureaucratic Level- the crisis of conscience is important whether to just
mere follow the orders from superiors v/s to follow the right path
of judgement.Theinherent voice of serving the nation maintaining highest
standards of integrity and probity is important as they are link between
citizens and politicians.
Citizen Level:- Collective and individual conscience of citizens is very
important because it defines the existing society conditions. eg.- keeping
surrounding clean,actively participating in elections,dissent to
undemocractic principles.Thusadhering to it will also curb mob injustice
such as riots.lynching of criminals.
Moreover it is important to actively excel and improve at individual and
institution level.Thus if everyone acts and adhere to there principles values
,the moral degradement can be curbed and faith in governing institutions
can be reinstituted.

Difference between Laws and Rules:

The main difference between rules and laws is the consequences

associated with breaking them. While each is developed to invoke a sense
of order, fair play, and safety, the weight of a law is much heavier than the
weight of a rule.
Laws are like the legal version of rules. When you are a child, a parent sets
rules to be followed. When you are in a society, the government sets laws
to be followed.
Laws are written in specific code so that they can be interpreted as needed.
When you break a law there is legal action that follows.
Rules are more flexible and carry low end consequences. You can set up
rules for games, rules for the home, even rules for fighting. Rules are often
adjusted as the conditions and circumstances of change.
Laws must be passed through due process in order to take effect. A law
starts off as a bill, and must go through a series of checks, balances, and
votes in order to become a law. Rules are merely set and adjusted as the
need arises.
Rules help us learn to prepare for living in society. As youngsters, we tend
to learn that there are rules about hitting, stealing, lying, and being wasteful.
Laws are not meant to set teaching boundaries, but are there to be enforced.


Regulations can be used define two things; a process of monitoring and

enforcing legislations and a written instrument containing rules that have law
on them.
Regulations are usually made by the executive for smooth functioning of the
laws. Laws usually provide a skeletal framework for addressing a subject.
Regulations are meant for providing a detailed and intricate framework for
making the laws work.

Q. Examine the differences between rules, laws and regulations. How they guide
our ethical behaviour? Explain a situation where these three can be overridden by
ones conscience.
Q. For a civil servant what qualities are required to withstand pressure from various
influential sections to stick to rule book and follow his/her conscience as sources
of ethical guidance to do the right thing?
What is accountability?

Accountability is to take complete responsibility by a person or an

organization for what he/she or the organization did or failed to do (which
was their duty) and must be able to give a satisfactory reason for it and the
use of authority entrusted in them to carry out that responsibility. It is to
check whether a work was done or not and Accountability as a process is
performed after the work is completed or is supposed to have been
As an aspect of governance, it has been central to discussions related to
problems in the public sector, nonprofit and private (corporate) and
individual contexts.
In leadership roles, accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption
of responsibility for actions, decisions, policies and resulting consequences.
Civil servants though not directly accountable to the People or their
representatives but there are Vigilance authorities and Ombudsman in all
organisations to keep a tab on them and also they are indirectly accountable
for their action/exercise of authority to the people through the political
executive (who are answerable to the Houses of Parliament for their
Ministries) and Courts of Law. If there is no accountablility then the civil
servants would turn in to despots, arbitrary and corrupt.

What is difference between accountability and responsibility ?

The main difference between responsibility and accountability is that

responsibility can be shared while accountability cannot. Being accountable
not only means being responsible for something but also ultimately being
answerable for your actions.
Also, accountability is something you hold a person to only after a task is
done or not done. Responsibility can be before and/or after a task.
In ethics and governance, accountability is answerability, blameworthiness,
liability, and the expectation of account-giving. Responsibility may refer to:
being in charge, being the owner of a task or event.
Example: It is DMs responsibility to make sure everyone in his district is
given Aadhar Card. So DM will be aware of this task and keep working. At
this point, you cannot say DM has been held accountable for performing this
task. DM is only held accountable owes an explanation for his actions
if he could not finish the task in stipulated time or there were many errors.

Types of Accountability:

Political accountability is the accountability of the government, civil servants

and politicians to the public and to legislative bodies such as a parliament.
Ethical Accountability: Within an organization, the principles and practices
of ethical accountability aim to improve both the internal standard of
individual and group conduct as well as external factors, such as sustainable
economic and ecologic strategies.
Administrative Accountability: Internal rules and norms as well as some
independent commission are mechanisms to hold civil servants within the
administration of government accountable. Within department or ministry,
firstly, behavior is bound by rules and regulations; secondly, civil servants
are subordinates in a hierarchy and accountable to superiors. Nonetheless,
there are independent watchdog (Like CAG) units to scrutinize and hold
departments accountable; legitimacy of these commissions is built upon
their independence, as it avoids any conflicts of interests.
There can be many other types of Accountability.

Accountability Dilemma

Because many different individuals in large organizations contribute in many

ways to the decisions and policies, it is difficult even in principle to identify
who should be accountable for the results. This is what is known as
the problem of many hands. It creates a dilemma for accountability.
If individuals are held accountable or responsible, individuals who could not
have prevented the results are either unfairly punished, or they take
responsibility in a symbolic ritual without suffering any consequences. If
only organizations are held accountable, then all individuals in the
organization are equally blameworthy or all are excused. Various solutions
have been proposed. One is to broaden the criteria for individual
responsibility so that individuals are held accountable for not anticipating
failures in the organization.

Ethical Issues in International Relations And Funding(GS Paper 4)

Ethical Issues in International Relations:


International ethics refers to the good that international interactions,

exchanges, relations can bring to our planet earth and to all life forms and
which can be harmed by unfriendly, hostile, uncooperative behaviours.
Aware that the harms that one country can do to another and to the
international space and relations, international ethics offers insights into how
nations and other entities treat other nations and its people.
Knowledge of international ethics provides us with insights to assess the
good and harms, the rights and wrongs, which can occur in the international
space. For example, the UN has been promoting various principles of
friendly and cooperative and peace related humanitarian international
actions by all the member countries.
The community of nations which stands to respect other nations and their
interests can itself be harmed by the dominant nations willing to impose their
interests and will on other poorer nations when poorer nations are unwilling
to cooperate without being treated as equals.
Various agencies of the UN by their presence and action in various
countries, promote certain universal principles that transcend the
boundaries of individual nations and the ethical principles pursued by
individual nations.
International ethic is not simply an ethic of some dominant country, it is not
simply an ethic of a powerful country having obligations towards others
because of the power they have over others.
International ethics may be fruitfully defined as that which enables one to
participate more actively in shaping and building good international
community. The vision of international community that every country has
and reality of an international community provides us with food for thought
on what ought to be the nature and purpose of investing in international
relations to build an international community.
The challenges of international conflicts have to be addressed with courage
to embark upon studying what international community promotes and builds,
whether perpetual peace and justice provide the much needed foundation
on the basis of which it can thrive and flourish. What would be necessary for
the existence of such an international community of peace and justice
between nations and people?

International Spaces and International Ethics:

Nations and multinational organizations were the first ones to cross the
boundaries of national domestic spheres to trade or interact with other
nations and organizations. Every nation had its own focus, as nations
adopted the production methods, technologies, political systems and legal
systems from other nations, similar problems began to appear in almost
every country. These were not regarded as shared problems that required
joint action by all those affected by it. Each country was largely responsible
for problems occurring within it. But overtime today we see more and more
interconnectedness between people and nations, we see greater
interdependence and greater shared responsibilities, which call on nations
and other multinational organizations to act jointly. In many spheres
international joint action becomes necessary. International ethics may be
seen as responding to this need for international action.
International ethics guides international relations and resolution of
international conflicts. International ethics guides the international
environmental effort to fight against ozone depletion, global warming, etc
which are common shared problems and which require actions from many
nations who are major contributors to forces generating such problems.
International spaces have been filled with governmental organizations and
non-governmental organizations having ownership and /or control over
issues and aspects that are central to life. There have been democratic
governmental organizations and non-democratic governmental
organizations interacting and operating in that space. There have been for
profit business corporations (MNCs, TNCs, etc) and not-for-profit non-
governmental organizations operating in the international space.
International spaces are filled with goods and services that are global
commons, global public goods and services, collective goods and services
that are owned or controlled by more than one individual organization, that
are central to human life. Who is excluded from the international space and
who is included in the international space and the reasons of those
exclusions or inclusions have a bearing on the expanding nature of the
international space and the quality of international relations existing and
those continue to be built in it.
Recognizing the power that human collectives have over nature and
economic and social goods and services in the international spaces, it is
easier to see how different organizations may be working at counter
purposes or competitive purposes. It is also easy to see how and why harms
may be done by one against another and without any hope of international
Many issues which have deep ethical implications are present in
international spaces that we create or in which we participate in many
different ways. International relations can easily thrive in a global system
renewed constantly by greater levels of sensitivity to international ethics.

Power and International Ethics:

At various times the world attention, gets itself focused on the most powerful
nation, both domestically and internationally, a nation that is willing to
impose its powerful will on the world, taking into task any nation that
challenged its authority and its interests. Many wars and conflicts are indeed
triggered by the unilateral moves of dominant nations against other nations
that threatened its global interests. International ethics is influenced by
various philosophies of international and national power and how this power
is played out.
There are beliefs in some quarters that power does not follow any rules and
this reasoning (thought faulty) is extended to apply to international spaces
and relations. In its so called anarchy nature, this belief in power,
particularly power not following any rules tilts the global balance in favour of
powerful nations and entities and is unfavourable to less powerful nations
and entities. What prevails is simply the anarchy of a dominant power
imposing its will at will on other nations and entities. Under such
assumptions, justice follows national boundaries without any space for
international or global justice.
In contrast to anarchy nature of power, that is, power which does not follow
any rules, we can have alternative belief that, yes there is international
power, but that power follows certain rules which provide an international
order which is qualitatively different from the previous case of anarchy.
Power that follows rules of international order is better than power that does
not. Some philosophical questions may still be raised: Why power and why
follow rules if one has power.

Philosophy of International Ethics:

(a) Realism and International Ethics

Realism focuses on a single reality, international power. It is the power that

one nation has to influence another nation directing and shaping its destiny
in the direction it desires namely into a kind of tacit servitude of serving and
protecting its interests at the cost of the other. In the international realm,
realism holds that the only thing that really matters is power what power a
country has. Nothing else matters morality, ethics, law, and political
systems, legal systems, cultural systems are all irrelevant. The argument
appears to be that in international sphere human nature is such that no one
can be trusted each seeks to dominate the other. Either one country will
dominate the other or the other will try to dominate the first, so it is better to
be the dominating or dominant country. The realist approach to international
sphere or international relations is simply to deny any role for common or
shared ethics, and create an ethically neutral zone or an ethics free zone
which can be filled by the power of one who is dominant.
Obviously others will perceive realist conception of international space,
international relations based solely on the principle of power as quite
unjust. There is nothing in realist conception or in realism that prevents
someone from making an ethical assessment of the power motivation and
the dominant actions of the dominant country and be able to withstand such
pressure and claim it to be unethical or unjust. For many people, the attempt
to control other people and direct their destinies in the international sphere
is repugnant and demoralizing.The old saying may be invoked implicitly, that
power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.When power is
the sole basis of international relations and international action,
assessments will be coloured by such perceptions.
Realism conceives the international sphere as a space where anarchy
prevails and there are no rules. Why would anyone follow rules made
externally or made by another? What binding power those rules have that
are not made internally? Is a country free if it follows the rules made by
another? This claim that there are no binding rules in the international
sphere that international relations are committed to follow appears
questionable. What if there were agreements between international parties,
would those agreements be binding and if so would the rules on the basis
of which such agreements made appear to hold. As a test case, consider
human rights or human dignity. Do these rules hold in the international
sphere and in international relations? Who will enforce them if they hold?
Who will hold another accountable for their violations? Thus in realist
conceptions, if power is the only thing that works in international relations,
then human rights violations or human dignity violations will continue to
occur and there will be no one to stop them except a power greater than
Thus the realist position or realism tends towards a preference for war as
the ultimate way to resolve international conflicts to bring about international
order by imposing the order of the winners of the conflict. Realism
sentiments within Nations may make it rational to pursue power, create
power distance and dominance over its neighbours and at the same time
seek to balance power by aligning sufficient number of states for a country
to counter the power influence of those nations opposed or against it. In this
way realism, in thought, word and deed, creates and spawns a world
fundamentally divided into two. There will be no unipolar world for sure, the
fact that one exists after the collapse of the Soviet Union is only a temporary
phase, somewhat illusionary. The world soon responds by restoring and
creating balance of power. Such a world where balancing power exists
certainly will not rule out world wars or wars in general.
Pursuing realism and realist policies will be detrimental to our common world
with its common vision of a humane future for everyone. Realism is
incapable of enabling such an achievement. Realism as a field is necessary
ingredient for creation of a superpower and a relative independence or
servitude as the case may be for others in relation to it. Currently only one
country still retains the status of a superpower, and others are expected to
follow its lead.
Realism is a theory of balance of power that maintains the power balance in
the world. All we can expect is that the most powerful nation on earth will
have no one to challenge its power and so there will be peace. This is just a
conventional thinking. Deeper reality shows, its power is already being
challenged, the name and form of war has changed, shadows overcast over
many relations have not disappeared, they remain. There is no real peace.
Realism does well in terms of trade as trade terms are set by the powerful
against the weak to reflect the power imbalance and the power advantages.
International ethics then, in so far realism is concerned is just the field of
international trade wars and international war and peace and the necessity
of having some kind of international justice dictated and dominated by the
rule of the powerful, the dominant country in the relation.

(b) Idealism and International Ethics

Idealism focuses on common interests between nations, and not

necessarily at the power or power distance or at power balance. It seeks to
build the international sphere on the basis of idealist values that are of
common interests to nations participating in any international issues and
Idealism built on common interests appears to be stronger in power than
unilateral power of realism and hence can have the potential to replace
realism in thought, word and deed and as a philosophical thought. Idealism
has the potential to create more lasting hopes of peace and of a growing
international sphere where mutual interests and common concerns are
addressed more earnestly in the true spirit of pursuing what can be regarded
as human purposes of human flourishing. Thus the rise of idealism holds out
a promise, even though conflicts remain.
Idealism points to trade interests between nations as common interests and
as platforms to build better, growing and mutually beneficial international
relations. The rise of international and global market place and the growing
interdependence between nations are shown to be aiding and being
supported by idealism. Human beings and humanity as a whole is capable
of displaying high levels of idealism.
In idealism, the international system, international order and the international
sphere follow rules, laws and institutions. In idealism, thus ethics, morality,
laws, legal systems, international institutions all have a central place. Thus
idealism contrasts sharply with realism which emphasized only power. The
world becomes less dramatic and less dangerous, even though conflicts are
far from removed.
International treatises, the UN organizations and the system, have a central
role and supports idealism and idealist thinking endorses it.These provide
international ethics guidance, even though it is voluntary, it has rational force
of assent and appeal to conscience to be accepted and guided by it.
Idealism challenges the dominant views of realism which holds that war is a
necessary consequence or necessary evil too easily justifiable by the
powerful. Idealism does not rule out the possibility of war, but holds out an
olive branch to those who can see reason and faith.

Size of Nation and The Economy:

The size of the nation in terms of population appears less of an influencing
factor as the population is contained by migration policies inhibiting or
prohibiting international movements in search of economic opportunities.
This may be challenged in the future years. Nations with older generations
and less younger generations will experience an imbalance of the need for
labour. So also nations with younger generations and less older generations
will also experience an imbalance.
International policies favour movement of talented and highly capable
populations. Various levels of cultural exchanges also take place as people
carry their culture with them and learn other peoples language and culture
as well. International understanding develops and grows. People move
across national boundaries and their international overseas interaction and
experience provides a dimension to international relations guided by
international ethics.
The size of the economy is even more influential driver of international
influence and relations. As international trade increases, this sphere of
international relations grows, interdependence increases, institutions that
facilitate this growth and maturity provide the international ethical guidance
necessary for growth and maturity of international relations. Particularly
nations which have large export sectors or large import sectors are
dependent on other economies for survival and growth and are vulnerable
to developments in the international sphere. For example, in August 2010,
the Press was full of news about China becoming the second largest
economy overtaking the Japanese economy. The USA remains by far the
single largest economy, but it is already feeling the heat of Chinese military
might and is revising its international strategy. The Chinese influence in the
global economy and in international relations between nations will be on the
rise and will find its rightful place in time as it competes with the USA for
supremacy. Chinese economy is about four times larger than that of India.
In international relations China is more influential than India. It is likely that
USA will do everything in its power to see that China does not come near to
its strength while pursuing friendly relations and cooperative relations with
China. China is also likely to do everything in its power to see that India does
not come near to its strength while pursuing more friendly and cooperative
relations with India than they were possible until recently.
The size of the economy and the size of the international exchanges (trade
and other interactions) define the space for international relations.
Something which is good for two or more countries increases their strategic
interdependence on each other, and strengthens them against outside
competitive challenges and threats.

Competition Between Nations:

Nations compete in the international space and national advantages are the
drivers of the space of international ethics. National disadvantages will work
against the expanded role of that nation in international ethics, while national
advantages are likely to facilitate its expansion.
It is easier to grasp the international problems and the ethical issues
associated with international problems when keeping the picture of various
nations competing with one another for natural resources, competing for
markets, competing for investments, competing for talents, competing for
technology and education.
Nations that do not show potential for competitiveness appear to be left
behind, partly due to its own policies and political interests. The measure of
success of a nation in international and global space is indicated by several
indices such as the freedom index, human development index,
happiness index, the human capital index, the natural capital index, the
standard of living index etc. These aspects along with other indices such as
poverty index, the inequality index, sustainability index etc., give a fairly
good idea of competitiveness of a country compared to others. The wide
differences between nations are causes for concern and it is also a driver as
nations take actions domestic and international actions which are aimed at
achieving improved ranking and positions compared to others.
Nevertheless competition is everywhere and nations have begun to learn
from each other and are competing to be better nations with better
governments. This is helping to maintain international ethics up to certain

Competing for Ecological System Advantages:

Nations are competing for ecological system advantages by doing what they
believe will help the environment to preserve its natural capacity and vitality
and which will secure for nations an ecological and economic advantage. At
the same time, they are not ready to bear much burden for the climate
change action which can hamper economic growth in short term.
Philosophical reflection on the natural environment has truly become
international and global phenomena. Various insights are available from
each of these fields for critical reflection on what harms human beings are
doing through the activities they carry out.
Almost every nation has made vision plans for long term future envisaging
the changes necessary say for 2020 or say for 2050 or say for 2100 etc
which have domestic and international implications and effects. All such
vision plans by various countries are drivers of international and global
ethics, they are fundamental claims and promises which are meant to be
realized and fulfilled.
Ecological systems concerns offer advantages to various nations for their
social and human well being. Environmental or Ecological ethics claims that
the only way humanity can survive is by having a new concept of eco-system

Interdependence, Cooperation amd Collaboration:

In the shadows of dominant countries, other nations have evolved certain

international cooperation and collaboration agreements for a variety of
reasons. We are used to seeing one country (a super power) having a
dominant role in international relations between nations. International
cooperation and collaboration are a measure of countries interdependence
with other nations. Such international cooperation provides a measure of
international order between them.
It is simpler to conceive of international ethics in the context of cooperation
and collaboration as these are based on recognition of their mutual interests
in each other. What one country has done to the people of another country,
what one group has done to another group provides the general field for
international ethics. There may be several fields in which international
cooperation has worked well and thus provides the basis for further
cooperation and collaboration.
Interdependence between nations through cooperation and collaboration,
can provide the basis for a law of peace to be established for relations
between people.

Diplomatic Relations and Understanding:

A small piece of every nation is in every other nation through its diplomatic
presence and is immune from the domestic laws of the country in which it
is present. Diplomatic initiatives are always available for nations to resolve
their differences and come to agreements that ensure peace and security
and also to further their rights and interests and to share duties and
The movement of people can be facilitated by the diplomatic presence and
provides another driver for international relations and international ethics
which guides it. Each country may have its own interests in another country
and or in promoting ties with other countries. In each country recognizing
the other, there is the international law of peace, even though it may not
resolve all conflicts between nations. A rule of reason can prevail under such

Defence and Military Enterprise:

Every country may be seen as using the power it has to achieve its global
interests. International ethics can also be regarded as the use of power by
one country against another country to achieve its global goals and
protecting its national interests. When aggressively pursued it may lead to
certain conflicts.
International conflict and wars are still a possibility and it may even be
influenced by the defence related establishments which have international
reach and influence. Countries choosing to live side by side by the law of
war cannot easily be persuaded to give up war or preparations for long term
uncertain wars. International conventions on international law of war may
be binding only when international community scrutinizes and insists on it.
For example, the news about China-Pakistan Nuclear Deal provides a
competitive nuclear flash point counter to USA-India Nuclear Deal making
the region more vulnerable to military presence in the Himalayas or border
regions, and thus putting a counter weight to world peace and security and
international relations.

The Poverty and Wealth of Nations:

Nations in search of having more wealth, have to reckon with poverty which
hinders them from being active and responsible international actors involved
and participating in emerging international issues. Poverty may be a
domestic issue, but casts a deep shadow over what a country can do
internationally or how inviting a country is for the rest of the world.
Reduction in poverty would be welcomed internationally. International law
of justice may be invoked to have nations pledge to reduce and remove
poverty wherever it is found, through responsible joint actions. The UN
framework on Millennium Development Goals calls on nations to reduce
poverty to half by 2015 and continue to reduce poverty around the world.
Recognizing that the poor of world have a share in the world in which they
live and that they have a share in the domestic and international economic
and social development is an important aspect of our increasingly global
Poverty measures, poverty indices, are available to guide policy. What
happens to the worlds poor is certainly a driver of international ethics.
Several international NGOs operating in this field to remove poverty have
frameworks for making decisions and choices which offers another field of
international ethics and can drive the values of global solidarity and justice.
In international ethics one would like to see richer nations helping poorer
nations. One would also like to see relations between them be transformed
into win-win relations for both and more beneficial to least advantaged
The Inequality of Nations:

We are in an unequal world and facts point out to a world growing in

inequalities. Inequalities point to certain conflicts which may be domestic in
origin or international, but they are indicators of disturbing trends. In an
unequal world, expectations of equity, international equity are high. Any
international action must aim at benefiting the least advantaged nations
more than that would be expected for a most advantaged nation. Otherwise,
it would appear there would not be an incentive for less advantaged or least
advantaged nations to participate in international actions. In cases of such
failures, only those international actions which are powered by dominant
nations will be carried through creating and endorsing a more divided world
with even a greater possibility of future conflict.
International ethics has to guide and deal with how international power is
used (or else it is likely to be abused). International inequalities imply that
some nations have international power while others do not have. There may
have been even historical injustices involved in the rise and fall of nations
and their international power. It is important to see international ethical
sensitivities harnessing international power for international growth and
development, peace and security etc.

Freedom of Speech:

Freedom of speech involves religion or world religions, the world press or

international press and media, the education sectors, the cultural
expressions, exchanges and products. Religions are influential actors in
international relations and international peace and security.
The international press is an actor and can blow the whistle on nations and
their covert or overt activities, revealing uncomfortable or unpalatable truths
to the international publics. Scrutiny of international relations, international
power etc are welcome and may be guided by rules of international media
ethics which would be part of international ethics as well.
The cultural exchanges provide a mutual appreciation of different culture
and cultural differences and a welcome richness of diversity and social
inclusion rather than the rampant social exclusion and discrimination.
The education sectors provide the foundation for true sustainable societies
and a better world for everyone. The future of the world is driven by what
happens to the education sector which spans internationally as people move
to countries to gain access to education they desire for their future well

Freedom of Information:
Another driver for international ethics and international actions is the
international and global flow of information. Underlying such actions and
activities are the issues of technology, particularly information technology
and to what use information and information technology is put internationally
and nationally by individuals and countries. Information can confer
advantages, so various international gatekeepers can control the flow of
information and thus the advantages or disadvantages or create destruction
of informational advantages. Information technologies and their use also
may be directed by ideas of international ethics.
Information technologies not only regulate the availability and flow of
information, they also make it easier for nations and people to communicate
conveniently, easily, without any government or individuals interfering in
their private conversations. Of course this may threaten some as it is
possible to carry out suspicious activity from the supposedly safe borders
of another country against some other country.
Information technology has blessings and also dangers for any country
because any country and individual can be reached potentially from
anywhere and anytime. To what use such power is put is not entirely
determined by national domains. If nations can use their power so also
individuals can use technology against certain countries and states to
counter such powers.

Scientific Research Agendas and Projects:

Science has been a driver of international and global developments. Every

country has its community of scientific advisers to offer best science advise
to their governments and these are in constant international and global
contact with their counter parts in exchanging ideas and scientific research
trends and information that could be strategically employed.
International ethics may be influenced and driven by developments in the
scientific research fields. Different research fields have different contexts
and so research ethics may be more contextual and international ethics then
follows various contextual offerings and multidimensional. This is not just a
matter of its scope but also of the very nature of international ethics that it is
constantly challenged by international and global research in various
Our scientists in every field have made critical progress in scientific
discoveries and through filtered policies both domestic and international and
through educational interchange and exchange, some benefits are offered
to humanity as a whole.

Constructivism and International Ethics:

Constructivism focuses on things like foreign policy, diplomatic initiatives,
etc to shape international relations and the international sphere where a
country has credible influence. In these things the focus is on domestic
politics and how it shapes foreign policy with what goals in mind. Every
nation and every state create a sense of national identity in various ways
and nurture it through historical and cultural celebrations and means. Thus
national identity is constructed and it in turn is said to influence the way the
nations interact. Basically constructivism allows for influence of national
identities and its constructions on the international sphere.
International sphere can also be a place where various identities can melt
into more humane understanding between people in and through the give
and take of identity respects and exchanges.
Constructivism shows that nations resist any threat to their identities,
nationalism, national sovereignty that are perceived. They need not be real
at all. This works against attempts to make the world a better place or to
change world systems or world order. All such attempts by other nations,
however rational they may be, will be resisted if national identity is not
respected. Constructivism gives more power to individual nations through its
focus on national identity (rather than national interest), which is politically a
more powerful instrument to having less to do with other nations in the
international sphere than with what furthers and promotes its own identity.
In the 21st century there is rise of identity politics and political power arising
out of it harnessed by interested parties for their own advantage. National
identities based on religious domains span across countries and will be able
to define international relations. Religious fault lines of conflict may
open up and trigger problems not only in the international sphere but within
a nation itself as a result. It will spread the fire of violence and anger rather
than the sparks of peace and humane relations. Identity tensions will be
strongly felt and whatever feeds identity tensions and forms them is far from
allowing people to be truly free and open in shaping the one world destiny
of all of human kind.
Cultural identities may not all be good, but they are to be respected even
when critically assessed for their role in shaping international spaces,
international sphere and international freedoms.

Cosmopolitanism and International Ethics:

Cosmopolitanism shares something in common with idealism, namely, do

the right thing. The right thing to be done is to behave as you would want
others to behave. It focuses on how we interact in a global community. It
holds that since we interact with other countries, we have a moral duty to
treat people of that country morally as moral people. Hence the prescription
in cosmopolitanism is to do the right thing. Cosmopolitanism thus
empowers international ethics and the development of global values and
ethics fully.
Cosmopolitanism argues for following morally lawful behaviour. Where rules
and laws do not exist, it would require that we come together and negotiate
the rules and laws that are ethical to follow and follow them in our relations
with people of other countries.
Cosmopolitanism is able to welcome people of all origins and identities
without any discrimination or treatment of them as means to some ends. It
will give importance to people, their freedom and rights rather than
sovereignty of nation states. Some may even use it to argue for a world
government which overrides national interests and boundaries. It is certainly
capable of universality in thought, word and deed, although we may not yet
see the development of such possibilities today.
Cosmopolitanism focuses on the international community as having an
important and in some cases decisive role on determining what a country or
nation should or should not do morally. Such developments may be resisted
by nations who feel they are at the receiving end of world opinion or world
politics and which prefer their national identity and sovereignty sentiments.

Constrained Choices and International Ethics:

International ethics guides our choices in the international sphere, but

evidently our choices are constrained rather than free. The choices
may be constrained by the necessity of pleasing the domestic political
support. The choices may be constrained by the identity politics. The
choices may be constrained by power equations and balances.
Many practical constraints may also be present, surely economic
constraints and national interest constraint will not be missing when
choices have to be made. Some have argued for preference given for
national interests when it is a choice of national interests versus global
interests. While accepting in general that a countrys goals must be
defended as morally right thing to do, a countrys goals and interests
are several and may be in conflict within themselves without any
clarity and more confusion that the general acceptance that it is moral
to defend a countrys goals becomes meaningless. It has no
normative force.
It is no doubt that morality implies choice between two or more
alternative states of action. It is sometimes argued that if the practical
necessities or constraints are such that they concern the survival or
extinction of a state or its identity, any such constraints make morality
or ethics, or law or political systems, irrelevant.

Equality of Life and International Ethics:

Every life may be considered as having equal moral weight. In this belief it
is the global interest that count as much as domestic interests. No
preference is given by governments or by anybody else to the welfare of
citizens of that country. There are no differentiating factors recognized
by such governments that distinguish between the welfare of its citizens and
those belonging to another country. Everyone has equal rights. Everyone is
treated equally in equal respects. In such cases and in the context of such
beliefs of equality of life, it becomes meaningful to make sacrifices for
People rarely sacrifice themselves for their own near and dear ones. But
people sacrificing themselves for others in the international space are truly
worthy examples of human greatness and the greatness to which human
spirit can rise.
Respect for life should guide international ethics, in thought, word and deed.
If you have to make decision about which world you want to live in, without
knowing what position you will be in, you would choose a world that protects
the weakest of the weak, the least advantaged. Such a world is full of
meaning of life and in such a world equality of life will be an accepted
principle. Such a world would accord even the unborn right to life, in the
principle of equality of all life.

Economic, Social and Environmental Frameworks and International Ethics:

Though context may differ, there are a number of frameworks available for
making decisions concerning international actions which have economic,
social, and environmental consequences and impacts over future
generations. There is a gap between any system of global and international
values and international ethics on the ground, because of the widening gap
in ground realities between nations and international organizations due to
levels of difficult conflict. The frameworks are evolved to provide a way out
of the conflict and they are useful to deal with a number of conflicting ideas
on international ethics.
The framework provided under UN by its various UN agencies, for example,
the framework of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the framework
of Universal Declaration of Human Genome and Human Rights, the
various international declarations and conventions do provide the necessary
framework for cooperative and collaborative international action necessary
to solve international problems.
There are several global institutions concerned with the global economic
order, others with the global information order, still others with the global
environmental regimes or order, etc. Each of them offers frameworks within
which its members are expected to make their choices and decisions
and those choices are respected and supported by virtue of the frameworks
agreed upon.

International Ethics: Thick or Thin?

In spite of the fact that in our everyday engagement in the international

domain we often frame the context, and our interactions with it, in ethical
terms, it is a commonplace amongst us that the ethical dimension of
international politics is in some general sense thin. Many of us persist in
holding to the position that ethical concerns are of minor relevance in the
domain of international politics. We hold that in some sense they are less
important in the international sphere than they are in other spheres of our
lives, including those to do with domestic politics within states; families;
tribes; clans and nations; and so on.
Are there good reasons for holding to the view that the ethical constraints
on international relations are thin? Many consider the following reasons to
be self-evident. First, we hold that, when looked at in the round, the
interaction between participants in the international domain is governed
more by a struggle for power than by our obedience to common ethical
constraints and a pursuit of commonly acknowledged ethical goals. For
example, it is often suggested that the USA interest in the Gulf is prompted
more by a material interest in stable oil supplies than by an ethical concern
for the human rights of the people in, for example, Iraq.
A second reason for considering the role of ethics to be thin in the sphere
of international relations is that we often present the domain as one within
which we nd ourselves confronted by a them whose ethical commitments
are different from ours. On this view we formulate our ideas about our
relationship to others in ethical terms and they do the same about their
relations to us, but between us there is no common ethicality in terms of
which we can settle our ethical differences about what counts as a just war,
what counts as the right treatment of an asylum seeker, an economic
refugee and so on.
Third, the thin notion of ethics in world affairs also stems from a widely
accepted assumption that relations between states are governed by
conventional rules agreed between them for pragmatic rather than ethical
Fourth, support for the thin view of ethics in international affairs is also
provided by reference to the fact of regular and severe conict between the
diverse actors in international affairs. The argument seems to be that the
fact of widespread conict in some sense proves the absence of a thick
ethical dimension to our com- mon life in this domain. The counter-factual
seems to be that, if there were a substantial ethicality between people on
the world stage, there would not be so many violent conicts.
Fifth, another factor which seems to point to the limited salience of ethics to
international relations is the limited time and effort that individuals,
politicians, theorists and states give to a serious and sustained discussion
of ethical questions in international affairs. Whereas time and money are
expended on research into the causes of conict, into the conditions for
peace, into the structures for peaceful and sustained economic
development, comparatively few resources are committed to a study of the
ethical questions.
Finally, a sixth factor supporting the thin view of ethics in inter- national
relations is found in the widespread belief that individual ethical
commitments are a matter of individual choice and that, therefore, it is wrong
to suppose that rational inquiry will reveal what the true ethical stance ought
to be for everyone.

Concept of public service, Governance and Probity

Public Service

The term public service carries different meanings. The first meaning of
public service is in the sense of a public utility, i.e., it refers to the kind of
services governments commonly provide- electricity, healthcare,
maintenance of law and order, urban and rural infrastructure, etc.- where the
prime criteria of success are availability, affordability and accessibility of
services. In this connection, the delivery of public service means the goods
and services offered by government institutions to the public, and it includes
the interface between the citizen and the administration.
A public service is a service which is provided by government to people.
Services are provided or supported by a government or its agencies. Public
service is done to help people rather than to make a profit.
A public service may sometimes have the characteristics of a public good
(being non-rivalrous and non-excludable i.e. individuals cannot be
effectively excluded from use and where use by one individual does not
reduce availability to others), but most cases public services are services.
Second meaning of public service refers to all the public functionaries
including all those working in the army as well as the judiciary and the


Probity is the evidence of ethical behaviour in a particular process. The term

probity means integrity, uprightness and honesty. For Government
employees and agencies, maintaining probity involves more than simply
avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It involves applying public sector
values such as impartiality, accountability and transparency.
Probity is also regarded as being incorruptible. However, probity goes
further than the avoidance of being dishonest because it is determined by
intangibles like personal and societal values. It is also regarded as strict
adherence to a code of ethics based on undeviating honesty, especially in
commercial (monetary) matters and beyond legal requirements.
Ensuring probity in public services is part of every public officials duty to
adopt processes, practices and behavior that enhance and promote public
service values.

Probity in Governance

Apart from the traditional civil service values of efficiency, integrity,

accountability and patriotism, it is necessary for civil servants to inculcate
and adopt ethical and moral values including probity in public life, respect
for human rights and compassion for the downtrodden and commitment to
their welfare.
Probity in governance is an essential and vital requirement for an efficient
and effective system of governance and for socio-economic development.
An important requisite for ensuring probity in governance is absence of
corruption. The other requirements are effective laws, rules and regulations
governing every aspect of public life and, more important, an effective and
fair implementation of those laws, etc.

Probity Principles

There are several generally accepted probity principles that serve to

maintain the integrity of a process. These are:
Accountability: It is the obligation to be able to explain or account for the way
duties have been performed. Government should have appropriate
mechanisms in place to show that they are accountable for their practices
and decisions.
Transparency: It is important that the process is transparent to the maximum
extent possible so that all stakeholders can have confidence in the
outcomes. Transparent, open processes also minimise the opportunity for,
and the risk of, fraud and corruption.
Confidentiality: As a condition of employment, all public servants are under
a general obligation of confidentiality to their employer. All Government
advisors, members and any other third party that is privy to commercially
sensitive information must provide a formal undertaking to Government that
they will keep this information confidential.
Management of Conflicts of Interest: A conflict of interest arises where an
individual associated with the process is, through their particular
associations or circumstances, influenced, or perceived to be influenced, to
obtain an unfair advantage for him or herself or another party. Conflicts of
interest are often unavoidable. However, provided they are identified early
and dealt with effectively, they need not prejudice the process. It is important
to ensure that individuals associated with the process are aware of how a
conflict of interest arises and their responsibilities to report conflicts, ensure
conflicts are adequately addressed, and ensure the manner in which they
have been addressed is adequately documented. Policies to deal with
potential conflicts of interest should be established at the outset, rather than
attempting to manage such issues on an ad-hoc basis as they arise.

Philosophical Basis of Governance and Probity

The ethical concerns of governance have been underscored widely in Indian

scriptures and other treatises such as Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagvad
Gita, Buddha Charita, Arthashastra, Panchatantra, Manusmriti, Hitopadesh
etc. Also the maxims on ethical governance were provided by the Chinese
philosophers such as Lao Tse, Confucius and Mencius.
In the Western philosophy, there are three eminent schools of ethics.

1. The first, inspired by Aristotle, holds that virtues (such as justice, charity and
generosity) are dispositions to act in ways that benefit the possessor of
these virtues and the society of which he is a part.
2. The second, subscribed to mainly by Immanual Kant, makes the concept of
duty central to morality: human beings are bound, from knowledge of their
duty as rational beings, to obey the categorical imperative to respect other
rational beings with whom they interact.
3. The third is the utilitarian viewpoint that asserts that the guiding principle of
conduct should be the greatest happiness (or benefit) of the greatest

The Western thought is full of ethical guidelines to rulers, whether in a

monarch or a democracy. These concerns are found in the writings of Plato,
Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Penn, John
Stuart Mill, Edmund Burke, and others.
The gist of wisdom on administrative ethics is that the public administrators
are the guardians of the Administrative state. Hence, they are expected to
honour public trust and not violate it. Two crucial questions raised in this
context are why should guardians be guarded? And Who guards the
guardian? The administrators need to be guarded against their tendency to
misconceive public interest, promote self-interest, indulge in corruption and
cause subversion of national interest. And they need to be guarded by the
external institutions such as the judiciary, legislature, political executive,
media and civil society, organisations. These various modes of control
become instruments of accountability.
The current discipline of public administration accords primacy to the
values of equity, justice, humanism, human rights, gender equality and
compassion. The movement of Good Governance, initiated by the World
Bank in 1992, lays stress on the ethical and moral conduct of administrators.
While the New Public Management movement is more concerned with
administrative effectiveness, the New Public Administration focuses on
administrative ethics in its broader manifestation. Both the movements are
complementary to each other. This complementarity of foci is as truer today
as it was a hundred years ago when the industrial world was experiencing
the rise of Scientific Management amidst a strong acceptance of the notion
of administrative responsibility. John Kennedy, during his Presidency of USA
(1961-1963) had averred: No responsibility of government is more
fundamental than the responsibility of maintaining the higher standards of
ethical behavior.
The ideal-type construction of bureaucracy, propounded by Max Weber also
highlighted an ethical imperative of bureaucratic behaviour. Weber (1947)
observed: In the rational type, it is a matter of principle that the members of
the administrative staff should be completely separated from ownership of
the means of production and administration. Officials, employees and
workers attached to the administrative staff do not themselves own the non-
human means of production and administration. There exists, furthermore,
in principle complete separation of property belonging to the organisation,
which is controlled within the sphere of office, and the personal property of
the official, which is available for his own private uses.

Objective of Probity in Governance

To ensure accountability in governance;

To maintain integrity in public services;
To ensure compliance with processes;
To preserve public confidence in Government processes;
To avoid the potential for misconduct, fraud and corruption.

Difference between Amoral and Immoral:

Amoral is someone who is not aware (doesnt know) how to differentiate

between what is wrong and what is right. An amoral person has no sense of
care or conscience whether the act he is doing is morally wrong.
On the other hand, immoral is someone who does things that arent good
enough in the moral sense. Thus, this person continues to do things even if
he knows it is really wrong.

Right to Imformation

The right to information includes an access to the information which is held

by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to
inspect the work, document, records, taking notes, extracts or certified
copies of documents/records and certified samples of the materials and
obtaining information which is also stored in electronic form.
Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests
for government information.
Act provides for setting out the practical regime of right to information for
citizens to secure access to information under the control of public
authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the
working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information
Commission and State Information Commissions.
RTI Act 2005 extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and

Objective of the Right to Information Act :

The basic object of the Right to Information Act is to empower the

citizens,promote transparency and accountability in the working of the
Government,contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the
people in real sense.
It goes without saying that an informed citizen is better equipped to keep
necessary vigil on the instruments of governance and make the government
more accountable to the governed.The Act is a big step towards making the
citizens informed about the activities of the Government.
Revelation of information in actual practice is likely to conflict with other
public interests including efficient operations of the Governments, optimum
use of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of
sensitive information. So this Act harmonises these conflicting interests
while preserving the paramountcy of the democratic ideal.

Provisions of RTI Act 2005:

What is Information? (Section 2 (f))

Information is any material in any form. It includes records, documents,

memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders,
logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in
any electronic form.
It also includes information relating to any private body which can be
accessed by the public authority under any law for the time being in force.

What is Right to Information?

Right to Information means the right to information accessible under this Act
which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right

1. inspection of work, documents, records;

2. taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
3. taking certified samples of material;
4. obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video
cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such
information is stored in a computer or in any other device.

What is a Public Authority? (Section 2 (h))

A Public authority means any authority or body or institution of self- government
established or constituted

(a) by or under the Constitution;

(b) by any other law made by Parliament;
(c) by any other law made by State Legislature;
(d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and
includes any (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed; (ii) non-
Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by
funds provided by the appropriate Government.

What are obligations of Public Authority? (Section 4)

(1) Every public authority shall
(a)maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form
which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records
that are appropriate to be computerised are, within a reasonable time and subject
to availability of resources, computerised and connected through a network all over
the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated;
(b) publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act:

1. the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties;

2. the powers and duties of its officers and employees;
3. the procedure followed in the decision making process;
4. the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records;
5. a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting
of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice,
and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other
bodies are open to the public;
6. a directory of its officers and employees;
7. the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees,
including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;
8. the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all
plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made;
9. the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information;
10. the names, designations and other particulars of the Public
Information Officers;
11. such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update
these publications every year;

(c) publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the
decisions which affect public
(d) provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected
(2) It shall be a constant endeavour of every public authority to take steps to
provide as much information suo motu to the public at regular intervals through
various means of communications, including internet, so that the public have
minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information.
(3) Every information shall be disseminated widely and in such form and manner
which is easily accessible to the public.
(4) All materials shall be disseminated taking into consideration the cost
effectiveness, local language and the most effective method of communication in
that local area and the information should be easily accessible, to the extent
possible in electronic format with the Central Public Information Officer or State
Public Information Officer, as the case may be, available free or at such cost of the
medium or the print cost price as may be prescribed.
What is Competent Authority?
Competent authority means

1. the Speaker in the case of the House of the People or the Legislative
Assembly of a State or a Union territory having such Assembly and the
Chairman in the case of the Council of States or Legislative Council of a
2. the Chief Justice of India in the case of the Supreme Court;
3. the Chief Justice of the High Court in the case of a High Court;
4. the President or the Governor, as the case may be, in the case of other
authorities established or constituted by or under the Constitution.
5. the administrator appointed under article 239 of the Constitution;
What is a Public Information Officer? (Section 5)

Public authorities have designated some of its officers as Public Information

Officer. They are responsible to give information to a person who seeks
information under the RTI Act.
According to the Act, every public authority shall, within one hundred days
of the enactment of this Act, designate as many officers as the Central Public
Information Officers or State Public Information Officers, as the case may
be, in all administrative units or offices under it as may be necessary to
provide information to persons requesting for the information under this Act.
The Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer
may seek the assistance of any other officer as he or she considers it
necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties. For the purposes of
any contravention of the provisions of this Act, such other officer whose
assistance has been sought, shall be treated as a Central Public Information
Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be.

What is an Assistant Public Information Officer?

These are the officers at sub-divisional level to whom a person can give his
RTI application or appeal. These officers send the application or appeal to
the Public Information Officer of the public authority or the concerned
appellate authority. An Assistant Public Information Officer is not responsible
to supply the information.
The Assistant Public Information Officers appointed by the Department of
Posts in various post offices are working as Assistant Public Information
Officers for all the public authorities under the Government of India.

What is the Fee for Seeking Information from Central Government Public

A person who desires to seek some information from a Central Government

Public Authority is required to send, along with the application, a demand
draft or a bankers cheque or an Indian Postal Order of Rs.10, payable to
the Accounts Officer of the public authority as fee prescribed for seeking
information. The payment of fee can also be made by way of cash to the
Accounts Officer of the public authority or to the Assistant Public Information
Officer against proper receipt.
However, the RTI Fee and the mode of payment may vary as under Section
27 and Section 28, of the RTI Act, 2005 the appropriate Government and
the competent authority, respectively, by notification in the Official Gazette,
make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.
The person making request for the information shall be provided the
information free of charge where a public authority fails to comply with the
time limits specified in this Act.

What is the Fee for the BPL applicant for Seeking Information?

If the applicant belongs to below poverty line (BPL) category, he is not

required to pay any fee. However, he should submit a proof in support of his
claim to belong to the below poverty line.

Is there any specific Format of Application?

There is no prescribed format of application for seeking information. The

application can be made on plain paper. The application should, however,
have the name and complete postal address of the applicant.

Is it required to give any reason for seeking information? (Section 6(2))

The information seeker is not required to give reasons for seeking


Is there any provision for exemption from Disclosure of Information?

Sub-section (1) of section 8 and section 9 of the Act enumerate the types of
information which is exempt from disclosure.
Sub-section (2) of section 8, however, provides that information exempted
under sub-section (1) or exempted under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 can
be disclosed if public interest in disclosure overweighs the harm to the
protected interest.

Section 8:
(1) There shall be no obligation to give any citizen,
(a) information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and
integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the
State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;
(b) information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court
of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;
(c) information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of
Parliament or the State Legislature;
(d) information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual
property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third
party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants
the disclosure of such information;
(e)information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the
competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the
disclosure of such information;
(f)information received in confidence from foreign Government;
(g) information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety
of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in
confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;
(h) information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension
or prosecution of offenders;
(i) cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers,
Secretaries and other officers provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers,
the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were
taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken.
(j) information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no
relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted
invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Public Information Officer or the
appellate authority is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure
of such information provided that the information which cannot be denied to the
Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.
(2)Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 nor any of the
exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may
allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to
the protected interests.
(3) Subject to the provisions of clauses (a), (c) and (i) of sub-section (1), any
information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place,
occurred or happened twenty years before the date on which any request of
information is made shall be provided to any person making a request, povided
that where any question arises as to the date from which the said period of twenty
years has to be computed, the decision of the Central Government shall be final,
subject to the usual appeals provided for in this Act.
Section 9:

Public Information Officer may reject a request for information where such
a request for providing access would involve an infringement of copyright
subsisting in a person other than the State.

Section 10(1):

Where a request for access to information is rejected on the ground that it is

in relation to information which is exempt from disclosure then access may
be provided to that part of the record which does not contain any information
which is exempt from disclosure under this Act and which can reasonably
be severed from any part that contains exempt information.
Is there any assistance available to the Applicant for filing RTI application?

If a person is unable to make a request in writing, he may seek the help of

the Public Information Officer to write his application and the Public
Information Officer should render him reasonable assistance.
Where a decision is taken to give access to a sensorily disabled person to
any document, the Public Information Officer, shall provide such assistance
to the person as may be appropriate for inspection.

What is the Time Period for Supply of Information?

In normal course, information to an applicant shall be supplied by PIO within

30 days from the receipt of application by the public authority. (or reject the
request for any of the reasons specified)
If information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person, it shall be
supplied within 48 hours.
In case the application is sent through the Assistant Public Information
Officer or it is sent to a wrong public authority, five days shall be added to
the period of thirty days or 48 hours, as the case may be.
If the Public Information Officer fails to give decision on the request for
information within the period specified Public Information Officer shall be
deemed to have refused the request.

Is there any provision of Appeal under the RTI Act?

If an applicant is not supplied information within the prescribed time of thirty

days or 48 hours, as the case may be, or is not satisfied with the information
furnished to him, he may prefer an appeal to the first appellate authority who
is an officer senior in rank to the Public Information Officer.
Such an appeal, should be filed within a period of thirty days from the date
on which the limit of 30 days of supply of information is expired or from the
date on which the information or decision of the Public Information Officer is
received. The appellate authority of the public authority shall dispose of the
appeal within a period of thirty days or in exceptional cases within 45 days
of the receipt of the appeal.

Is there any scope for second appeal under the RTI Act?

If the first appellate authority fails to pass an order on the appeal within the
prescribed period or if the appellant is not satisfied with the order of the first
appellate authority, he may prefer a second appeal with the Central
Information Commission within ninety days from the date on which the
decision should have been made by the first appellate authority or was
actually received by the appellant.

Can anyone go to the court against any order under this Act? (Section 23)

No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceeding in respect

of any order made under this Act and no such order shall be called in
question otherwise than by way of an appeal under this Act.

Whether Complaints can be made under this Act? If yes, under what conditions?

If any person is unable to submit a request to a Public Information Officer

either by reason that such an officer has not been appointed by the
concerned public authority; or the Assistant Public Information Officer has
refused to accept his or her application or appeal for forwarding the same to
the Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be;
or he has been refused access to any information requested by him under
the RTI Act; or he has not been given a response to a request for information
within the time limit specified in the Act; or he has been required to pay an
amount of fee which he considers unreasonable; or he believes that he has
been given incomplete, misleading or false information, he can make a
complaint to the Information Commission.

What is the Method of Seeking Information? (Section 6(1))

A citizen who desires to obtain any information under the Act, should make
an application to the Public Information Officer of the concerned public
authority in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the
official language of the area in which the application is made. The application
should be precise and specific. He should make payment of application fee
at the time of submitting the application as prescribed in the Fee Rules.
Where such request cannot be made in writing, the Public Information
Officer shall render all reasonable assistance to the person making the
request orally to reduce the same in writing.
The application has to be sent to the concerned Regional Head i.e. the
Public Information Officer of the Region to which the matter/information
pertains to, who shall dispose of the request within 30 days of the receipt of
the request.

What if request of information has been rejected?

Where a request has been rejected, the Public Information Officer shall
communicate to the person making the request,
1. the reasons for such rejection;
2. the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred;
3. the particulars of the appellate authority.

What if apllication is made to wrong public authority? (Section 6(3))

If an application is made to a public authority requesting for an

information, which is held by another public authority or the subject matter
of which is more closely connected with the functions of another public
authority, the public authority, to which such application is made, shall
transfer the application to that other public authority and inform the applicant
immediately about such transfer.

What is Third Party Information? (Section 11)

Third party in relation to the Act means a person other than the citizen who
has made request for information. The definition of third party includes a
public authority other than the public authority to whom the request has been

Section 11:
(1)Where Public Information Officer intends to disclose any information on a
request made under this Act, which relates to or has been supplied by a third party
and has been treated as confidential by that third party, Public Information Officer
shall within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such
third party of the request and of the fact that Public Information Officer intends to
disclose the information, and invite the third party to make a submission in writing
or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed, and such
submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about
disclosure of information:
Except in the case of trade or commercial secrets protected by law, disclosure may
be allowed if the public interest in disclosure outweighs in importance any possible
harm or injury to the interests of such third party.
(2) Where a notice is served by Public Information Officer, third party shall, within
ten days from the date of receipt of such notice, be given the opportunity to make
representation against the proposed disclosure.
(3)Public Information Officer shall within forty days after receipt of the request for
information, if the third party has been given an opportunity to make representation
under sub-section (2), make a decision as to whether or not to disclose the
information and give in writing the notice of his decision to the third party.
Is there any organization(s) exempt from providing information under RTI Act?
Yes, certain intelligence and security organisations specified in the Second
Schedule, are exempted from providing information excepting the
information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights
In the case of information sought for is in respect of allegations of violation
of human rights, the information shall only be provided after the approval of
the Information Commission. Such information shall be provided within forty-
five days from the date of the receipt of request.

Power and Functions of Information Commissions:

Section 18:
(1) It shall be the duty of the Central Information Commission or State Information
Commission, as the case may be, to receive and inquire into a complaint from any
(a) who has been unable to submit a request to a Central Public Information Officer
or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, either by reason that no
such officer has been appointed under this Act, or because Public Information
Officer has refused to accept his or her application for information or appeal under
this Act for forwarding the same to the Public Information Officer or senior officer
specified in sub-section (1) of section 19 or the Central Information Commission or
the State Information Commission, as the case may be;
(b) who has been refused access to any information requested under this Act;
(c) who has not been given a response to a request for information or access to
information within the time limit specified under this Act;
(d) who has been required to pay an amount of fee which he or she considers
(e) who believes that he or she has been given incomplete, misleading or false
information under this Act; and
(f) in respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to
records under this Act.
(2) Where the Information Commission is satisfied that there are reasonable
grounds to inquire into the matter, it may initiate an inquiry in respect thereof.
(3) The Information Commission shall, while inquiring into any matter under this
section, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit
under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in respect of the following matters,
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and compel them to give
oral or written evidence on oath and to produce the documents or things;
(b)requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavit;
(d) requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any court or office;
(e) issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents; and
(f)any other matter which may be prescribed.
(4)The Information Commission may, during the inquiry of any complaint under this
Act, examine any record to which this Act applies which is under the control of the
public authority.
Section 19:
(1)Any person who, does not receive a decision within the time specified or is
aggrieved by a decision of the Public Information Officer may within thirty days
from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an
appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer
or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each public authority.
Such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of thirty days if he
or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing
the appeal in time.
(2) Where an appeal is preferred against an order made by a Public Information
Officer to disclose third party information, the appeal by the concerned third party
shall be made within thirty days from the date of the order.
(3) A second appeal against the decision under sub-section (1) shall lie within
ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was
actually received, with the Central Information Commission or the State
Information Commission.
Information Commission may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of
ninety days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause
from filing the appeal in time.
(4) If the decision of the Public Information Officer relates to information of a third
party, the Information Commission shall give a reasonable opportunity of being
heard to that third party.
(5) In any appeal proceedings, the onus to prove that a denial of a request was
justified shall be on the Public Information Officer who denied the request.
(6) An appeal shall be disposed of within thirty days of the receipt of the appeal or
within such extended period not exceeding a total of forty-five days from the date
of filing, with reasons to be recorded in writing.
(7) The decision of the Central Information Commission or State Information
Commission, as the case may be, shall be binding.
(8)In its decision, the Information Commission has the power to
(a) require the public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to
secure compliance with the provisions of this Act.
(b)require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other
detriment suffered;
(c) impose any of the penalties provided under this Act;
(9) The Information Commission shall give notice of its decision, including any right
of appeal, to the complainant and the public authority.
Section 20:
Where the Information Commission is of the opinion that the Public Information
Officer has without any reasonable cause refused to receive an application for
information or has not furnished information within the time specified or malafidely
denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect information or
destroyed information or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it
shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is
received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty
shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees. Public Information Officer shall be
given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on
The burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Public
Information Officer.
(2) The Information Commission shall also recommend for disciplinary action
against the Public Information Officer under the service rules applicable to him.
Are political parties under RTI?

The Central Information Commission (CIC), consisting of Satyanand

Mishra, M.L. Sharma and Annapurna Dixit, has held that the political parties
are public authorities and are answerable to citizens under the RTI Act. The
CIC, a quasi-judicial body, has said that six national parties
Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI(M),CPI and BSP and BJD have been
substantially funded indirectly by the Central Government and have the
character of public authorities under the RTI Act as they perform public
In August 2013 the government introduced a Right To Information
(Amendment) Bill which would remove poiltical parties from the scope of the

Codes of Ethics and Codes of Conduct

Codes of ethics and conduct have proliferated in part because of increasing

public concern about the way Governments, organizations or companies do
business and engage with public or customer.
Codes of ethics, which govern decision-making, and codes of conduct,
which govern actions, represent two of the most common ways that
companies/Gov./Org. self-regulate. These codes provide direction to
employees and establish a public image of good behavior, which is
beneficiary for all.
Code of ethics and code of conduct specify the ethical standards that a
group (e.g., staff or a professional group) should follow in order to continue
as a member of the group. They are generally formally stated and members
are required to accept them as part of their membership of the group while
accepting employment/membership.
A/C to Resolution of UN Convention against Corruption states, Codes of conduct
for public officials:

1. In order to fight corruption, each State Party shall promote integrity, honesty
and responsibility among its public officials, in accordance with the
fundamental principles of its legal system.
2. In particular, each State Party shall endeavour to apply, within its own
institutional and legal systems, codes of conduct for the correct, honourable
and proper performance of public functions.
3. For the purposes of implementing the provisions of this article, each State
Party shall take note of the relevant initiatives of regional, interregional and
multilateral organizations, such as the International Code of Conduct for
Public Officials contained in the annex to General Assembly resolution,
4. Each State Party shall also consider establishing measures and systems to
facilitate the reporting by public officials of acts of corruption to appropriate
authorities, when such acts come to their notice in the performance of their
5. Each State Party shall endeavour to establish measures and systems
requiring public officials to make declarations to appropriate authorities
regarding their outside activities, employment, investments, assets and
substantial gifts or benefits from which a conflict of interest may result with
respect to their functions as public officials.
6. Each State Party shall consider taking disciplinary or other measures
against public officials who violate the codes established in accordance with
this article.

Code of Ethics:

A code of ethics is a document that outlines a set of principles that affect

decision-making. For example, a code of ethics might stipulate that XYZ
Corporation is committed to environmental protection and green initiatives.
The expectation is that individual employees, when faced with the option,
will select the greenest solution.

Code of Conduct:

A code of conduct outlines specific behaviors that are required or prohibited

as a condition of ongoing employment. A code of conduct outlines a
fundamental set of principles. It helps to explain why members of an
organization should behave in a certain way, what actions are prohibited and
also how to determine which action is ethical or unethical.
A code of conduct might forbid sexual harassment, racial intimidation or
viewing inappropriate or unauthorized content on organization computers.
These are rigorous standards that usually are tightly enforced by leaders.
There is considerable information that codes, along with other measures,
have helped pull some organizations out of the morass of scandal, and have
helped many organizations build a healthier work climate and reputation.
For Indian Civil Services, there is Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules,
The Narendra Modi government has issued a revised code of conduct for
bureaucrats that requires them to be politically neutral, honest, impartial and
maintain high ethical standards. The amended rules state that every
member of the All India Services, which includes the IAS and IPS, shall be
courteous and responsive to the public, particularly the weaker sections, and
ensure accountability and transparency in discharge of his duties.

Amended code of conduct for bureaucrats by Modi Government [All India Services
(Conduct) Amendment Rules, 2014]:

The Centre, based on consultations with the state governments issued the
All India Services (Conduct) Amendment Rules, 2014, stating, among other
things, that every member of the service shall take decisions solely based
on merit and in public interest and use public resources efficiently, effectively
and economically.
The new commandments prevent a bureaucrat from misusing his position to
take decisions that seek to derive financial or material benefit for himself, his
family or friends. Every member of the service shall make choices, take
decisions and make recommendations on merit alone, say the rules.
Another rule cautions civil servants against placing themselves under any
financial or other obligations to any individual or organisation which may
influence the performance of their official duties.

Importantly, babus will now be required to declare any private interests

relating to their public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts in a way
that protects the public interest.
Stressing on the need for confidentiality in key government matters, the rules
make civil servants liable to maintain confidentiality in performance of their
duties as required by the laws, particularly where the information or
disclosure may prejudicially affect the security of the State, strategic,
scientific or economic interests of the State, friendly relations with foreign
countries or lead to incitement of an offence or illegal or unlawful gains to
any person.
Other amendments require babus to perform their duties with a high degree
of professionalism; uphold supremacy of the Constitution; uphold
sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, public order,
decency and morality; maintain integrity in public service; act with fairness
and impartiality and not discriminate against anyone, particularly the poor
and under-privileged sections; and maintain discipline in discharge of duties
and be liable to implement lawful orders duly communicated to them.

Similarities between Codes of Ethics and Codes of Conduct:

Both codes are similar insofar as they attempt to encourage specific forms
of behavior by employees. Ethics guidelines attempt to provide guidance
about values and choices to influence decision-making, whereas conduct
regulations assert that some specific actions are appropriate or
inappropriate. In both cases, the organizations desire is to obtain a narrow
range of acceptable behaviors from employees.

Differences between Codes of Ethics and Codes of Conduct:

The codes attempt to regulate behavior in very different ways. Code of

Ethics generally are wide-ranging and non-specific, designed to provide a
set of values or decision-making approaches that enable employees to
make independent judgments about the most appropriate course of action.
Code of Conduct generally require little judgment; you obey or incur a
penalty, and the code provides a fairly clear set of expectations about which
actions are required, acceptable or prohibited.
The code of ethics for an organization or for a profession are developed
more in the form of statement of values and beliefs that defines an
organization or a group. Value statements are aspirational, while rules or
principles are the beliefs that individual members of an organization should
subscribe to in order to continue as members of the organization.
The code of conduct, on the other hand, translates the values (documented
in the code of ethics) into specific behavioural standards, keeping in mind
the possible reflection on the stakeholders interest.
Therefore, the codes of ethics are general guides to operational values and
decisions, while codes of conduct are more specific or formal statements of
the values and practices. Codes of conduct for any organization are better
understood through the mission statement of the organization.

Codes in Harmony:

Organizations often have both types of behavior code, or they are combined
into a general ethics document that mixes principles for the right action with
a list of actions that are required or prohibited.
Occasionally, large companies such as hospitals experience tension when
the corporate compliance leadership issues a code of ethics that
essentially is a code of conduct and another business unit (such as the
medical staff) issues a genuine code of ethics. This tension lessens for small
businesses, because it is easier for all employees to share the same basic


The main objective of the exercise to issue the Citizens Charter of an

organisation is to improve standard, quality and time frame of service
delivery, grievance redress mechanism, transparency and accountability.
This is done by letting people know the mandate of the concerned Ministry/
Department/ Organisation, how one can get in touch with its officials, what
to expect by way of services and how to seek a remedy if something goes
The Citizens Charter does not by itself create new legal rights, but it surely
helps in enforcing existing rights.
Fist time, the UKs Citizens Charter initiative aroused considerable interest
around the world and several countries implemented similar programmes.

Citizen Charter By Government of India:

Over the years, in India, significant progress has been made in the field of
economic development. This, along with a substantial increase in the literacy
rate has made Indian citizens increasingly aware of their rights. Citizens
have become more articulate and expect the administration not merely to
respond to their demands but also to anticipate them. It was in this climate
that since 1996 a consensus had evolved in the Government on effective
and responsive administration.
In a Conference of Chief Ministers of various States and Union Territories
held on 24 May, 1997 in New Delhi, presided over by the Prime Minister of
India, an Action Plan for Effective and Responsive Government at the
Centre and State levels was adopted. One of the major decisions at that
Conference was that the Central and State Governments would formulate
Citizens Charters, starting with those sectors that have a large public
interface (e.g., Railways, Telecom, Posts, Public Distribution Systems).
These Charters were required to include standards of service and time limits
that the public can reasonably expect avenues of grievance redress and a
provision for independent scrutiny with the involvement of citizen and
consumer groups.
Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, in the
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of
India, in its efforts to provide more responsive and citizen-friendly
governance coordinates the efforts to formulate and operationalise Citizens
Charters. Various Central Government Ministries/ Departments/
Organisations have brought out their Citizens Charters.
With a view to ensure effective implementation of Citizens Charter, Nodal
Officers have been appointed in the concerned Central Government
Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations.
Similar process can be adopted by State Governments or any other
Primarily an adaptation of the UK model, the Indian Citizens Charter has an
additional component of expectations from the clients or in other words
obligations of the users.

GOOD GOVERNANCE: Transparency + Accountability + Citizen

Friendliness => Citizens Charter.
Good Governance is the Technology Citizens Charter is the Tool

The spirit behind the Citizens Charter:

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not

dependent on us; we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption on our
work; he is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider on our business; he is
part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him; he is doing a favour
by giving us an opportunity to do so. (Mahatma Gandhi)

What is a Citizens Charter?

Citizens Charter is a document which represents a systematic effort to focus

on the commitment of the Organisation towards its Citizens in respects of
Standard of Services, Information, Choice and Consultation, Non-
discrimination and Accessibility, Grievance Redress, Courtesy and Value for
This also includes expectations of the Organisation from the Citizen for
fulfilling the commitment of the Organisation.

Who is a Citizen with reference to Citizens Charter?

The term Citizen in the Citizens Charter implies the clients or customers
whose interests and values are addressed by the Citizens Charter and,
therefore, includes not only the citizens but also all the stakeholders, i.e.,
citizens, customers, clients, users, beneficiaries, other Ministries/
Departments/ Organisations, State Governments, UT Administrations etc.
What Citizens Expect From Government Departments/Service Providers:

1. Reliability, i.e., consistency in performance.

2. Responsiveness, i.e., timely service.
3. Credibility i.e., having customer interest at heart.
4. Empathy, i.e., attention to customers needs.
5. Courtesy and care, i.e., physical evidence of willingness to serve

The principles of the Citizens Charter:

1. Quality: Improving the quality of services;

2. Choice: Providing choice wherever possible;
3. Standards: Specify what to expect and how to act if standards are not met;
4. Value: Add value for the taxpayers money;
5. Accountability: Be accountable to individuals and organisations; and
6. Transparency: Ensure transparency in

These were later elaborated by the Labour Government of UK as following nine

principles of Service Delivery (1998):

1. Set standards of service

2. Be open and provide full information
3. Consult and involve
4. Encourage access and the promotion of choice
5. Treat all fairly
6. Put things right when they go wrong
7. Use resources effectively
8. Innovate and improve
9. Work with other provider

Whether Ministries/ Departments/ Agencies of State Governments and UT

Administrations are also required to formulate Citizens Charters?

Citizens Charter initiative not only covers the Central Government

Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations but also the Departments/ Agencies
of State Governments and UT Administrations.
Various Departments/ Agencies of many State Governments and UT
Administrations have brought out their Charters. More than 600 Citizens
Charters have so far been issued by Agencies/ Organisations of 24 States/
Union Territories.

Whether Citizens Charter is legally enforceable?

No. The Citizens Charter is not legally enforceable and, therefore, is non-
justiciable. However, it is a tool for facilitating the delivery of services to
citizens with specified standards, quality and time frame etc. with
commitments from the Organisation and its clients

What is the role of Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances

in Citizens Charter Initiative in the Government?

Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Ministry of

Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India, in its
efforts to provide more responsive and citizen-friendly governance,
coordinates the efforts to formulate and operationalise Citizens Charters in
Central Government, State Governments and UT Administrations.
It provides guidelines for formulation and implementation of the Charters as
well as their evaluation.

What are the components a good Citizens Charter should have?

1. Vision and Mission Statement of the Organisation

2. Details of Business transacted by the Organisation
3. Details of Citizens or Clients
4. Statement of services including standards, quality, time frame etc. provided
to each Citizen/ Client group separately and how/ where to get the services
5. Details of Grievance Redress Mechanism and how to access it
6. Expectations from the Citizens or Clients
7. Additional commitments such as compensation in the event of failure of
service delivery.

How I should any organisation formulate its own Citizens Charter? Give the road

1. Setting up of a Task Force in the Organisation to formulate the Citizens

2. Identification of all stakeholders in the Organisation and major services
provided by Organisation;
3. Setting up of a Core Group in the Organisation consisting of representatives
from all stakeholders which inter-alia may include Top Management, Middle
Management, cutting-edge level, staff representatives, strategic partners,
Customers/ Clients etc.;
4. The Core Group shall oversee the formulation of the Citizens Charter and
approve it. It shall monitor its implementation thereafter.
5. Consultation with Clients/ Stakeholders/ Staff (Primarily at cutting-edge
level) and their representative associations;
6. Preparation of Draft Citizens Charter: (a) Circulation for comments/
suggestions (b)Modification of Charter to include suggestions.
7. Submission of draft Charter to Department of Administrative Reforms and
Public Grievances
8. Consideration of the Charter by Core Group
9. Modification of Charter by the Ministry/ Department on the basis of
suggestions/ observations by the Core Group
10. Approval by Minister-in-charge
11. Formal issue/ release of Charter and putting up on website
12. Sending copies to Peoples Representatives and all stakeholders
13. Appointment of a Nodal Officer to ensure effective implementation.
What are the dos and donts for an Organisation in formulation and implementation of Citizens Charter?

Dos Donts

1 Make haste, slowly. Dont merely make haste.

2 Dont be unrealistic in making

List areas of interface.

3 Phase out areas for Dont take on more than you can
introduction of small steps. commit.

Involve customer and staff in Dont involve only senior officers

4 formulating and in the formulation and
implementing it implementation.

Prepare a Master Plan for

Dont rush into an overall
5 formulation and
package for the whole Ministry/
implementation over five
Department/ Organisation.
years and budget for it.

Win consumer confidence

6 Dont promise more than you can
with small, highly visible
deliver at a given point of time.

Remember Citizens Charter

7 Dont look upon it as a one-time
is a constantly evolving
exercise, with a final outcome.

Dont inform the customer unless

8 Inform the customers of the
you are sure of delivering the
proposed commitments.

9 Dont use jargon, abbreviations

Use simple language.

Train your staff about their

10 role and responsibility in the Dont leave yourself out.
implementation of the
Delegate powers to the Staff
11 to enable them to discharge Dont centralise.
their responsibilities.

Dont continue blindly without

12 Set up systems for feedback
regular periodic reassessment of
and independent scrutiny.

The following lessons have been learnt from the experience to date of
implementing Citizens Charter initiative:

As with any new effort, the Citizens Charter initiative is bound to be looked
at initially with skepticism by bureaucrats as well as citizens. An effective
awareness campaign amongst all the stakeholders at the initial stage is
essential to overcome this skepticism. These awareness campaigns should
be designed and delivered innovatively and effectively.
The issuance of Citizens Charter will not change overnight the mindset of
the staff and the clients, developed over a period of time. Therefore, regular,
untiring and persistent efforts are required to bring about the attitudinal
A new initiative always encounters barriers and misgivings from the staff.
There is a natural resistance to change, particularly among the cutting-edge
staff. Involving and consulting them at all the levels of formulation and
implementation of Citizens Charter will go a long way in overcoming this
resistance and will make them an equal partner in this exercise.
Instead of trying to reform all the processes at once and encounter massive
resistance, it is advisable to break it into small components and tackle them
one at a time.
The charter initiative should have an built-in mechanism for monitoring,
evaluating and reviewing the working of the Charters, preferably through an
outside agency.

The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and
Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 (Citizens Charter):

This bill is also known as Citizens Charter Bill which was a proposed Indian
central legislation.It was tabled by V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State for
Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, in Lok Sabha in December
Though the bill lapsed due to dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha, it provides
us insight about how to improve service delivery in India and what are the
key issues involved.
Highlights of the Bill:

The Bill seeks to create a mechanism to ensure timely delivery of goods and
services to citizens.
Every public authority is required to publish a citizens charter within six
months of the commencement of the Act. The Charter will detail the goods
and services to be provided and their timelines for delivery.
A citizen may file a complaint regarding any grievance related to: (a) citizens
charter; (b) functioning of a public authority; or (c) violation of a law, policy
or scheme.
The Bill requires all public authorities to appoint officers to redress
grievances. Grievances are to be redressed within 30 working days. The
Bill also provides for the appointment of Central and State Public Grievance
Redressal Commissions.
A penalty of up to Rs 50,000 may be levied upon the responsible officer or
the Grievance Redressal Officer for failure to render services.

Key Issues and Analysis:

Parliament may not have the jurisdiction to regulate the functioning of state
public officials as state public services fall within the purview of state
This Bill may create a parallel grievance redressal mechanism as many
central and state laws have established similar mechanisms.
Companies that render services under a statutory obligation or a licence
may be required to publish citizens charters and provide a grievance
redressal mechanism.
The Commissioners may be removed without a judicial inquiry on an
allegation of misbehaviour or incapacity. This differs from the procedure
under other legislations.
Appeals from the Commissions decisions on matters of corruption will lie
before the Lokpal or Lokayuktas. The Lokpal and some Lokayuktas have
not been established.
Only citizens can seek redressal of grievances under the Bill. The Bill does
not enable foreign nationals who also use services such as driving licenses,
electricity, etc., to file complaints.

Work Culture

Work culture represents the collective values, beliefs and principles of

organization and employee and is a product of such factors as history,
product, market, technology, and strategy, type of employees, management
style, and national culture. Work culture is a concept which deals in the study
1. Beliefs, thought processes, attitudes of the employees.
2. Ideologies and principles of the organization.

It is the work culture which decides the way employees interact with each
other and how an organization functions. In laymans language work culture
refers to the mentality of the employees which further decides the ambience
of the organization. Work culture is the environment that surrounds you at
work all of the time.
An organization is said to have a strong work culture when the employees
follow the organizations rules and regulations and adhere to the existing
Work culture plays an important role in extracting the best out of employees
and making them stick to the organization for a longer duration. A healthy
work culture leads to satisfied employees and an
increased productivity.The organization must offer a positive ambience to
the employees for them to concentrate on their work rather than interfering
in each others work.

How to improve the work Culture?

1. Employees must be cordial with each other

One must respect his fellow worker. Backbiting is considered strictly

unprofessional and must be avoided for a healthy work culture. One gains
nothing out of conflicts and nasty politics at work.

2. Each employee should be treated as one

Partiality leads to demotivated employees and eventually an unhealthy work

culture. Employees should be judged only by their work and nothing else.
Personal relationships should take a backseat at the workplace.

3. Appreciating the top performers is important

Praise the employees to expect good work from them every time. Give them
a pat on their back. Let them feel indispensable for their organization. Dont
criticize the ones who have not performed well, instead ask them to pull up
their socks for the next time. Give them one more opportunity rather than
firing them immediately.

4. Encourage discussions at the workplace

Employees must discuss issues among themselves to reach to better
conclusions. Each one should have the liberty to express his views. The
team leaders and managers must interact with the subordinates frequently.
Transparency is essential at all levels for better relationships among
employees and a healthy work culture. Manipulating information and data
tampering is a strict no no at the workplace. Let information flow in its desired

5. Organization must have employee friendly policies and practical guidelines

Expecting an employee to work till late night on his birthday is simply

impractical. Rules and regulations should be made to benefit the employees.
Employees must maintain the decorum of the organization. Discipline is
important at the workplace.

6. The dictatorial approach must be avoided

Bosses should be more like mentors to the employees. The team leaders
should be a source of inspiration for the subordinates. The superiors are
expected to provide a sense of direction to the employees and guide them
whenever needed. The team members should have an easy access to their
bosss cabin.
Develop a system that encourages employees to take risks for the
betterment of the organization without the threat of punishment and find
ways of helping them learn from their mistakes

7. Promote team building activities to bind the employees together

Conduct training programs, workshops, seminars and presentations to

upgrade the existing skills of the employees. Prepare them for the tough
times. They should be ready under any odd circumstances or change in the
work culture.

8. Human Resource Development

Provide opportunities within the organization for people to develop to their

full potential. How does the company deal with obsolescence? Are old or
unneeded people fired? Does management give credit to those outgoing
people for their career contributions? Or is the prevailing attitude, what have
you do for me lately? How honourably the company acts in these situations
will do much to determine whether or not it has a culture of success.
9. Decision-Making Structure

We tend to forget that the main purpose of structure is to facilitate decision

making, not to develop new organizational charts and lines of authority.
Make sure that there is a free flow of information for decision making
throughout the organization, and that the structure for disseminating that
information allows positive outcomes.

10. Organizational Clarity

The degree to which the goals and plans of the organization are clearly
perceived by its members rises in proportion to the employees feelings of
involvement in the goal-setting and planning procedures. Fostering this
feeling of involvement and direction is more important than presenting lists
of objectives and detailed plans.
To promote organizational clarity, involve all members of the organization in
the goal-setting and planning process.

11. Strong Team Spirit

As social beings, we naturally seek support from our peers and seek to
belong to a group. Come tough times, the team should come together to
deal with whatever problems are out there. This is where a sense of unity is
evoked in the team and employees will no longer just feel that theyre
working for themselves. They are now working towards something bigger
than themselves, and as a team.
Instilling a strong team spirit is not easy because it involves the acceptance
and tolerance of differences in perspectives and working styles between
teammates. There is a need for them to see that theyre working towards a
common goal before they can look beyond the differences.
Difference in Indian work culture and western work culture:

There are differences between Indian work culture and western work culture
even in Multi National Companies, because work culture in any country of
any organization is influenced by local culture, practice, attitude, laws,
government policies etc.
One difference in work culture is the relationship between the boss and
subordinates. The general belief is that in India the relationship is very formal
and hierarchical and it is not so in the western countries.
Second example is the flexibility in deployment of policies related to people.
An example is healthcare. In most US companies, it would be strictly by the
process; there would be a clear definition of what your employer will pay for
and what it wont. Beyond that requests wont be entertained. It is different
with Indian companies, where flexibility and compassion find a place in such
A major difference remains the work-life balance. In the US, one would
hardly received more official calls when at home. There is a clear value
attached to ones family time. Though, if there is work, they would stay back
and finish it. But, in India, it is an accepted habit to work for 10 hours. In the
US it is an exception to the rule. However, the flipside of this is, there may
be a greater sense of ownership of work in Indians. In terms of what does
ones work mean in ones life, we are at one extreme while some Western
countries are on the other.
In Indian work culture is that commitments are not taken seriously. If one
says he will finish something by 2 oclock tomorrow, it might not be binding,
but for someone in the US it will be delivered by that time.
In mentoring, Indians a bit soft in critical assessments. Seniors tend to lean
more on positive feedback during an appraisal, leaving the criticism unsaid.
In the US, there is a better balance in practice. Here in India, either due to
the appraisal process or the lack of skill of the appraiser, the much-needed
critical assessment is often held back.
Similarly there can be differences in relationships among employees (male-
male and male female), relationships between employee and boss, timing

Quality of service delivery

Service quality is a comparison of expectations with performance. A

customers expectation of a particular service is determined by factors such
as personal needs and past experiences. The expected service and the
perceived service sometimes may not be equal, thus leaving a gap.

Five Gaps can be identified that may cause customers to experience poor
service quality:
Gap 1: between consumer expectation and management perception

This gap arises when the management does not correctly perceive what the
customers want. For instance, hospital administrators may think patients
want better food, but patients may be more concerned with the
responsiveness of the nurse.
Gap 1 may occur due to the following reasons:

1. Insufficient marketing research

2. Poorly interpreted information about the audiences expectations
3. Research not focused on demand quality
4. Too many layers between the front line personnel and the top level

Gap 2: between management perception and service quality specification

Although the management might correctly perceive what the customer

wants, they may not set an appropriate performance standard. An example
would be when hospital administrators instruct nurses to respond to a
request fast, but may not specify how fast.
Gap 2 may occur due to the following reasons:

1. Insufficient planning procedures

2. Lack of management commitment
3. Unclear or ambiguous service design
4. Unsystematic new service development process

Gap 3: between service quality specification and service delivery

This gap may arise through service personnel being poorly trained,
incapable or unwilling to meet the set service standard.
Gap 3 may occur due to the following reasons:

1. Deficiencies in human resource policies such as ineffective recruitment, role

ambiguity, role conflict, improper evaluation and compensation system
2. Ineffective internal marketing
3. Failure to match demand and supply
4. Lack of proper customer education and training

Gap 4: between service delivery and external communication

Consumer expectations are highly influenced by statements made by

management and advertisements. The gap arises when these assumed
expectations are not fulfilled at the time of delivery of the service. For
example, the hospital printed on the brochure may have clean and furnished
rooms, but in reality it may be poorly maintained, in which case the patients
expectations are not met.
Gap 4 may occur due to the following reasons:

1. Over-promising in external communication campaign

2. Failure to manage customer expectations
3. Failure to perform according to specifications

Gap 5: between expected service and experienced service

This gap arises when the consumer misinterprets the service quality. For
example, a physician may keep visiting the patient to show and ensure care,
but the patient may interpret this as an indication that something is really

Determinants that may influence the appearance of a gap are:

1. Reliability: the ability to perform the promised service dependably and

2. Assurance: the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to
convey trust and confidence
3. Empathy: the provision of caring, individualized attention to customers
4. Responsiveness: the willingness to help customers and to provide prompt

Sevottam Model of Indian Government

After over a decade of rapid economic growth in India, the biggest challenge
facing policymakers at both central and state levels is to ensure inclusive
growth so that the gains from increased national income are shared by all
sections of society.
Central and state governments have recognized this as a priority area, but
have shown a lack of imagination in addressing the problem of service
quality by focusing mostly on increasing spending and not enough on the
question of how effectively the resources allocated are spent. There are
large and glaring inefficiencies in service delivery in India.
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances,
Government of India, has developed a model for benchmarking Excellence
in Public Service Delivery through Sevottam model.
The Sevottam model has been developed as a citizen- centric administrative
measure to improve the quality of public services India. Sevottam comes
from the Hindi words Seva and Uttam and means excellence in service
Components of Sevottam Model:
1. Citizen Charter and Service Standards:

The first component of the model requires effective charter implementation

thereby opening up a channel for receiving citizens inputs into the way in
which organizations determine service delivery requirements.
Citizen Charter is the document where a public sector Organization declares
its key services along with delivery timelines and requirements. Sevottam
focuses on the implementation, monitoring and review of Citizen Charter to
ensure the organization promises what it can deliver and delivers what it has
To know more about citizen charter, Click Here

2. Public Grievances Redress:

The second component of the model, Public Grievance Redress requires a

good grievance redress system operating in a manner that leaves the citizen
more satisfied with how the organization responds to complaints/grievances.
Here Sevottam focuses on receipt, redressal and prevention of grievances.
Design and Implementation of Grievances Implementation Process:
3. Service Delivery Capacity
The third component Service Delivery Capacity, postulates that an
organization can have an excellent performance in service delivery only if it
is managing the key ingredients for good service delivery well, and building
its own capacity to continuously improve delivery.
This includes the key pillars which are required to give excellent service and
includes Customer Feedback, Employee Motivation and infrastructure.
Intended Outcomes of Sevottam Implementation:
Sevottam Targets

Timeliness: time norms for specific services are enumerated in Citizens

The services and norms are set as per active discussions with different
Effectiveness: a single window system for service deliverables is targeted
for delivery to cut down on assessees shuttling from one desk to another to
get services.
Responsiveness: a robust grievance redress system is needed to listen to
assessees grievance as well as redress them timely.
Courteous behaviour: norm for behaviour, specially in assessees facing
positions, is described in the Citizens Charter and pro-active feedback on
service delivery is gathered to judge this.
Information: facilitation centers and help centers are targeted to meet
assessees needs of information.
Empathy: public grievance officers are needed to listen to assessees in their
time of need.
Seven Steps to Sevottam:

Success of Sevottam:

The ability of such an assessment model in influencing service delivery

quality will be a function of how tightly improvement actions are linked to
assessment results.
Further, any assessment model needs to be updated periodically to keep it
abreast with emerging developments. Change Management as well as
Research and Development have therefore, been identified as important
focus areas for running this model, in addition to administration of the
assessment process and its culmination in certification or awards.
The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and
Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 (Citizens Charter):

This bill is also known as Citizens Charter Bill which was a proposed Indian
central legislation.It was tabled by V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State for
Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, in Lok Sabha in December
Though the bill lapsed due to dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha, it provides
us insight about how to improve service delivery in India and what are the
key issues involved.

Highlights of the Bill:

The Bill seeks to create a mechanism to ensure timely delivery of goods and
services to citizens.
Every public authority is required to publish a citizens charter within six
months of the commencement of the Act. The Charter will detail the goods
and services to be provided and their timelines for delivery.
A citizen may file a complaint regarding any grievance related to: (a) citizens
charter; (b) functioning of a public authority; or (c) violation of a law, policy
or scheme.
The Bill requires all public authorities to appoint officers to redress
grievances. Grievances are to be redressed within 30 working days. The
Bill also provides for the appointment of Central and State Public Grievance
Redressal Commissions.
A penalty of up to Rs 50,000 may be levied upon the responsible officer or
the Grievance Redressal Officer for failure to render services.

Key Issues and Analysis:

Parliament may not have the jurisdiction to regulate the functioning of state
public officials as state public services fall within the purview of state
This Bill may create a parallel grievance redressal mechanism as many
central and state laws have established similar mechanisms.
Companies that render services under a statutory obligation or a licence
may be required to publish citizens charters and provide a grievance
redressal mechanism.
The Commissioners may be removed without a judicial inquiry on an
allegation of misbehaviour or incapacity. This differs from the procedure
under other legislations.
Appeals from the Commissions decisions on matters of corruption will lie
before the Lokpal or Lokayuktas. The Lokpal and some Lokayuktas have
not been established.
Only citizens can seek redressal of grievances under the Bill. The Bill does
not enable foreign nationals who also use services such as driving licenses,
electricity, etc., to file complaints.