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Comparison of Social Control and Social Conflict Theory

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Accountability and Responsibility in Organizations: the Ethics of Discretion
Raymond W. Cox III
University of Akron Akron, Ohio, USA The article presents a comprehensive approach to the administrative discretion. The objective of the paper has been to outline a perspective and patterns of behaviour, which are helpful defining "discretion in action". Theoretical discussion on the issue has been extended towards practical implications. Author stresses, that establishing a decision-making architecture, leaders of the organization can create learning and supportive environment, which encourages appropriate and limited use of discretion. Raktažodžiai: atskaitomybė, atsakomybė, diskretiškumas, etika, korupcija, sprendimų priėmimas. Keywords: accountability, responsibility, discretion, ethics, corruption, decision making.

Few aspects of Public Administration engender more controversy than the idea of discretion. For most, the attitude toward the exercise of discretion must be described as ambiguous and even ambivalent. While the necessity of the exercise of discretion is not disputed, there is little agreement on the normative foundation (Bryner, 1987) for that activity. Yet without a normative foundation, there is little basis upon which to judge the exercise of discretion. Recent literature on ethical practices in the governments of Africa has boldly asserted that discretion leads to the breakdown of the rule of law and threatens the capacity to govern (Hope, 1999). Those who have witnessed the slow slide into corruption that has befallen many a nation make the reduction of official discretion a cornerstone of public sector reform. As Hope (1999) laments: Following independence, most African countries shamelessly transformed themselves from bureaucratic administrations that generally

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