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Write a note about ethical dilemmas in government and private institutions.

Topic : Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

6. Write a note about ethical dilemmas in government and private institutions. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of ethical dilemma.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss about the ethical dilemmas in government and private institutions.

Structure of the answer:


Ethical Dilemma refers to a situation where decision/Choice has to be made between two undesirable/Desirable situations.


Ethical dilemmas are situations in which there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which resolves the situation in morally satisfactory manner. In such circumstances, social and personal ethical guidelines can provide no satisfactory outcome for the selector.

An ethical dilemma is an intricate situation that often involves an apparent mental skirmish between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in disobeying another.

Discuss the types of ethical dilemma that can be witnessed in public administration such as

  • Personal Cost Ethical Dilemmas: It rises from situations in which compliance with ethical conduct results in a substantial personal cost to the decision maker in a problematic situation.
  • Right-versus-Right Ethical Dilemmas: It arises from situations of two or more conflicting sets of bonafide moral values.
  • Conjoint Ethical Dilemmas: It develops when a careful decision-maker is exposed to an amalgamation of the above-indicated ethical dilemmas in searching for the “right-thing-to do”.

Give examples to explain and substantiate better.


Conclude with solutions to address such situations.