PSIR DeepAnalysis

case approach

Case approach

  1. Making difficult decisions : Administrators face myriad of issues during their dealing with public affairs. They face dilemmas, challenges in taking right decisions so that they do not feel dissonance or crisis of conscience.

They should think through following questions:

  1. Have I reviewed the facts carefully?
  2. Besides myself, who else may be affected by these steps or decisions?
  3. what are the key challenges or issues involved?
  4. what does the government require me to do in this situation?
  5. what are the laws, regulations or any customs which can give guidance to solve the issues?
  6. what are the values which should be taken into consideration?
  7. Have I used the resources available to me to understand my duties, rights, powers, discretion and other social obligations?
  8. Have I thought carefully about my options and the potential consequences?
  9. Will my decision stand the test of time? ( Is it feasible, sustainable, pragmatic in essence?)
  10. Will it set a right precedent for the future reference?

Some of the ethical dilemmas that public servants confront in the course of their duties revolve around:

  • administrative discretion
  • corruption
  • nepotism
  • pressure for conformity
  • administrative secrecy
  • information leaks
  • public accountability
  • policy conundrum
  • public scrutiny
  • pressure group influence

The responsibility for maintaining standards and creating an environment for good ethical conduct in the public service falls largely under on the public service itself.

Strategies which can be adopted to contain unethical behaviour and corruption:

  • pubic sector code of ethics
  • improved remuneration
  • income, assets disclosure
  • policy and programme rationalization
  • watchdog agencies
  • open procurement procedures
  • single window operations
  • anti-corruption agencies
  • ombudsman
  • supreme audit institutions
  • scrutiny by civil society institutions social audit
  • Right to Information and Citizen Charters
  • administrative reforms

The following principles are the ones most commonly appealed to in applied ethical discussions:

  • Personal benefit: acknowledge the extent to which an action produces beneficial consequences for the individual in question.
  • Social benefit: acknowledge the extent to which an action produces beneficial consequences for society.
  • Principle of benevolence: help those in need.
  • Principle of paternalism: assist others in pursuing their best interests when they cannot do so themselves.
  • Principle of harm: do not harm others.
  • Principle of honesty: do not deceive others.
  • Principle of lawfulness: do not violate the law.
  • Principle of autonomy: acknowledge a person’s freedom over his/her actions or physical body.
  • Principle of justice: acknowledge a person’s right to due process, fair compensation for harm done, and fair distribution of benefits.
  • Rights: acknowledge a person’s rights to life, information, privacy, free expression, and safety. source:(

Few more point of reference:

According to Buddhism , an act is ethical if it is meant to bring genuine well being to others.

Before deciding how to act, Dalai Lama guides us:

Are we being broad minded or narrow minded?

Have we taken into account the overall situation or are we considering only selected information?

Is our view short-term or long term?

Is our motivation genuinely compassionate?

Is our compassion limited to our families, or friends and those we identify with closely?

we will explore following dimensions adequately to write comprehensive and holistic case study answer:

  1. Types of case studies: We must know that what kind of case studies can be asked. Knowing this aspect can help us to tackle this effectively. This will help us to evolve a tailor-made approach so that we can write our answer without thinking too much on our response.
  2. Understanding the theme of case study: (a) stakeholders (b) values involved (c) facts given (d)key challenge or issue of the case study . These are the aspects which will help us to introduce the case study which we will discuss in introduction part and also help us to write our courses of action.
  3. Focusing on the given instructions
  4. writing an appropriate introduction
  5. writing course of action, options available, solutions, suggestions or our response to any given issue in the case study.(this can be the main demand of the case study ).
  6. Way forward and conclusion part.
  7. Language competence in case studies.