By Gerald J. Miller, Samuel J. Yeager, W. Bartley Hildreth and Jack RabinThis article explores the way public-sector financial managers cope with ethical challenges created by undue political pressure and demands for special treatment. A nationwide survey of financial managers revealed that fiscal stress exacerbates ethical pressure for most financial managers, including chief financial officers (CFOs) and those who report to CFOs. Financial managers do not work in an ethical vacuum; they respond to supervisors who encourage ethical action and to co-workers who demonstrate high standards of personal integrity. Supervisors of CFOs who emphasize political responsiveness in employee evaluations can threaten the ethical behavior of CFOs, while timely feedback can mitigate ethical pressure. In turn, CFOs as supervisors can temper the harsh work environment in fiscally stressed times by encouraging ethical action and by giving adequate feedback to those who report to them.
Public Administration Review Volume 65 Issue 3 Page 301 doi:10.1111/j.1540-6210.2005.00455.x