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A seminar paper on the impact of unethical conduct on organizational performance in the civil service: A case of Kisii County, written in partial fulfillment of a PhD degree at the Great Lake University of Kisumu (GLUK)


Written by: Omweno James Ombasa




MAY 2018





Both civil servants and employees in the private sector have a responsibility not only to the institutions they are serving in discharging their duties but also to other business stakeholders. According to Sakyi and Bawole (2009), upholding the principles and standards of right conduct by public office holders at all levels of government is an important aspect of public service ethics. An essential requirement in this regard is that public servants are required to respect the rule of law and the dignity of citizens in carrying out their official duties. Unethical behavior in public organizations, in instances where they have been recorded, have always caused massive loss to the government. This paper investigates the impact of unethical behavior in civil service on organization performance at the counties -a case of Kisii County. The objectives of the study are to establish effects of code of ethics in the performance of civil servants, the effects of human resource policy on the performance of civil servants, the effects of accountability on organizational performance and the impact of professionalism on the performance of civil servants at the county. Considering the nature of the study the researcher employed a desk analysis design to analyze and draw conclusions. Secondary data was used to find information which included management journals, newspapers, books, magazines, government press release or circulars, articles and internet sources. The reliability and validity of the data was ensured by picking information from authorized publishers and authoritative websites containing recent publications on ethics and performance management from 2005 up to 2018. It was manifest that a clear code of conduct, proper human resource management policy, enhanced accountability and entrenched professionalism are significant for the increased organizational performance at the counties. A concise code of ethics increases the probability that people will behave in certain ways, can focus public servants on actions that result in doing the right things for the right reasons, provide almost a strong prima facie reason to act in a certain way and can function as a professional statement. Proper human resource management policy is critical because all other factors of production require effective application by the human resources to be able to deliver desired results. On professionalism, public servants employed to provide vital services to the citizens ought to act in a professional way in discharging their duties because they have been trained and given the required tools and equipment to provide services efficiently and effectively. Finally on accountability, from an interactive perspective, the obligation of an individual and the organization is not only to be responsible for a set of material assets, but also to be liable to the business stakeholder who they have a common business relationship with and in terms of the implicit sense of moral modesty that grows over time between associates and colleagues. In essence, public servants have a responsibility to be accountable to the public, which they serve, thus calling for ethical behavior towards the citizenry in service delivery.

In conclusion, code of ethic, professionalism, human resource management policy, and accountability are at the heart of ethical behavior and greatly influence organizational performance at the counties in Kenya. Therefore, it is incumbent upon county governments to ensure that all these four core elements necessary for the entrenchment of ethical behavior to improve efficiency in services delivery to the citizens are put in place.

Key Word: Governance, Devolution, Accountability, Human Resource Policy, Code of Conduct, Professionalism, Integrity.


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