Guy B. Adams's research while affiliated with University of Missouri and other places

Publications (48)

Article
In this article, we discuss the recent ascendancy of the market state and its consequences for regime values, ethics, and institutions. Three types of market states-entrepreneurial, managerial, and mercantile-are outlined, along with their primary ethical basis and associated public values. We then turn to a discussion of globalization and hypermod...
Article
This article discusses the historical and cultural conditions that have undermined public life and have brought about a resurgence of corrupt "Praetorian times." An analysis of American regime values, focusing on individualism and the dominance of technical rationality, outlines the pathway to a withered public sphere made worse by the ascendancy o...
Article
In contemporary, complex organizations, “open secrets” may be just as common as intentionally concealed secrets, and are often associated with ethical failures and administrative evil. This chapter explores the ethical implications of open secrets in contemporary organizations and the dynamics by which they can become masked. Both the space shuttle...
Article
This article discusses ethical challenges posed by market-based government and the degree to which contracting enhances or diminishes government’s ability to ensure that organizations that deliver public services adhere to ethical practices and public values, such as lawfulness, transparency, and accountability. A case study of an organization—Blac...
Article
Evil actions by human beings show little sign of diminution as the twenty-first century unfolds. Evil can be defined as the knowing infliction of pain and suffering – physical and/or psychological – on another human being. It can be perpetrated by individuals, by organizations, and by nation states, among others. It can take the form of administrat...
Article
The torture and abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and at other sites in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba raise disturbing questions that have few, if any, easy answers. Were these intentionally evil acts committed by a few bad apples who took advantage of the power they wielded over the detainees? Or were they cases of administrative evil in which...
Chapter
How we remember our collective past is a crucial element in present and future behaviour. Because memory consists largely of a reconstruction of events, we are, to an extent, able to choose how and what we remember. Our memories are constructed by the salience of powerful images and the desire to forget that which disturbs or challenges our collect...
Article
In this paper, we argue that the practice of New Public Management (NPM) subverts democracy by undermining the social contract and substituting a market mentality with very different normative expectations. Like late modern Hobbesians, those who advocate NPM offer a vision of public service in which democratic politics and ethics become increasingl...
Article
There are many aspects of organizational life—ethics prominent among them—in which things, and particularly behavior, are not what they seem. A psychodynamic approach to these apparent paradoxes helps greatly in shedding light on these areas. Much as a psycho-dynamic approach to organizational analysis has helped us see many aspects of organization...
Article
The legacy of budgetary reform has been dismal. Promising options, rooted in economic values, seem to fall short when confronted with political realities. Nevertheless, the search continues. The authors argue that successful budgetary reform requires attention to the organizational context, in particular human behavioral dynamics. The objectives an...
Article
What is the purpose of doctoral education and research in public administration? Many might assume its purpose to be the development of knowledge and theory for the field, as well as the preparation of the field's professoriate. White, Adams, and Forrester examine here the publication records of eight classes of doctorate recipients in public admin...
Article
The purpose of doctoral education in public administration might seem almost self-evident. If public adminstration were regarded like most other academic fields and disciplines, the traditional purpose of the doctorate—the development and dissemination of knowledge relevant to the field and preparation of the professoriate—would hold for public adm...
Article
This article examines the relationship of emotional and interpersonal development to the gap between what individuals know about organization theory or management skills and what they are actually able to put into practice—the practice gap. The discussion includes: 1) a review of psychological and organizational theory concerned with emotional and...
Article
The purpose of doctoral education in public administration might seem almost self-evident. If public adminstration were regarded like most other academic fields and disciplines, the traditional purpose of the doctorate--the development and dissemination of knowledge relevant to the field and preparation of the professoriate--would hold for public a...
Article
This article examines the relationship of emotional and interpersonal development to the gap between what individuals know about organization theory or management skills and what they are actually able to put into practice--the practice gap. The discussion includes: 1) a review of psychological and organizational theory concerned with emotional and...
Article
Are acts of incompetence unethical? And, do they fit within the definition of administrative evil, where one is acting within role as others would expect them to from an organizational or policy perspective? More broadly, what is the relationship between incompetence and ethical behavior for leaders? We examine the moral shortfalls of both professi...

Citations

... These characteristics are grounded in an organizational design that is more post-structural than structural, more organic than mechanistic, more discretionary than rule based (Burns & Stalker, 1961;Howarth, 2013;Keeling et al., 2007;Strunk, 2021). An early proponent of this alternate approach, Friedrich (1940), argued that complex organizations-which would include the modern public university-function optimally when leaders are given the administrative freedom to take on difficult issues, make tough ethical decisions, and solve problems (see also Balfour et al., 2019). He believed that an engaged workforce is held responsible "not through top-down administrative rule-making but through the professional and technical training which incorporate ethical standards and norms" (Friedrich, 1940, as cited in Cassell & Halaseh, 2014. ...
... Erikson's psychosocial theory of development has had a lasting impact in the field of human development (see Meeus, Iedema, Helsen, & Vollebergh, 1999). Research indicates that people who achieve secure identities are more likely to establish healthy relationships later in life and have higher self-esteem, high levels of moral reasoning, and more developed cognitive reasoning skills (Adams, 1992;Berzonsky & Adams, 1999;van Hoof, 1999;Waterman, 1999aWaterman, , 1999b. Moreover, research indicates that college attendance can enhance the identity development process (Constantinople, 1969) by actually prolonging the moratorium stage (Montemayor, Brown, & Adams, 1985). ...
... In this sense, institutional corruption is consistent with the social psychological dynamics of what Adams and Balfour label 'administrative evil' (2015; Adams et al., 2020). Within the modern bureaucratic organization, the combination of hierarchy and specialization leads to the diffusion of practical and moral responsibility; moreover, the culture of technical rationality allows for the organization to treat any goal as a matter of technical procedure, even if that goal involves 'unjustly and needlessly inflict [ing] pain and suffering and death on other human beings' (Adams et al., 2020, p. 3). ...
... In treating all problems as simply technical problems to be 'solved,' organizational leaders can mask the morally problematic nature of particular their organization's actions and goals. In the worst case, through the process of 'moral inversion,' leaders can make such actions seem 'good' to the individual actor working within the narrow context of organization's role and incentive structures (Adams & Balfour, 2015;Adams et al., 2020). In a corrupted institution, individual actors are responding to incentives to conform to their newly-defined role well, but in doing so, they undermine the publicly understood purpose of the institution, often causing real harm to others. ...
... When it appeared in the academic discussions in the late 1990s, administrative evil was considered a relatively new ethical concept originating with the publication of Guy Adams and Danny Balfour's 1998 book Unmasking Administrative Evil (e.g., Adams & Balfour 1998;Adams, 2011;Adams et al., 2006;Reed, 2012). According to Moreno-Riaño (2001), Adams and Balfour's book introduced administrative evil as a serious ethical problem of modern organizations and public policy in particular, starting from the assumption that evil is part and parcel of the human condition, as manifested primarily in acts of dehumanization and genocide. ...
... Strategic intelligence contributes to the development of competitive intelligence to achieve the desired objectives of the strategy. Competitive Intelligence is an organized process to obtain and analyze public information from competitors, to differentiate and target them in the marketplace [16]. To achieve the objectives of strategic intelligence, accurate information on all environmental factors is needed. ...
... As suggested by a participant in the Woodrow and Guest [29] study, such policies are "just talk" and that reporting bullying is not effective because "senior managers were not interested in whether staffs were being bullied, so long as the work was being done". Instead, the technical rationality of the neoliberal figured world makes it likely that SnMgs actually believe that "what they are doing is not only procedurally correct, but, in fact, good" [70]. ...
... Praetoryanist yönetimin ilke ve uygulamalarında örgütün, çalışanları koşulsuz şekilde koruması ve kollamasının yanı sıra, onların gereksinimlerini karşılaması veya özel yaşam ve çalışma koşullarını düzenlemesi söz konusu olabilmektedir. Bu noktada praetoryanist yöneticiler, ça-lışanların çıkarlarını kendi çıkarlarıymışçasına koruyan bir biçimde davranırken, aynı zamanda çalışanların refah ve mutluluğu ile ilgili kararları kendileri vermek istemektedirler (Adams ve Balfour, 2014). ...
... On the other hand, for sustained methodological pluralism, future generations of scholars are most readily reached through their doctoral programs. In fact, the traditional objectives of doctoral education are the reproduction of the professoriate and the preparation of researchers (Adams & White, 1995;Felbinger, Holzer, & White, 1999;Hambrick, 1997;McCurdy & Cleary, 1984;Ross, 1995;White & Adams, 1994a;White et al., 1996). Thus, this discussion focuses on programs that maintain a goal of preparing scholars for both research and teaching roles. ...
... For instance, public professionals may exaggerate the presence and impact of the neoliberalist focus and can be blind to rival explanations of the forces that may be reconfiguring professional work (Noordegraaf, 2016). Furthermore, public professionals can develop negative and self-serving craftsmanship conceptions whose pursuit may harm the public good or professional ethic altogether (Adams & Balfour, 2009;Noordegraaf, 2007). However, even if public professionals' subjectivization of "good work," and the environment conducive to it, contradicts political or societal expectations, or constitutes a perceived administrative reality only, it nonetheless directly and drastically informs how they think and how they deliver their public function. ...