Public Administration, Diversity, and the Ethic of Getting Things Done

Mohamad G. Alkadry, Brandi Blessett, Valerie L. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


New public management, in its focus on outcomes and performance, provokes a question on whether there is a value-tradeoff between ethics and performance. The new–old creed of administrators have arguably been focused on a need to produce results—to get things done—to the extent that they could sometimes overlook unethical implications of their actions. This happens at a time when ethicists are looking at ways to emphasize non-teleological ethical reasoning, which creates a problem for public administration. This article uses the case of Overtown, a predominantly African American neighborhood near Downtown Miami that was once dubbed the Harlem of the South, to explore the ethics of administrative actions. Administrative actions, often driven by the pressure to get things done, in Overtown were behind the demise of this neighborhood. The article makes the case for ethics testing to accompany any moves to institutionalize managing-for-results in cases of community development, education, housing, health, and other areas that affect people directly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1191-1218
Number of pages28
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.


  • African American
  • diversity
  • ethics
  • gentrification
  • public administration
  • race


Dive into the research topics of 'Public Administration, Diversity, and the Ethic of Getting Things Done'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this