Employed Professionals' Ethical Responsibilities in Public Service and Private Enterprise: Dilemma, Priority and Synthesis
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Traditionally, most professionals operated as sole practitioners or in small partnerships. This work environment affected professions' images of themselves and the way their ethics was conceived and written. But the locus of practice has changed and is continuing to change. Though the common image of professionals remains of sole practitioners serving individual clients on a one-toone basis, many of the most senior professionals work within large organisations. These organisational environments may be characterised by intense competition for work and/or clients both within and between organisations. Instead of a professional enjoying security of occupation and income, and wide professional autonomy, he or she may be placed in contexts that are large, competitive, teambased, and/or multidisciplinary, where work is unbundled and spread around, creating situations of low decision latitude and unclear lines of responsibility. The employing organisation may even usurp traditional professional organisation tasks, including socialisation, education, training, self-regulation, lobbying and fostering a sense of identity. In this environment, professionals can seem to face 'multiple duties [which] need to be deciphered and weighed against each other' and may have to 'reconcile the ascendance of commercial considerations over older notions of professionalism'.
UNSW Law Journal
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Law and Society
Professional Ethics (incl. police and research ethics)