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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 12 / 2008 (529)

Contextualism Revisited: Towards a More Relevant Conceptualization of Public Administration for Ethical and Sustainable Leadership in the Global Context

Asghar Zomorrodian
Union Institute and University, Ohio, USA

Abstract. The paper examines how the contextual approach to the conceptualization and the design of public administration systems can still be a viable alternative for today’s environment. By making reference to a proposed conceptual model, predominantly based on the cultural and social values in different contexts, the paper juxtaposes both the traditional Universalists and recent NPM approaches to the Contextual model by reviewing the literature on the impacts of globalization and other recent developments in the area public administration and public policy both at the national and international levels. Special attention is paid to the significance of two major elements of ethical leadership and governance for creating a viable and sustainable public administration system that incorporates and emphasizes the process of political development and enhancing the civil society based on indigenous cultural and social values. The conclusion of the paper reinforces the validity and utility of the contextual approach by including these two major elements into its original conceptual framework.

Keywords: universalism; contextualism; ethical leadership; cultural values, globalization.

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