Collapse of public servant role of the professional
Other Names: Disparagement of public service
Nature: In the past, specialists have been called upon to play a particular role as keepers of a community's exclusive skills and in manifesting the representational dynamic in special services to that community. The marks of this role have been reduced to status in the form of economic success. The concept of "servant of the public" has been largely rendered meaningless.
Incidence: The best graduates of academic institutions tend to be attracted to a limited range of professions in which the average salaries are disproportionately higher than those in institutions, notably public service bodies, on which society relies to deal with the problem it faces. In addition to the relative advantages of higher salaries and the associated prestige, graduates are discouraged from undertaking public service careers by the constant disparagement of public service (and notably teaching) by the media. This disparagement has the further consequence of raising public resistance to any effort to increase the salaries of such positions to make them more attractive. There is therefore a tendency for people of relatively mediocre ability to accumulate in institutions from which remedial action to social challenges is expected.
Claim: The best minds are diverted from the needs and opportunities of public service in response to societal problems.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 15.10.2000 – 00:00 CEST