Lecture Notes, by Biju P R, Assistant Professor in Political Science, Govt. Brennen College, Thalssery. Kerala, India
Public administration is "centrally concerned with the organization of government policies and programmes as well as the behavior of officials (usually non-elected) formally responsible for their conduct. Generally Public Administration has been used in two senses. In the wider sense it includes all the activities of the government whether falling in the sphere of legislature, executive or judicial branch of the government, in the narrow sense Public Administration is concerned with the activities of the executive branch only.
Ø L D White observes, “Public Administration consist of all those operations having for their purpose the fulfilment or enforcement of public policy”.
Ø Pliffner defines It would seem that “Public Administration consists of getting the work of government done by co-ordinating the efforts of the people so that they can work together to accomplish their set tasks”.
Ø Prof: Woodrow Wilson defined Public Administration as detailed and systematic execution of public law; every particular application of general law is an act of administration.
Ø Luther Gullick ‘Public Administration is that part of the science of administration which has to do with Government and thus concerns itself primarily with the executive branch where the work of the government is done.
Ø Dwight Waldo, defines Public Administration as ‘the art and science of management as applied to the affairs of state’.
There are two divergent views regarding the nature of the Public administration. These views are following
· Integral View. According to this view, Public administration is a sum total of all the activities undertaken in pursuit of and in fulfillment of public policy. These activities include not only managerial and technical but also manual and clerical. Thus the activities of all persons from top to bottom constitute administration although they are of varying significance to the running of administrative machinery. Prof: L D White adopts this view of Public administration. According to him, Public Administration ‘consists of all those operations having for their purpose the fulfilment or enforcement of public policy’. This definition covers a multitude of particular operations, many in fields. Another scholar Marshal E Dimock also shares the same view. He holds that administration is concerned with the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of government. The ‘what’ is the subject matter, the technical knowledge of a field which enables the administrator to perform his tasks. The ‘how’ is the technique of management, the principles according to which cooperative programmes are carried to success.
· Managerial view. According to this view, the works of only those persons who are engaged in the performance of managerial functions in an organisation constitute administration. In this managerial view the administration has the functions of planning, programming and organise all the activities in an organisation so as to achieve the desired ends. Luther Gullick and Herbert Simon subscribe this view. Gullick says ‘Administration has to do with getting things done; with the accomplishment of defined objectives’.
v Public Administration and People.
o Public Administration is an organisational effort it needed a close relation to people. In every Administrative system they have good relation between people and administrative agencies. It influenced the day to day life of the common people.
v Public Administration and Democracy
o In a Democratic political system scope of public administration is related in many ways. It have close link to people and at the same time they are the watch -dog of the political system. The Modern democratic state gave more important to the welfarism, In a welfare democracy the effective administration is essential.
Ø Development of Communication and Technology
Ø The Development of Neo-Liberal State
Ø The concept of Participatory Development
Ø Good Governance.
Ø Environmental concerns
Ø Human rights approach
Ø New Social Movements and State
The discipline of Public Administration was born in the USA. The credit for initiating as an academic study of Public Administration goes to Woodrow Wilson. He is regarded as the father of the discipline of Public Administration. In his article entitled “The Study of Administration”, published in 1887, he emphasized the need for studying Public Administration as a discipline apart from politics. This is known as Principle of politic administration dichotomy, i.e., a separation of Politics and Administration. Wilson argued that, “Administration lies outside the proper sphere of politics. According to Frank J.Goodnow, politics “has to do with the expression of the state will” while administration “has to do with the execution of these policies.” In short, Goodnow posited the politics-administration dichotomy and he developed the Wilsonian theme further and greater courage and conviction.
The central belief of this period was that there are certain ‘principles’ of administration and which is the task of the scholars to discover and applied to increase the efficiency and economy of Public Administration. Scientific management handled the business of administration becomes a slogan. Administrative practitioners and business school join hands to mechanistic aspect of management. They claim that Public Administration is a science. The great depression in the America contributed a lot to the development. These periods were the golden years of ‘principles’ in the history of Public Administration. This was also a period when Public Administration commanded a high degree or respectability and its product were in great demand both in government and business.
The main theme during this period was the advocacy of ‘Human Relationship Behavioural Approach’ to the study of Public Administration. The idea of administrative dichotomy was rejected. It was argued that Administration cannot be separated from politics because its political nature and role, Administration is not only concern with policy decision but it deals with the policy formulation. Similarly, the principle of Administration was challenge
The mid-1940s theorists challenged Wilson and Gulick. The politics-administration dichotomy remained the center of criticism. In the 1960s and 1970s, government itself came under fire as ineffective, inefficient, and largely a wasted effort. There was a call by citizens for efficient administration to replace ineffective, wasteful bureaucracy. Public administration would have to distance itself from politics to answer this call and remain effective. Concurrently, after World War II, the whole concept of public administration expanded to include policy-making and analysis, thus the study of ‘administrative policy making and analyses was introduced and enhanced into the government decision-making bodies. Later on, the human factor became a predominant concern and emphasis in the study of Public Administration. This period witnessed the development and inclusion of other social sciences knowledge, predominantly, psychology, anthropology, and sociology, into the study of public administration. Fritz Morstein Marx with his book ‘The Elements of Public Administration’ (1946), Paul H. Appleby ‘Policy and Administration’ (1952), Frank Marini ‘Towards a New Public Administration’ (1971), and others that have contributed positively in these endeavors.
After the 1970s the evolution of Public Administration has gained new ways. The emergence of Development Administration, Comparative Public administration and New Public Administration etc were contributed to the evolution of Public Administration. The emergence of globalisation further contributed to this growth.
Private administration is a concept newly emerged one. Private Administration challenged the development of Public Administration. After 1970s the term private administration gained immense importance. There are many differences between these administrations.
§ The most apparent difference between the two sectors is their organizing principles or goal. While private administration has a definite mission, which is the pursuit of profit or stability or growth of revenues, public administration, on the other hand, has ambiguous purposes. Furthermore, the dilemma in ambiguity of purposes is exacerbated by too many unnecessary and inoperable agencies, with purposes that overlap and bloated bureaucracies.
§ Another factor that makes the public sector different from the private is decision making. In public administration, the decision must be and should be pluralistic. The founding fathers intentionally created a democratic republic where all key decisions are made in politicized environment. This allows for maximum participation: open debate, multiple veto points - a decision making hierarchy where consensus must be achieved at each level, ideally, an informed decision. While private administration's decision-making is much simpler- it's monopolistic or close to monopolistic. This type of decision-making would avoid any conflicts in interest; hence, the goal is clearly defined.
§ Public Administration is not characterized solely by profit motive; In fact in Private administration mainly functioned on the basis of profit motive.
§ Public Administration is strictly in accordance with certain legal safeguards in a manner to sustain the confidence and trust of the general public. In Private Administration no legality, it only considered about the owner.
§ Public Administration is not concerned about the time factor but private administration strictly follow time factor.
§ Private Administration focussed to the efficiency, transparency, accountability and credibility but in public administration these functions are only in nominal level.
The 1960s and 1970s were the periods of turbulence, instability in public administration. The earlier dogmas of public administration ‘economy’ and ‘efficiency’ were found inadequate and incomplete objectives of administrative activity. It began to be said that efficiency is not the whole of public administration. Man is the centre stage of all administrative activity who cannot be subjected to the mechanical test of efficiency. The term New Public Administration was used to describe the new trends in administration.
The two books “Towards a New public Administration, the Minnowbrook perspective” edited by Frank Marini and published in 1971 and “Public Administration in a time of turbulence” edited by Dwight Waldo and published simultaneously gave seeds of the concept of new public administration.
The major factors for the emergence of New public administration
- Philadelphia Conference
- Minnow brook Conference
Features of New Public Administration
Change and Administrative Responsiveness
The social, political, economic and technological environments are changing rapidly. Administrative organisations should, therefore, develop clear criteria by which the effectiveness and relevance of their decisions and actions can be judged in the changing context.
In Public Administration there is a good deal of emphasis on rationality as the main criterion for administrative dimensions and actions. But this rationality really refers to the rationality of, the administrator and not as people would interpret it. The administratorneeds to consult the citizens as well not only about what'is proposed to be done but also about what ought to be done and by whom.
Management- Worker Relations
It is true that human relations approach within an administrative organisation enhances both morale and productivity (efficiency) among employees but these are not to be end in them. The main objective should be the satisfaction of the citizens with the performance and attitudes of the administrative employees whose morale and productivity would have risen due to any human relations approach within an organisation
There is 'a need in adopting a dynamic approach to organizational structure. Appropriate Decentralization of authority and modification of hierarchies of control and subordination for instance, need continuous review so that the structure becomes relevant to the changing needs of environment.
Goals of New Public Administration
New Public Administration literature has stressed four important goals - namely, relevance, values, equity and change
Public Administration has always emphasized efficiency and economy. Public Administrationis criticized as having little to say about contemporary problems and issues. At the Minnow brook Conference, the participants focused attention on the need for policy-oriented.Public Administration must explicitly deal with Political, and normative implications of all administrative actions.
New Public Administration is explicitly normative. It rejects value concealing behaviouralism as well as procedural neutrality of traditional Public Administration. The participants at the Minnow brook Conference clearly espoused that value neutral Public Administration is Impossible. They emphasized that public officials have to advocate the interests of the disadvantaged people.
Public Administration is indicated as an instrument of status quo, denying social justice to the less privileged groups. The leaders of New Public Administration emphasis the principle of social equity and it considered more welfare oriented administration.
Achievement of social equity requires promotion of change by the public administrators.
Change is necessary to prevent Public Administration from coming under the dominance of powerful interest groups. New public administrators should regard change as a constant fact of administrative life.
COMPARATIVE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (CPA)
Comparative Public Administration (CPA) is an applied, intercultural, interdisciplinary, explanatory field of study which carries out cross-cultural investigations in order to provide solutions for management problems sooner and develop management technologies further. It is no accident that the field focuses upon growth, reform and capacity building since CPA is in many ways about identifying those "best practices" which promote the most desirable organizational structures and processes. CPA attempts to find universal patterns and regularities through comparison, irrespective of level of development and irrespective of place and time, although it is certainly the case that CPA is the field in which the modernization vs. development debates took place from 1959-1973. Those debates crossed over the fields of sociology, political science, and public administration and involved argument over grand schemes of nation-building for making some parts of the world.
The comparative administration group of the American society for P A which was set up in 1963 under the chairmanship of F W Riggs to study the administrative problems of developing countries viewed in the systematic context of their social, cultural, political and economic environments has defined CPA as ‘the theory of P A applied to diverse cultures and national setting and the body of factual data, by which it can be examined and tested’
Features of C P A
- Studies different administrative systems in their ecological settings.
- It emphasized empirical study based on rigorous methods such as field observation, field experiments.
- It developed inter-disciplinary orientations
- It lays stress on the inter-action between administration and socio, economic, cultural and political phenomena.
- It highlights the multi-organisational nature of P A and importance of interaction among organisations at different levels of government.
The term Development administration first coined by U L Goswami in 1955, however the term popularised by F W Riggs, Joseph La Palambara etc. The emergence of welfare state and the end of colonial era are the two significant factors contributed to the concept. The third world countries were moved to underdevelopment to development, these countries face many problems in this time. Development administration is focussed to their administrative problems.
Development administration is process of guiding an organisation toward the achievement of progressive political, economic and social objectives that are authoritatively determined one manner the other. Development administration is concerned with following matters
- The formulation and implementation of plans, policies, programmes and projects for national development.
- D A focussed to the national development; it is ‘action oriented’ and ‘goal oriented’ administrative system.
- Socio-economic change
- Time Frame work
- Client Orientation
- Goal Orientation and innovation