The science of public administration is not a direct or concrete examination. Rather, the human tendencies of emotion and subtle manipulation are also included in this discipline. The purpose of this essay is to explore the ideas and major theories of the science of public administration. This essay will examine 5 patriarchal figures to highlight the evolution and transformation of the use of public power for administration purposes.
The presidency of Woodrow Wilson is mostly known in the annals of history as being a disastrous president who legislated away many of the powers and freedoms that were earned by Americans after th 19th century. Wilson's lust for war and violence misled America into World War I and summarily weakened the nation in every way possible. Wilson also failed his people by relinquishing the people's power to print their own money to the Federal Reserve in 1914.
Wilson was steeped in collective ideas that propagated his leadership style and demanded that government become more involved in the everyday lives of its citizens through legislation. In many ways this was the basis for the new American century that looked to place more power within government sources. Naidu (2004) wrote " Wilson argued that one could employ administrative principles developed under European authoritarianism in democratically controlled American political system. He said that the civil service must be at all points sensitive to public opinion. It should provide services to the people in accord with their tastes and desires, "(p.57).
Even though the history of America was built upon breaking away from European hegemony, Wilson ignored these ideals when arguing for the increased role of public administration. In retrospect, Wilson's ideas were foolish and dangerous, but, the development of public administration mostly began with his administration's approach to destabilizing the country into war and questionable finance.
Fredrick Mosher contributed to the development of public administration in many ways. His 1968 book entitled Democracy and the Public Service helped to guide the academy into new realms of understanding and theory as it relates to managing the public. Mosher addressed the essence of democracy and how it is threatened under mismanaged public administration and urged action to counter these dangerous forces.
Mosher listed 4 basic premises in his theory of public administration. These included that:
1. Government decisions and behavior are tremendously influential in our society.
2. These decisions and behaviors are heavily influenced by non-elected administrative officials.
3. These kinds of decisions and behaviors taken depend upon the officials' capabilities orientations and values.
4. These attributes depend upon their backgrounds, training and education and their current associations (Perry, 2007).
While Mosher's ideas are commonplace now amongst theorist, at the time his frank discussion about the waning power of democracy was extremely influential in the evolution of public administration and how it is theoretically understood and practiced by those in this profession and those who teach these theories.
Rosenbloom is a modern theorist on public administration and has taken many of the ideas of Wilson and Mosher and combined them into his own intellectual formulations. Essentially, Rosenbloom suggests in his approach to public administration that three perspectives are necessary for understanding the totality of public administration theory. Rosenbloom's impactful article published in the 1980's suggested that his framework was "for understanding public administration at a macro-level by viewing it through the lenses of management, politics, and law. Each of these perspectives is anchored in a function of government -- execution, legislation, and adjudication respectively -- which at the U.S. federal level is housed primarily in the institutional structures of the executive branch, Congress, and the courts."
Rosenbloom has been a useful theorist in public administration because of his approach that includes new ideas that were unseen before in the area of study. Rosenbloom used the idea of separation of powers to help sort and organize the subject into a manageable problem. The size and scope of public administration required such a theoretical adjustment due to the complexity and sophistication of public service that has been developed in modern times throughout the last 40 years.
Drucker's approach to public management was holistic and used other disciplines to help define and shape this evolving science. Drucker classified himself as a social ecologist, and viewed public administration as a more natural and flowing occurrence within the realm of existence and life. Drucker was a prolific author who developed significant theories and ideas on human capital management and innovating new ways of harnessing the human energy that is contained within all of us.
At the heart of his ideas Drucker looked to explain human organization in the simplest terms. "Throughout his work, Drucker called for a healthy balance -- between short-term needs and long-term sustainability; between profitability and other obligations; between the specific mission of individual organizations and the common good; between freedom and responsibility."( Drucker Institute, nd) The doubled edge sword of freedom that Drucker wrote about influenced many leaders in public administration and provided guidance on how to strategically, operationally and tactically employ ideas and behaviors to control human populations on a macro scale.
Appleby's take on public administration theory was based on the ideas of actually serving the public. This viewpoint placed the onus of development on the public official and speaks from a more collective viewpoint such as Mosher and Wilson. Like Rosenbloom, Appleby also divided his approach to public administration into three areas. According to his writings, the public administration is different from private administration in three important aspects, the first is the political character, secondly the breadth of scope, impact and consideration and public accountability.
Appleby's contribution to public administration theory can be best summed up by his approach to exploiting the differences in government and regular lay life. Appleby suggested that the essential character of government was to account for the public and lead with character and purpose. This special place government has in society has been built upon by other more radical collectivist theorists inspired by Appleby in the second half of the 20th century.
The balancing acts that must be performed by those within the public administration career field are problematic and provide challenging examples of the type of work and actions that must be executed. The purpose of this white paper is to explore a certain situation that demands a holistic and appropriate response to a typical and practical problem that is commonly experienced within public administrative duties. This paper will first give background information on the subject and identify the key stakeholders within this problem. The paper will then discuss the options available and introduce the benefits and disadvantages of those options. The essay will conclude with suggestions on how the problem may best be addressed and ideas on this problem may remedied in the future.
The situation that this problem is based upon requires a complete and total examination of the current forces that are acting upon the concerned administrative environment. As the superintendent of Mt. Rossmoor Community College (MRCC), a certain imbalance has been recognized that is greatly affecting the performance and operations of this institution. This is caused by budgetary constraints at the higher state level. This lack of funding has caused a series of chain reactions, that will force the superintendent to address the effects of this monetary shortfall.
The budget problems faced by the state has caused the state universities to increase the cost of tuition by 8%. This action is expected to see MRCC's student enrollment to increase significantly due to the practicality of using community college to earn basic college credits that can be cheaply applied to a degree later at a full time university. To complicate the problem MRCCs budget is also experiencing shortfalls of nearly 15% and the necessary resources to accept the new student overload are in doubt. The superintendent is required to formulate this problem and address it in a way that can assist the many and varying stakeholders involved in this problem.
It is important before making any decisions on this matter to clearly identify the stakeholders within this situation. As a public administrator, the inherent and most obvious stakeholder in this situation is the public at large. The public environment is the primary objective of any public administrator who is wishing to fulfill his or her dutes as a public servant.
The superintendent must consider the current students and faculty at MRCC before making any decision regarding the imminent shortfall of resources. The leadership duties of the superintendent require that he cares and looks out for the best interest of his employees. Without a motivated and dedicated faculty, MRCC's chances of sustained success are low and improbable.
The superintendent must also look out for his own best interests. Too much self sacrifice in this decision may have deleterious effects on the broader scheme of things if the role of martyr is chosen by the superintendent. MRCC should be a…