This is a paper on the concept and basis of Public Administration and the importance it holds in the field of management.
Defining the Breadth and Scope of Public Administration
In the early years of public administration was hailed as a strong and positive as a professional force for studying and putting into practice for the improvement and revamping of the administration of the federal, state and legislative government but also sure of the political and ethical authenticity of the field of public administration in performing that role.
In what is now known as the Classical period, the mind set of the people that were in the field of public administration were based on the resulting derivative of the theory and principles of values from the intellectual side of political science and, in the main part, from constitutional democratic theory. Woodrow Wilson is considered to be the academic founder of the American public administration system.
On the other hand, however, John Stuart Mill, who stressed that the character of administration was supposed to be politically neutral and the accountability of administrators to elected heads of government, spelled out the function of public administration in a democratic government. "Policy-administration dichotomy" was the expression that was used to illustrate the course of action by which political or "importance" issues are decided upon by elected officials and put into operation, with resourcefulness and in a dutiful manner, by expert appointees.
The structure that has been based upon accountability as implied by the dichotomy was a logical expansion of the theory of commissioned government, the elected representatives of the government are held responsible to the community at large by means of the ballot box; the administrators are held responsible to the representatives by the means of a pecking order system of controls, rewards, and punishments.
The confidence of the Classical public management in its legality as an academic enterprise that was used for professional purposes and was the end result of a for the most part acknowledged acceptance of the fundamental values of the representative government from which the organizational values are derived, as well as the fact that those values were to a certain extent easy and clear-cut. Nonetheless, difficult as these values may be to arrive at in practice, the ideals of good organization and duty are rather easy to understand.
The Sub-Disciplines Of Public Administration
The believers of the Classical way of thinking were in no doubt about its security to perk up the good organizational quality and the quality of administration on the whole because of the fascination with science on the side of public administration and the society in the main. In the study of management, the scientific method was to be the formula by which truths about the way organizations work could be discovered. The practice of administration, could with the aid of science formulate the "one best way" of management for the reason that its separation from the political process,. These, at any rate, were the general beliefs of administrative orthodoxy.
As the scope and the breadth of governments in the world grew more advanced and larger in structure and functions, the effectiveness and the applicability of the classical paradigm in public administration was reduced to a large extent.
The breakdown in the connection between the policy and the public administration was widely recognized and there was an increasing disbelief regarding the fact that the main beliefs of the representative government being adequate enough for the administration of the vast machinery of government. The theories and the strategies that were in vogue then in scientific fields were considered to be insufficient and not specialized enough to understand and to improve upon the public administration strategies that were in use. However, the classical approach has not been completely removed from practice, it is still in application while new approaches are continuously sought out and applied.
In spite of the fact that there has been no agreement on a new system of public administration, a lot of questions and problems in the current system of public administration are being raised and attempts are being made to answer and create solutions to these problems and issues. The speedy resolution of these problems will result in new theories and new approaches for dealing with the issues that are facing the field of public administration in its new and evolving political and social and economic perspective.
The Major Concepts In Public Administration
The initial systems for the strategic planning process for business process were based upon the analysis of the organization and its environment (U.S. Census, 1996). The well tried SWOT, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats model, for instance, calls for the study of the out side environment to be aware of evolving threats and opportunities. This evaluation of the external environment is often known as environmental examination.
The internal operations and the activities of the organization are evaluated to make certain the strengths and weaknesses in the perspective of the external threats and opportunities. Regrettably, however, the initial strategic planning assumptions and practices were often inexperienced, assuming that the change that took place was linear and predictable, instead of being nonlinear and unexpected. The factors of internal and external resistance to planning and plans were often disregarded.
The failures of the strategic planning process soon became apparent (DeVita, 1996). Researchers began to inquire more deeply in order to find out the extent to which strategic planning had a say in the performance of the organization and the limits the strategic planning process had in determining the performance of the organization (Klay and DeHaven-Smith, 1997). This study has in an obvious manner exposed two main problems with the strategic planning process (Smith, 1996). The evaluations upon which the linear method of thinking was based on in the early strategic planning process were sometimes wrong.
Along with the fact that the strategic planning policies that were created by the dedicated planning units were at times formulated with little participation from others in organizations, these plans could not be put into practice on their own. The call for an improved theory became apparent by the late 1970s. The theory for the strategic planning process needed to be altered to provide better guidance to leaders who have to develop strategy under conditions in which forecasts can be wrong, in which the future can be one of surprises, and in which agreement to implement strategic plans cannot be taken for granted.
Later on, the theory of Strategic management, which was a reaction to the inadequacy of the strategic planning process, began to replace the strategic planning process (Karoly, 1996). It laid emphasis on the need to be able to get a feel for the nonlinear changes in an organization's environment and to set down the foundations for organizational transformation. The combination of the strategic planning theory with the theory of organization development in order to generate an continuing learning process that is both participative and anticipative was given emphasis on (Schacter, 1995).
The theory of strategic management also started to make out that business leaders face political restrictions. Business managers have to become strategists in political environments (Frederickson, 1997). The significance of making out and understanding the range of stakeholders in a business was also exposed. In a deviation from the previous theory of strategic planning, the theory of strategic management has not been put to an end. Most of the strategy-based literature that is available for the administrators and managers of today is more often than not just a mere refinement of the strategic management model.
Most of the standard model of strategic management for public organizations is based upon the concept of strategic management for businesses that was to a large extent in place by the early 1980s. Public administration theorists usually share with their business oriented colleagues a few suppositions and conjectures about the strategic management process.
These are theories that state that the organizations should be down to business and the leaders of the organization, whether a business organization or a public organization should not let themselves be weighed down with the requirements of the present. On the other hand, leaders should become skilled in their grasp of the external environment of their organizations and consider about what has to be done to position their organizations in a better way for a prospect that will be different from that of the present.
Most leaders have to gain knowledge of the organization itself to produce strategies that are based upon the strengths of an organization and should try to prop up its weaknesses.
The facets that make up an organization's strategies are the most vital to accomplish so that the organization is better positioned for the challenges of the future environment. However, this positioning is only going to be a success when the threats that the organization has from the external environment are averted and opportunities that are available are made out and followed.