Mind Mapping of Public Administration Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Public Administration Mind Map

PA concepts decision-making, communication, public relations, supervision, coordination, unity of command, authority, leadership,

Theoretical Perspectives: modern theories:

behavioral approach of individual and organizational goals; social-psychological theory X and Y of McGregor; comparative PA by Riggs; developmental administration by Weidner; new PA by Minnowbrook.

Historical context

PA as a discipline began at the end of the

th century, with basis from different administrative perspectives from philosophy, economic, behavioral, political, and social of the early 1800s.

Selected PA Concept leadership, which is the ability to direct and organize human effort towards the achievement of specific objectives.

Ethical implications:

integrity, human understanding, intelligence, personal honesty, courage, and ability to communicate

PA practices:

identification of the most successful initiatives to address important issues; learning of that which does not and does work for each situation; inspiring in decision-making.

Basic Public administration: management of public affairs to achieve common goals.

Basic Public administration: management of public affairs to achieve common goals.

Basic Public administration: management of public affairs to achieve common goals.

PA Concerns a learning experience; shared understanding of social complexities; implementation capability; policy sensitivity; promotion of publicness.


functional elements

-- planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting.

Leadership principles

-- division of work, authority, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, scalar chain, centralization, order, equity

Public Administration Leadership

- a formal structural arrangement where work is divided, defined, arranged, and coordinated.

PA leadership

-- non-political and technical organization meant to realize policies with efficiency and economy towards productivity.

The mind map identified that public administration is a varied and multi-disciplinary area that is continually evolving. The map identifies key corner stone of different definitions, historical developments, concepts, practices, theories and aspects of public administration. The map reveals that the definition of public administration is under the influence of government activity and historical context that began in the late 17th century with the rise of the modern state. Under this political system, public administration concerns itself with the management of human affairs in public laws, state functions, and public welfare considerations. Therefore, this leads the map to define public administration as "the management of public affairs to achieve common goals." Three oval shapes with different shades and boarders represent public administration, as a dynamic concept that is continually evolving. Public administration is dynamic since it is a science, an art and a philosophy, which is in many institutional set ups like business, healthcare, and education among others. The artistic, scientific, and philosophical dynamics of public administration are the results of the different approaches, which are a reflection of its practices, concerns, and concepts. It is dynamic since it has different approaches, which have their foundations on the historical context of public administration.

Historical approaches include political theory of public administration postulated by Woodrow Wilson, public policy, classical approach of Gulick and Urwick, classical approach, scientific management of Taylor, Weber's bureaucracy and mayo's human relations approach. These approaches show the historical revolution of the modern public administration under the influence of political, law, economics, and social ideologies of each period. These are important as the form the basis of modern public administrations and are the source of the current theories. The study identifies that public administration is evolving from the historical approaches under the current theories. These include the behavioral approaches of Simon Herbert, Argyis's individual and organizational goals, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This also includes the social-psychological approaches of McGregor theory X and Y and Likert's theory of systems of management. Of importance are Rigg's comparative public administration studies that are currently hugely influential in public administration. Other modern approaches include Weidner's development administration and Minnowbrook new public administration perspective.

The discussion will look at the concept of leadership in public administration in relation to theories, concepts, and practices. The concept of leadership and its connection to other concepts like decision-making, unity of command, authority, and hierarchy, are of interest to this research. The discussion also explores the concept of public administration leadership in terms of best practices and ethical principles.



The field of public administration is wide and dynamic, and for this reason, this discussion limits itself to the ramifications of key concepts, theories, and practices on leadership. Public administration is "decision making, the formulation of objectives and goals, planning what is to be done, directing and supervision, communication and receiving communication, providing leadership, and control" (Pruthi, 2005). White, L.D. defines public administration as that which "consists of all those operations having for their purpose the fulfillment or enforcement of public policy" (Naidu, 2005; Osborne, 2006). Simon Herbert finds that it, "is a meant, in common usage, the activities of the executive branches of the national, states, and local government" (Naidu, 2005). Meanwhile, Waldo D. defines it as "the detailed and systematic execution of public law. Every application of law is an act of administration" (Pruthi, 2005; Van Mart, 2011). The variance in the definition of the discipline is an indication of the dynamic and evolutionary nature.

The definitions show that the discipline has historically being a reflection of activities of policies and programs of the government. An analysis of literature provides evidence that public administration is historically the collective efforts of the implementation of public policies given by the law and legislation (Osborne, 2006). This discipline's traditional definition has a basis on the traditional administrative practices of the government, with limitation to the executive branch. On the other hand, the definition in use, in this research is from the modern approaches. It is for this reason this research adopts the definition given by Pruthi (2005).

Dynamism and Evolution of Public Administration

The discipline is wide as it draws concepts and ideals from politics, social, philosophy and economic sciences. The discipline is also wide as it finds application in different areas both in the private and public organizations, as its nature varies according to the setting of the organization (Naidu, 2005). However, the main concerns of public administration in both fields involve the promotion of publicness, in which principles of democracy apply in values, openness, and power sharing (Trottier, Van Mart & Wang, 2008). The discipline concerns itself with sensitivity to policies by active role-play in policy formulation, implementation, and change (Pruthi, 2005). Public administration also entails the implementation capability of leadership where goal setting, planning, projection, programming, and management are part of the administration. The discipline concerns itself with a shared understanding of social complexities, which are the different interests and influences of the different actors (Trottier, Van Mart & Wang, 2008). Lastly, effective public administration is the learning experience of the shifts in social reality and the changing environmental conditions facing institution. Under this concern, the public administrator is a leader that is innovative, proactive, and a risk taker that directs individuals and organizations to adapt to changes.

The discipline of public administration has its roots in the autocratic monarchies of China, Egypt, India, and Europe. From these bases, public administration was an art that was under the influence of ideologies like that of Confucius (Naidu, 2005). Modern public administration also has its roots in the civil service model of the Roman Empire that made use of legal policies. The most remarkable era in the evolution of public administration is the industrial age that gave formal organization, pyramidal hierarchies, public service, and the system of external and internal control (Naidu, 2005). Public administration is dynamic as it is an art, a science and a philosophy. As an art, the discipline emphasizes on practices instead of theory, as it is an activity (Van Mart, 2011). Therefore, public, administrative leadership is an act of doing deeds like the identification of the most successful initiatives to address pertinent issues, of that which does not and does work for each situation, and inspiring in decision-making.

The discipline is a science since it is a self-conscience study and an independent field, with knowledge from observation an experience. The discipline is a science since it has a set of principles applicable to different administrative environments. The discipline is a science since its study is through various scientific methods as seen with the modern theories of comparative and behavioral methods (Osborne, 2006). Lastly, the discipline is a philosophy since it is the integration of theories and ethics. It is for this reason, this research will discuss the concept of public, administrative leadership in terms of its practice, concern, and ethical implications.

Theories of Public Administration: Practices from Seminal Works and Modern Approaches

The study of public administration began with Wilson Woodrow as evident in its seminal essay "The Study of Administration" found in the political science quarterly of 1887 (Naidu, 2005; Van Mart, 2003). This introduces the progressive nature of PA, under the influence of the political system that called for reforms and professionalism. The reformations led to the creation of a public administration that is efficient and businesslike. Wilson's theory directs that leadership deal with policy formulation and the carrying out of the policies. This theory creates…

Sources Used in Document:


Naidu, S.P. (2005). Public Administration: Concepts and Theories. Reprint. New Age International.

Osborne, S. (2006). "The New Public Governance?" Public Management Review, 8(3), pp. 377-387.

Pruthi, R.K. (2005). Theory of Public Administration. Discovery Publishing PVT.Ltd.

Trottier, T., Van Wart, M. And Wang, X. (2008). "Examining the Nature and Significance of Leadership in Government Organizations." Public Administration Review, 68(2), pp. 319-333.

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