Classical Theories of Public Administration by Walter Johnson - Updated September 26, The classical, or structural, theory of public administration does not normally admit of multiple theories, but centers around a complex set of variables, ideas and concepts that govern public administration, or state bureaucracy. Although there are many classical authors such as Luther Gulick, Henri Fayol or Lyndall Urwick, most of whom are writing in the early 20th century, there are several important themes attached to the classical theory. Specialization and Command Classical administration theory centers around the division of labor.
Principles of public administration The classical definition Throughout the 20th century the study and practice of public administration has been essentially pragmatic and normative rather than theoretical and value free.
This may explain why public administration, unlike some social sciences, developed without much concern about an encompassing theory. Most recent bureaucratic theory, however, has been addressed to the private sector, and there has been little effort to relate organizational to political theory.
A prominent principle of public administration has been economy and efficiencythat is, the provision of public services at the minimum cost. This has usually been the stated objective of administrative reform.
Despite growing concern about other kinds of values, such as responsiveness to public needs, justice and equal treatment, and citizen involvement in government decisions, efficiency continues to be a major goal.
In its concern with efficiency and improvement, public administration has focused frequently on questions of formal organization.
Public Policy theory is the next stage in the development of Public Administration theory. Public policy is an attempt by a government to address a public issue by instituting laws, regulations. Principles of public administration The classical definition. Throughout the 20th century the study and practice of public administration has been essentially pragmatic and normative rather than theoretical and value free. This may explain why public administration, unlike some social sciences, developed without much concern about an encompassing theory. Classical Organization Theory As far back as the end of World War II, the field of public administration and management has had significant importance to American society. As early as the s, there has been a deep interest in organizational behavior, human motivation and productivity.
It is generally held that administrative ills can be at least partly corrected by reorganization. Many organizational principles originated with the military, a few from private business. They include, for example: Some critics have maintained that these and other principles of public administration are useful only as rough criteria for given organizational situations.
They believe that organizational problems differ and that the applicability of rules to various situations also differs. Nonetheless, and despite much more sophisticated analyses of organizational behaviour in recent decades, such principles as those enumerated above continue to carry force.
Public administration has also laid stress upon personnel. In most countries administrative reform has involved civil service reform. Attention has increasingly been given to factors other than intellectual merit, including personal attitudes, incentives, personality, personal relationships, and collective bargaining.
In addition, the budget has developed as a principal tool in planning future programs, deciding priorities, managing current programs, linking executive with legislatureand developing control and accountability.
The contest for control over budgets, particularly in the Western world, began centuries ago and at times was the main relationship between monarchs and their subjects. The modern executive budget system in which the executive recommends, the legislature appropriates, and the executive oversees expenditures originated in 19th-century Britain.
In the United States during the 20th century, the budget became the principal vehicle for legislative surveillance of administration, executive control of departments, and departmental control of subordinate programs.
It has been assuming a similar role in many of the developing countries of the world. Recent interpretations The classical approach to public administration described above probably reached its fullest development in the United States during the s, although since that time, through educational and training programs, technical assistanceand the work of international organizations, it has also become standard doctrine in many countries.
However, some of its elements have been resisted by governments with British or continental-legal perspectives, and even during the s it was being challenged from several quarters.
Since that time study of the subject has greatly developed. It has also become somewhat confused as a result of certain inconsistencies in approach. The orthodox doctrine rested on the premise that administration was simply the implementation of public policies determined by others.
According to this view, administrators should seek maximum efficiency but should be otherwise neutral about values and goals. During the Great Depression of the s, and even more so during World War II, however, it became increasingly evident that many new policies originated within the administration, that policy and value judgments were implicit in most significant administrative decisions, that many administrative officials worked on nothing except policy, and that, insofar as public policies were controversial, such work inevitably involved administrators in politics.
The supposed independence of administration from policy and politics was seen to be illusory. Since the s there has thus been increasing concern with policy formation and the development of techniques to improve policy decisions.
Although the concept of a value-free, neutral administration is regarded by many as no longer tenable, no fully satisfactory substitute has been offered. How to ensure that responsible and responsive policy decisions are made by career administrators, and how to coordinate their work with the policies of politically elected or appointive officials, remain key preoccupations, especially in democratic states.
It was with governmental efforts to combat the Depression that new informational devices were introduced, including national income accounting and the scrutiny of gross national product as a major index of economic health. The applied techniques of fiscal and monetary policy have become established specializations of public administration.
Economists occupy key posts in the administrations of most nations, and many other administrators must have at least elementary knowledge of the economic implications of government operations. France, Sweden and other Scandinavian nations, Great Britain, and the United States were among the leaders in developing economic planning techniques.
Such planning has become a dominating concern of public administration in many of the developing countries. Incrementalism is the tendency of government to tinker with policies rather than to question the value of continuing them.
A number of techniques have been introduced to make decisions more rational. One such technique, widely applied, is cost—benefit analysis.
This involves identifying, quantifying, and comparing the costs and benefits of alternative proposals. Department of Defense in and extended to the federal budget in According to PPBS, the objectives of government programs were to be identified, and then alternative means of achieving these objectives were to be compared according to their costs and benefits.
In practice, PPBS made little difference in federal budgeting, partly because the objectives of governmental programs were difficult to specify and partly because comprehensive evaluation took too long.Classical Theory: Although monsoons are mentioned in our old scriptures like the Rig Veda and in the writings of several Greek and Buddhist scholars, the credit for first scientific studies of the monsoon winds goes to the Arabs.
classical theories of public administration 4 It should be noted here that there is a close relationship between the bureaucratic theory and policy-making of public administration, which is based on the division of work, organizing. Information technology (IT) has impacted public administration theories and practice.
In terms of the impact of technology on social and organizational change, what are the three main Describe the FOUR classical types of potential market failure, in detail, and provide examples of MPA Comprehensive Exam Question Examples. Public Administration Theory is the amalgamation of history, organizational theory, social theory, political theory and related studies focused on the meanings, structures and functions of public .
Public administration as a combination of different theories and practices is concerned with developing four kinds of theories (Henry, , pp. 21–22): descriptive, normative, assumptive, and instrumental.
Public Administration Theory is the amalgamation of history, organizational theory, social theory, political theory and related studies focused on the meanings, structures and functions of public .