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UNIT-1PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION - MEANING,NATURE, SCOPE AND 121.13Learning OutcomeIntroductionWhat is Administration?Administration, Organisation and ManagementDefining Public AdministrationNature of Public AdministrationScope of Public Administration1.6.1 Scope of Public Administration as an Activity1.6.2 Scope of Public Administration as a DisciplinePublic and Private Administration1.7.1 Distinction between Public and Private Administration1.7.2 Similarities between Public and Private AdministrationImportance of Public Administration1.8.1 Importance of Public Administration as SpecialisedSubject of Study1.8.2 Importance of Public Administration as an ActivityRole of Public Administration under Liberalisation, Privatisationand Globalisation (LPG)ConclusionKey ConceptsReferences and Further ReadingActivities1.0LEARNING OUTCOMES1.71.81.9After going through this Unit, you should be able to: define Administration and Public Administration describe the nature of Public Administration explain the scope of Public Administration distinguish between Private and Public Administration analyse the Role of Public Administration vis-à-visLiberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG)1.1INTRODUCTIONAdministration as an activity is as old as society itself. But as an area ofstudy it originated, with the publication of Wilson’s essay on study ofAdministration in 1887. As a process, administration occurs in bothpublic and private organisations. It occurs in such diverse institution assettings as a business firm, labour unions, religious or charitableorganisations, educational institutions, etc. Its nature is affected by the1

sphere with which it is concerned. Administration is commonly dividedinto two types, Public and Private Administration. As an aspect ofgovernment activity it has existed since the emergence of politicalsystem(s). While public administration relates to the activities carriedout by government, private administration refers to the management ofprivate business enterprises.It is important to understand the functioning of administration for onthis lies the understanding of the government. In this Unit an effort hasbeen made to bring the concept of administration, public administrationin particular, closer to you. This understanding will take you through theentire course of Public Administration. In what follows, we willexamine the meaning, nature and scope of public administration.1.2WHAT IS ADMINISTRATION?The word ‘administer’ is derived from the Latin word administere,which means to care for or to look after people, to manage affairs.Administration may be defined as “group activity which involvescooperation and coordination for the purpose of achieving desired goalsor objectives”.Broadly speaking, the term administration appears to bear at least fourdifferent meanings or different senses depending upon the context inwhich it is used:(1)As a Discipline: The name of a branch of learning or intellectualdiscipline as taught and studied in colleges and universities.(2)As a Vocation: Type of work/trade or profession/occupation,especially one that involves knowledge and training in a branchof advance learning.(3)As a Process: The sum total of activities undertaken toimplement Public Policy or policies to produce some services orgoods.(4)As a Synonym for 'word' Executive or Government: Such otherbody of persons in supreme charge of affairs, for example,Manmohan Singh Administration, Bush Administration, etc.Noted below are definitions by a few famous writers.E.N. Gladden“Administration is a long and slightly pompous word, but it has ahumble meaning, for it means to care for or look after people, to2

manage affairs . is determined action taken in pursuit of consciouspurpose”.Brooks Adams“Administration is the capacity of coordinating many, and oftenconflicting, social energies in a single organism, so adroitly that theyshall operate as a unity.Felix A. Nigro“Administration is the organisation and use of men and materials toaccomplish a purpose”.J.M. Pfiffner and R. Presthus“Administration is the organisation and direction of human and materialresources to achieve desired ends”.L.D. White“The art of administration is the direction, co-ordination and control ofmany persons to achieve some purpose or objective”.Luther Gullick“Administration has to do with getting things done, with theaccomplishment of defined objectives”.F.M. Marx“Administration is determined action taken in pursuit of a consciouspurpose. It is the systematic ordering of affairs and the calculated useof resources, aimed at making those things happen which one wants tohappen and foretelling everything to the country”.Herbert Simon, D.W. Smithburg and V.A. Thompson“In its broadest sense, the administration can be defined as the activitiesof group cooperating to accomplish common goals.”A brief analysis of the definitions listed above reveals thatadministration comprises two essentials, namely (1) cooperative effort,and (2) pursuit of common objectives. One does not find anyadministration if there is only a common purpose without a collectiveeffort or vice-versa. Administration is also called a ‘technology ofsocial relationships’. Thus, administration is a process common to all3

group effort, public or private, civil or military, large scale or smallscale. It is process at work in a department store, a bank, a university, ahigh school, a railroad, a hospital, a hotel or a local government.1.3ADMINISTRATION, ORGANISATION ANDMANAGEMENTBefore we discuss about the meaning, definition, nature, scope andimportance of public administration we will try to know what isadministration, organisation and management. As these terms are oftenused interchangeably and synonymously, it is pertinent to know thedifferences and distinctions between these three terms.According to William Schulze Administration is the force, which laysdown the object for which an organisation and its management are tostrive and the broad policies under which they are to operate.An Organisation is a combination of the necessary human beings,materials, tools, equipment and working space, appurtenances broughttogether in systematic and effective co-relation to accomplish somedesired object.Management is that which leads guides and directs an organisation forthe accomplishment of pre-determined object.To put the above in simple terms, administration sets the goal,management strives to attain it and organisation is the machine of themanagement for the attainment of the ends determined by theadministration.Some scholars have a different view about the administration andmanagement. According to Peter Drucker management is associatedwith the business activity, which has to show economic performance,whereas administration is associated with the non business activitieslike activities of the Government.The other view is that administration is associated with performingroutine things in known settings in accordance with certain procedures,rules, and regulations. The Management is associated with performingfunctions like risk taking, dynamic, creative and innovative functions.Some scholars of Public Administration are closely associated with thefirst view that is, administration is a determinative function.Management, on other hand is an executive function that is primarilyconcerned with carrying out the broad policies laid down by theadministration. Organisation is the machinery through whichcoordination is established between administration and management.4

1.4DEFINING PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIONL.D. White observes that although public administration varies in formand objects, and although the administration of public and privateaffairs differs at many points, there is an underlying similarity, if notidentity. As an integral aspect of such generic concept, publicadministration could be related to that type of administration, whichoperates within a specific ecological setting. It is a means to carry outthe policy decisions made by political executive.To be seen along with it is the ‘Public’ aspect of Public administration,which attributes a special character and focus to it. ‘Public’ can belooked at formally to mean ‘government’. So, public administration isgovernment administration, government in action, or a socio-economicand politico-administrative confluence, the focus being especially onpublic bureaucracy.Encyclopaedia Britannica defines publicadministration as ‘the application of a policy of a state through itsgovernment.’Public Administration, therefore, refers to that part of administration,which pertains to the administrative activities of the government.Now we will try to look into the definitions of Public Administrationprovided by various scholars.Woodrow WilsonPublic administration is the detailed and systematic application of law.Every particular application of law is an act of administration.L.D. White“Public administration consists of all those operations having for theirpurpose the fulfilment or enforcement of public policy”. As per White,this definition covers a multitude of particular operations in many fieldsthe delivery of a letter, the sale of public land, the negotiation of atreaty, the award of compensation to an injured workman, thequarantine of a sick child, the removal of litter from a park,manufacturing uranium 235, and licensing the use of atomic energy. Itincludes military as well as civil affairs, much of the work of courts, andall the special fields of government activity-police, education, health,construction of public works, conservation, social security, and manyothers. The conduct of public affairs in advanced civilisations requiresthe employment of almost every profession and skill-engineering, law,medicine, and teaching; the crafts, the technical specialties, the officeskills, and many others.5

Percy Mc QueenPublic administration is related to the operations of government whetherlocal or central.Luther GulickPublic administration is that part of the science of administration, whichhas to do with the government; it concerns itself primarily with theexecutive branch where the work of the government is done; thoughthere are obviously problems also in connection with the legislative andjudicial branches.J.M Pfiffner“Administration consists of getting the work of government done bycoordinating the efforts of people so that they can work together toaccomplish their set tasks”.M. Ruthanaswami“When administration has to do with the affairs of a state or minorpolitical institutions like the municipal or country council (districtboard), it is called public administration. All the acts of the officials ofa government, from the peon in a remote office to the head of a state inthe capital, constitute public administration.”H.A. Simon, D.W. Smithburg and V.A. Thompson“By Public Administration is meant, in common usage, the activities ofthe executive branches of national, state and local governments,government corporations and certain other agencies of a specialisedcharacter. Specifically excluded are judicial and legislative agencieswithin the government and non-governmental administration.”Corson and Harris“Public administration is the action part of government, the meansby which the purposes and goals of government are realised.”Dwight Waldo“Public administration is the art and science of management as appliedto the affairs of State.”M.E. Dimock6

“Public Administration is concerned with ‘what’ and ‘how’ of thegovernment. The ‘what’ is the subject matter, the technical knowledgeof a field, which enables the administrator to perform his tasks. The‘how’ is the technique of management, the principles according towhich co-operative programmes are carried through to success. Each isindispensable, together they form the synthesis called administration”.Nicholas Henry“Public Administration is a broad-ranging and amorphous combinationof theory and practice; its purpose is to promote a superiorunderstanding of government and its relationship with the society, itgoverns, as well as to encourage public policies more responsive tosocial needs and to institute managerial practices attuned toeffectiveness, efficiency and the deeper human requisites of thecitizenry”.The traditional definitions of Public Administration, which are givenabove reflect the view that the Public Administration is only involved incarrying out the policies and programmes of the government. It reflectthat it has no role in policy making and also locates the administrationin the executive branch but today the term public administration is usedin a broader sense that it is not only involved in carrying out theprogrammes of the government, but it also plays an important role inpolicy formulation and covers the three branches of the government. Inthis context, we may reflected on the definition offered by F.A. Nigroand L.G. Nigro. According to them Public Administration:In this context we can reflect the definition offered by F.A. Nigro andL.G. Nigro. According to them Public Administration: is co-operative group effort in a public setting;covers all three branches-executive, legislative, and judicial, andtheir inter-relationships;has an important role in the formulation of public policy and isthus a part of the political process;is different in significant ways from private administration; andis closely associated with numerous private groups andindividuals in providing services to the community”.In sum, public administration: is the non-political public bureaucracy operating in a politicalsystem;deals with the ends of the State, the sovereign will, the publicinterests and laws;7

1.5is the business side of government and as such concerned withpolicy execution, but it is also concerned with policy-making;covers all three branches of government, although it tends to beconcentrated in the executive branch;provides regulatory and service functions to the people in orderto attain good life;differs significantly from private administration, especially in itsemphasis on the public; andis interdisciplinary in nature as it draws upon other socialsciences like political science, economics and sociology.NATURE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIONThere are two views regarding the Nature of Public Administration, thatis, Integral and Managerial.According to the integral view, ‘administration’ is the sum total of allthe activities – manual, clerical, managerial, etc., which are undertakento realise the objectives of the organisation. In this view all the acts ofofficials of the government from the Attendant to the Secretaries to thegovernment and Head of the State constitute Public Administration.Henri Fayol and L.D. White are the supporters of this view.According to the managerial view of administration, the managerialactivities of people who are involved in planning, organising,commanding, coordinating and controlling constitute PublicAdministration. This view regards administration as getting things doneand not doing things. Luther Gullick, Herbert Simon, Smithburg andThompson are the supporters of this view. The managerial viewexcludes Public Administration from non-managerial activities such asmanual, clerical and technical activities.The two views differs from each other in many ways. According toProf. M.P. Sharma the difference between the two views isfundamental. The integral view includes the activities of all the personsengaged in administration whereas the managerial view restricts itselfonly to the activities of the few persons at the top. The integral viewdepicts all types of activities from manual to managerial, from nontechnical to technical whereas the managerial view takes into accountonly the managerial activities in an organisation. Furthermore,administration, according to the integral view would differ from onesphere to another depending upon the subject matter, but whereas thatwill not be the case according to the managerial point of view becausethe managerial view is identified with the managerial techniquescommon to all the fields of administration.8

The difference between the two views relates to the difference betweenmanagement and operation or we may say between getting things doneand doing things. The correct meaning of the term administrationwould however, depend upon the context in which it is used. Dimock,Dimock and Koening sum up in the following words:“As a study public administration examines every aspect ofgovernment’s efforts to discharge the laws and to give effect to publicpolicy; as a process, it is all the steps taken between the time anenforcement agency assumes jurisdiction and the last break is placed(but includes also that agency’s participation, if any, in the formulationof the programme in the first place); and as a vocation, it is organisingand directing the activities of others in a public agency.”1.6SCOPE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIONBy the scope of Public Administration, we mean the major concerns ofPublic Administration as an activity and as a discipline.1.6.1Scope of Public Administration as an activityBroadly speaking, Public Administration embraces all the activities ofthe government. Hence as an activity the scope of public administrationis no less than the scope of state activity. In the modern welfare statepeople expect many things – a wide variety of services and protectionfrom the government. In this context public administration provides anumber of welfare and social security services to the people. Besides, ithas to manage government owned industries and regulate privateindustries. Public administration covers every area and activity withinthe ambit public policy. Thus, the scope of public administration isvery wide in modern state.1.6.2Scope of Public Administration as a DisciplineThe scope of public administration as a discipline, that is subject ofstudies, comprises of the following:The POSDCoRB viewSeveral writers have defined the scope of public administration invarying terms. Gullick sums up the scope of the subject by the letters ofthe word POSDCoRB which denote: Planning, Organisation, Staffing,Directing, Co-ordinating reporting the Budgeting. Planning means theworking out in broad outline the things to be done, the methods to beadopted to accomplish the purpose.9

Organisation means the establishment of the formal structure ofauthority through which the work is sub-divided, arranged, defined andcoordinated.Staffing means the recruitment and training of the personnel and theirconditions of work.Directing means making decisions and issuing orders and instructions.Coordinating means inter-relating the work of various divisions,sections and other parts of the organisation.Reporting means informing the superiors within the agency to whomthe executive is responsible about what is going on.Budgeting means fiscal planning, control and accounting.According to Gullick the POSDCoRB activities are common to allorganisations. They are the common problems of management whichare found in different agencies regardless of the nature of the work theydo.POSDCoRB gives unity, certainty, and definiteness and makes thestudy more systematic. The critics pointed out that the POSDCoRBactivities were neither the whole of administration, nor even the mostimportant part of it. The POSDCoRB view over looks the fact thatdeferent agencies are faced with different administrative problems,which are peculiar to the nature of the services, they render and thefunctions they performed.The POSDCoRB view takes intoconsideration only the common techniques of the administration andignores the study of the ‘subject matter’ with which the agency isconcerned. A major defect is that the POSDCoRB view does notcontain any reference to the formulation and implementation of thepolicy. Therefore, the scope of administration is defined very narrowly,being too inward looking and too conscious of the top management.The Subject Matter ViewW

Public Administration, therefore, refers to that part of administration, which pertains to the administrative activities of the government. Now we will try to look into the definitions of Public Administration provided by various scholars. Woodrow Wilson Public administration is the detailed and systematic application of law.

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