DU SOL BA 3rd Year Administration and Public Policy Notes Chapter 1 Meaning, Scope and Significance of Public Administration

DU SOL BA 3rd Year Administration and Public Policy Notes Chapter 1 Meaning, Scope and Significance of Public Administration

Question 1.
Define the meaning, scope and significance of Public Administration.
Meaning And Definition Of Public Administration :
Public Administration is a part of the wider term ‘Administration’. To understand the meaning of Public Administration we must, therefore, first try to understand what administration means.

Administration. The word Administer is derived from the Latin word Administer are, which Cleans to care for or to look after people, to manage affairs. According to this wide definition almost every human activity involves some kind of administration. Even in primitive societies, simple activities like hunting, food, gathering, etc., could not be carried on without some form of organization. Somebody had to determine as to who will do what.

Certain norms of behaviour had to be laid down to decide the distribution of work among the member of the primitive groups. Of course, the administration at that time was rather simple because the tasks to be carried out were also simple. With the growing complexity of modem life the administration of private as well as public affairs his become more and more complex. We would now consider some of the definitions of administration given by prominent scholars.

1. John A. Vieg says, “Administration is a determined action taken in pursuit of conscious purpose. It is the systematic ordering of affairs and calculated use of resources, aimed at making those things happen which we want to happen and simultaneously preventing developments that fail to square np v ith our intentions. It is the marshalling of available labour and materials in order to gain that which is desired at the lowest cost in energy, tune and money”.

2. Luther Gulick has said, “Administration has to do with getting things done; with the accomplishment of defined objectives”.

3. James L. McCanny defined Administration in these words. “Administration is the organizations and use of men and materials to accomplish a purpose. It is the specialized vocation of managers who have skills of organising and directing men and materials just as definitely as the engineer has the skill of building structure or a doctor the skill of understanding human ailments”.

4. Herbert A. Simon points out, “In the broadest sense, the administration can be defined as the activities of groups co-operating to accomplish common goals.”

He further goes on to point out that, “The term administration is also used in a narrower sense to refer to those patterns of behaviour that are common to many kinds of co-operating groups and that they do not depend upon either the specific goals towards which they are co-operating or the specific technological methods used to reach these goals”.

5. Pfiffner and Presthns have defind administration as “Organisation and direction of human and material resources to achieve desired ends”.

6. Marshall E. Dimock defined administration in these words, “Administration is concerned with ‘The What* and ‘The How’ of the Govt. ‘The What’ is the subject matter, technical knowledge of a field which enables the administration to perform his tasks. The ‘How* is the technique of management, the principle according to which co-operative programmes are carried to success. Each is, indispensable; together they form the synthesis called Administration….”

From the above definitions it become clear that administration is essentially a group activity which involves and co-ordination to achieve desired goals or objectives. This also means that administration has an element of nationality. Administration is thus a rational action, an endeavour to maximise the achievement of goals or objectives, by a group of human beings. For example, for rolling off a stone to a fixed place, persons are put to the stone in such a relationship as to maximise their efforts in a certain given direction. This arrangement of persons in relation to the stone Let the job, is called the ‘Management. These two factors, namely; Organisation and Management are special features of administrative activity. It must however, be remembered that while ^ministration is basically a collective activity, every collective action is to administration.

The Integral and Management views of Administration. There is difference of opinion about the question as to what activity or activities are included in ‘Administration’. According to integral view, ‘Administration’ is the stem total or the whole complex of activities, manual, clerical. Technical and managerial which are undertaken to realise the objective in view, i.e., the implementation of the policy or policies in a given field.

According to the managerial view, Administration’ is not the sum total of the activities undertaken in pursuance of a purpose but pertains to only some of the activities concerned with management which unite and control the rest of them as part of accordinated endeavour.

The distinction between the two views of ‘Administration’ is related to the difference between the management and operation, or in ordinary words between getting things done and doing things. According to the managerial view, only managerial or supervisory activities constitute administration The operational activities are not included. We may also say that according to the managerial view. ‘Administration’ S not being things but getting them done. An administrator is a functional who gets things done by others by directing and supervising their -work.

The definition of ‘Administration given above do not categorically support either the managerial or the integral of administration. For example, the definitions given by J. A. Vieg, Marshall E, Dimock appear to support the integral view of administration. On the .other hand, the definitions given by Lather Gulick, James D, McCanny, Herbert A. Simon, L. D. White support the managerial view of administration

Perhaps the best thing would be to that considered as a concrete activity, administration includes all types of Work necessary to achieve the goals in view, but considered as a skill or at?, it implies adeptness in the functions of management which are common Tv .ill rational group behaviour. Administration assumes many forms, bin, .according to Fayol it is the administrative skill that is required in all these activities’ whether they concern the industry, government or even a household.

Public Administration: In a broad sense, therefore, Administration is common to both public and private affairs. Public Administration would then refer to that part of administration which pertains to the administrative activities of the’ government. Here again it would, be worth while to turn to the definitions of public administration given by some well-known scholars.

Woodrow Wilson defined, “Public Administration is deb ad and systematic application of law. Every particular application of law is an act of administration”.

Percy McQueen ‘Public Administration is administration related to the operations of government .whether local or central’.

Merson described ‘Public Administration the following words : “The administrator gets things done, sad just as. the science of politics is an enquiry into the best means whereby. the will of the people may be organised for the formulation of the policies. so the science of public- administration in an enquiry as to bow policies may best be’ carried into, operation”

Luther Galick defined- public Administration in these- words, ”Administration’has to do with getting done…….Public Administration is that part of science of administration which has to do with the government and thus concerns itself primarily with the executive branch where the work of the government is done, though there are obviously problems also in connection with the legislative and judicial branches”.

Herbert A. Simon “By Public Administration is meant, in common usage the activities of the executive branches of the national, state and local governments”.

L. D. White According to him, Public Administration “Consists of all these operations having for their purpose the fulfillment of enforcement of public policies as declared by the competent authority”.

Pfiffner thought that Public Administration “Consists of getting the work of government done by co-ordinating the efforts of the people so that they can work together to accomplish their set tasks. Administration embrances the activities which may highly technical or specialist such as public health and building of bridges It also involves managing, directing and supervising the activities of thousands, even millions of workers so that some order and efficiency may result from their efforts.

Scope Of Public Administration :

The trust of the various definitions of Public Administration is that it pertains to the administrative activities of the government. As is well known the activities of the government are commonly divided into three major branches, namely, Legislative, Executive and Judicial. The question naturally arises as to which of the activities of the government are included in the study of public administration. There are two views on this subject. According to one point of view, Public Administration is conceived in a comprehensive sense to include all the activities of the government, whether falling in the sphere of legislative, executive, or judicial branch of the government. However, according to the other point of view,

’Public Administration’ is concerned only with such activities of the government which pertain to the executive branch. L. D. White takes the former broad view, while Luther Gulick supports the latter narrow view. There is a further narrowing down of the scope of Public Administration by restricting it to these activities of the executive branch which are connected with the execution of the policies. It means that the policy formulation has to be separated from the execution of the policy. It is only the execution which is supposed to form part of public administration according to this narrow view.

Another complication in the scope of the study of Public Administration is introduced by the two views of administration, namely, integral and managerial views. Public Administration, being a part of the more general term administration, is subject to these two views of administration also. The difference of opinion about the scope of study of Public administration thus centres around the crucial points whether public administration is only the management part of the government work or the entire complex of the activities of only the executive branch of the government or of all branches, and finally whether administration is mere execution or application of policy or is a factor, in the formulation of policy also.

Managerial View of Public Administration: The view that administration is made of managerial tasks only is mainly held by the writers on business administration though most of the American writers on Public Administration also accept it either as a matter of principle or for practical convenience.

The natural question then arises as, to what is included in Public Administration according to this view. Henri Fayol felt that principle categories of administration are five, namely,- Planning (including tesearch and forecasting), Organisation, Command. Coordination and Control According to him these are the actual stops which successively occur in the administrative process. When any task is to be accomplished the natural first step is enquiry or research leading to planning.

The Plan requires the necessary organisation of men and materials which have to be co-ordinated commanded and controlled to achieve the objectives. L. Urwick supported tills analy sis of Henri Fayol, Their work was carried forward by Mooney and Retley P. McQueen and others who attempted to deduce the fundamental principles of administration. Willoughby was the first to write about this aspect. In his well-known work, ‘Principles of Public Administration’, he divided the study of principles into five parts namely.

  1. General or overhead administrate. :» (including allocation of functions, direction, supervision and control).
  2. Organisation, i.e., building up of administrative structure.
  3. Personal management.
  4. Materials and supply.
  5. Finance.

Refining and elaborating these sub-divisions further, American administrative thought on the scope of Public Administration, appears to have crystallised around the functional elements indicated by the letters of the word FOSDCORB coined by Luther Gidick. This word steeds tor the following activities :

P stands for Planning;
O stands for Organisation;
S stands for Staffing;
D stands for Directing;
GO stands for Coordination;
R stands, for Reporting;
B stands for Budgeting

The POSDCORB activities are said to represent the technique which are common to all the fields of administration or management. These were therefore; taken to be the essential core or substance of administration.

Subject Matter View of Public Administration. For quite some time the above-mentioned managerial view of Public Administration dominated the scene, it was, however, realised that the POSDCORB activities were not the whole t>f administration. Some scholars of Public Administration went to the extent of suggesting that these were only the common house¬keeping activities or tools of-administration, the real core of which consisted of the various function cr services like law and order, education, public health, social, security, defence, etc.

These programmes or services have important and specialised techniques of their own and are not covered by POSDCORB activities. For example. Food St Agriculture administration has its own techniques of production, distribution, extension/etc./which are not covered by POSDCORB. It was also realised that the common techniques of management are very often influenced by the subject matter of the services to be rendered by a particular department of the government For example, the organisation for maintenance of Law & Order is very much different form the organisation for education, public health or agriculture.

A Reconciliation: ’ The’ two views about the ’ scope of public administration have been discussed above. It is, however, not necessary to accept only one of them to the exclusion of the other. Just as the human organ has both an anatomy and a physiology of its own, the Public  Administration has the common techniques of POSDCORB as its skeleton and the specialised methods of various programmes as its muscles and sinews. Without either of them the Public Administration cannot function.

Reconciling the two views, the ./ope of Public Administration ought to include :
(i)-Administration theory which is general and abstract and largely consists of POSDCORB %ohniques common to all administration.

(ii) The study of the concrete application of the common administrative theory to the various fields of administrative activity, such as agriculture animal husbands, public health, social welfare, defence …etc.

(iii) addition, the scope of Public Administration should also include the administrative organisation and methods at different levels of the government, such as, local administration, national administration and international administration. It may also include the study of the administrative system in different and under different forms or philosophies of government.

Significance Of Public Administration :

The significance of the public administration can be studied from points of view, namely,

  1. significance of the Public Administration as an instrument of governance.
  2. its significance as an instrument of development and change.
  3. its significance in modem domestic welfare state.
  4. its significance as a subject of study.

Significance of Public Administration as an Instrument of Governance. The most important function of the Government is to govern Le. to maintain peace and public order and to ensure the safety and security of the life and property of the citizens. It has to ensure that the contracts ase honoured by the citizens and their disputes settled. This most significant role of fee Government is to be fulfilled through the instrument of Public Administration. In the beginning of the civilisation this was probably the only function performed by the Public Administration. As fee civilisation has advanced, many very important functions have been taken over by the Government, but, fitt importance of this basic function should not be minimised. No worthwhile progress or development is possible unless the citizens can live in peace. The containing performance of this function is like fee presence of oxygen in fee air we breathe. It is hardly noticed so long as it exists. However, in its absence civilised life is impossible.
It is also a mistake to think that this regulatory function of fee public administration has been static. It has been growing with the growing complexity of modem civilisation. For example, new methods of investigation have had to be devised to take care of fire better the equipped criminals. New sets of controls had to be devised to enable fee citizens to share fee scarcity of food and other essential articles.

Significance of Pubfic Administration as an Instrument Development ‘ and Change, Hie Public Administration has to play a very significant role ’ as an instrument of development and change. The administration of the country reflects fire genius of its people and embodies their qualities, desire v and aspirations. Whenever, fee people decide to proceed on fire road to development, their main instrument is the Public Administration. They need trained manpower to run their schools, colleges and technical institutions. They need technical manpower to build roads, bridges, buildings and to ran the machines in tire industry. They need scientific manpower to undertake research and development. It is the well developed Public Administration which makes ail this possible. It is true that part of the effort comas m the private sector, but .it alone cannot complete the task. A lot of basic infrastructures has to be developed for which the private initiative is usually not forthcoming. For example, nation wide rail transport, telecommunication network, fundamental research are all to be organised by the Government.

In several development areas initial thrust has to be provided by the Government. All this is not possible without a -well developed Pah He Administration. This fact was also highlighted by the American administration and private and giving agencies who took up the • task of assisting the developing countries. It was their experience that the recipient countries could not make much use of their assistance because they did not have the well equipped administration machinery to absorb it. The equipment provided by them could not be used for want of skilled manpower. Financial . assistance could be channelised into productive schemes. The first task of developing countries is,- therefore, to develop an adequate administrative machinery’ which can take up the diverse tasks required for all’ round development.

The above discussion may create and impression that. the Public Administration plays a significant part only in economic development. Nothing could be farther from truth, in a developing country, the Public Administration is also an instrument of social change and development. A number of social welfare measures have to be taken up. New laws have to be enacted and enforced. The obvious example are antMJntouchability, anti¬dowry laws and laws for the protection of weaker sections like labour, children, women etc. While die impetus for social change may come from the political process, somebody has ‘to draft the laws and enforce them. This is the task of Public Administration.

Significance of Public Administration as an instrument of Welfare State. In a modem, democratic welfare State, the Government has to provide may services for the welfare of its citizens. It includes the provision of schooling, medical facilities and social ‘security measures. With the . breakdown of joint families, the problem of looking after the old and infirm, orphans and widows comes up. With the slowing of economic activity, the problem of unemployed youth crops up. The development process brings up many new problems like those of urban slums and juvenile delinquents. The welfare state has to identify these problems and devise solutions for them. The formulation of these schemes and their implementation is another , significant function of Public Administration.

The Public Administration is thus not only a protector of citizens from external dangers or internal disorders, but has become the greatest provider of various services. The welfare of the people very much on the way the For GoldenSuccess to Read KING PASSPORT

Public Administration functions: No. wonder today’s state has been called ‘Administration State’. Prof. V. V. Donham has rightly said, “if our civilisation fails, it will be mainly because of administration”.

Significance of Public Administration as a Subject of Study. Due to the growing importance of Public Administration in the life of people, it has become essential to study its functioning. Therefore, the teaching and learning of Public Administration has become an important part of the curricula of educational institutions. While the development of Public Administration as a separate subject of study will be considered in a later chapter, suffice, it to say here that a number of universities in western countries as well as India have introduced Public Administration as a subject post-graduate study. Even before that, the subject of Public Administration was being studied as a part of the discipline of political science.

Question 2.
Discuss Public Administration as Art and Science.
Do you think Public Administration is an Art, a Science, or both ? Give arguments in favour of your point
The question whether a discipline is Science or Art has been discussed in respect of almost every social science. Discussions Sociology, Economics, Psychology, Political Science etc., almost always begins by analysing whether the particular discipline can be termed as a science. The arguments in case of Public Administration will also run on similar lines.

The comparison is made in terms of the physical sciences as historically the word ‘science’ referred to these sciences. The physical sciences are characterised by three basic features, viz., (i) value-neutrality, (ii) predictability of behaviour, (iii) universality of application.

(i) Whether Public Administration Value Free ?. Physical sciences are free from normative or ethical values, This cannot, however, be fully true in case of Public Administration which is a part of political process. The Chief Executive cannot be reduced to the level of a computer. He does need a value system to form his judgement. Robert Dahl has argued this point very well. He characterises Public Administration to be concerned with the means to achieve the ends set by the political masters.

While the ends may be value ladden, the means need not be. Once the ends or values are determined by the political masters, the Public Administration can come in to device the best means to achieve them. He however, realises that ends and means cannot be completely separated. Students of Public Administration, therefore, have to be concerned with the ends also. However, they can and must make their ends and values exploit. In this way Public Administration may be made value free to some extent but not as value free as are the physical sciences.

Whether Public Administration Predictable ?. The physical sciences often deal with the behaviour of inanimate objects which have no free will Social science. On the other hand, deal with the behaviour of human beings who have a will of their own.

Thus :

  • It is not possible to conduct experiments in respect of human behaviour.
  • Data in respect of human behaviour cannot be uniform, it has to be collected from discrete and highly variable individuals.
  • In collection of data about human behaviour, the part played by the observer becomes very important. In human matters, the bias of the observer comes into full play.
  • Not enough is known about human psychology to draw conclusions out of administrative actions.
    It is therefore, difficult to frame laws of administration which will accurately or even with a high degree of probability predict human behaviour in administration situations. This is not the case with physical science.

Whether Universality of Application ?. Public Administration has grown in the cultural setting of the West Since, it is intimately connected with the social, political and cultural climate, the institutions and principles of Public administration may be different in different countries with diverse cultural background. Laws of Public Administration may, therefore, be of universal application only if they are derived or verified from data collected by cross cultural studies. So far this does not appear to be toe case.

It may, however, be noted that not all parts of Public Administration are subject to the limitations imposed by its concern for human behavior. For example, financial administration is not subject to the behaviour of accountants and auditors and lends itself to the application of scientific methods. Similarly, statistical and mathematical techniques like linear programming, operations research, etc., and increasing use of computers are making large parts of Public Administration scientific.

Conclusion: To conclude, it may be said that the earlier scholars of Public Administration like Woodrow Wilson, W.P Willoughby, L. Urwick etc., considered Public Administration to be a science. While Willoughby talked of toe fundamental principles of administration. Urwick went to the* extent of saying that certain principles govern the association of human beings for any purpose just as there are engineering principles that govern the building of a bridge. Charles Austin Beard said that though the Public Administration may not be as exact a science as mathematics or physics, it is as good as any other social science. Later scholars like Herbert Simon and Robert Dagi have however, asserted that Public Administration cannot be calltxS a scLuce because It lacks the basic attributes of science like value neutrality, universality of application and predictability of behaviour.

Synthesizing the views expressed in the above discussion, we can say that some put of Public Administration is sciehce. The remaining part cannot be rallied science until :

(/) the place of normative considerations is clearly identified.
(«) greater understanding is gained of human nature in the field of Public Administration.
’ (if/) a body of cross cultural studies is developed from which principles
of administration can be derived.

Finally, now we can turn to the usages of the term Public Administration. Firstly, is stands for the process or activity of administering Governmental affairs. Secondly, it is also an area of intellectual enquiry. The first refers to the practice of Public Administration and the second refers to Public Administration as a study or discipline. Whether the Public Administration as a study or discipline is science has been discussed above. But, Public Administration as a practice is decidedly an art. ‘

Question 3.
Write a short note on the differences in the Nature of Public Administration In the developed and developing countries.
In developed countries. Public Administration is generally viewed, as playing a limited role. The infrastructure in these is very developed and is widespread and is under private ownership and management. This sets a limit to the role and functions of Public Administration. In developing countries the prerequisites and basic of good life are either absent or inadequately developed with fits result that the state is called upon to create and manage the infrastructure itself. The state, in other words, must set up educational institutions because there are no educational facilities available in the society and besides, the private enterprise is not strong enough to take up the responsibility.

It follows from above that Public Administration’s role in a developing country is much quantitative while in a developed country it is much more qualitative. In a country like India a critically important thing is to first open a school manned by one tocher. It is only when the schools have been set up that the question of quality arises. But in the developed countries the concern of Public Administration is basically of a qualitative nature.

There are other differences also. In a developed country, Public Administrations finds self increasingly under a compulsion to justify itself in terms of tire private enterprise. The general belief is that private enterprise is efficient and must not only stay but expand where necessary and many activities currently being operated by Public Administration should even by handed over to private sector.

In developing countries Public Administration occupies the central place Inthe-scheme of ordering social activities but not so in the developed countries, This is because in countries like India so many look to Public Administration for even there basic living. The state in a developing country’ still has unfilled spaces. The result is that in a developing country every activity carries potential significance and it is the administrator who defines the. job and not otherwise. This may be illustrated. In the Government of India or for that matter in any organization certain posts are considered to be more prestigious than other, and this may not be completely demand.

Yet an apparently important but not a very prestigious organization like the Ministry of Civil Supplies offers enormous opportunities of good work which carries meaning even to the common man. The waning and waning potentialities of activities are much more- in developing countries. In a sense.: each activity which Public Administration in a developing society undertakes, entails enormous scope for expansion however ordinary, it may apparently look. Take, for instance, public distribution system being handled by Public Administration in India. An administrative head of such a programme may take a limited view of his task and may confine the programme to say. wheat ax-d rive. But a public servant of a public-spirited nature may easily expand .the scope of public distribution programme and may include many more items of daily consumption.

Public Administration of a developing country is inefficient, corrupt and slow-moving. It largely works for itself and not for the people as- other institutions in the society are weak and cannot it. Favoritism and nepotism characterize the personal practices in the developing countries. There is extravagance in administration. These are some of the marks of a sala model.

Question 3.
Discuss the Meaning, Nature and Scope of Comparative Public Administration,
Introduction :
In 1887, In his famous Article. “The Study of Administration*, Woodrow Wolson Stressed the need for comparative studies of administration. In 1947, Robrt A. Dahl in his essay “The Science of Public Administration : Three Problems”, called for more research on comparative public administration.

In 1952, the first Conference on Comparative Public Administration (CPA) was held at Perennation University in the United States under the auspices of the Public Administration Clearing House. This is called the starting point of the study of comparative public administration in the United States. Since then many Conferences have been held on CPA specially those sponsored by Comparative Administration Group (CAG) of the American Society for Public Administration. A great deal of research has also been conducted in CPA after the World War II.

We propose to study first preliminary aspects like meaning nature and scope of CPA and later pass on to the substantive contribution of Riggs to the theory of CPA.

Meaning Of Compsrative Public Administration :

Definitions of CPA has been given by many scholars. We will consider only a few of them which would make the concept of comparative public administration clear.

We may start by breaking up the term, “Comparative Public Administi ^ciori” into various components. First, let us break it up into two components, viz.

Comparative and Public Administration
And then break up “Public Adminstration” into two components viz.
Public and Administration

Any study of comparative administration may concern public or private administration. In CPA we should be concerned with those studies which cover the administration of public bodies rather than private institutions.

The word ‘Comparative’ may lead to “comparison between two or more systems of Administration or between different facets of the same system”. We choose to study here the interrcultural comparison rather than the intra- cultural one. Hence Comparative Public Administration will be concerned with the inter-cultural comparison of public administration.

We would now consider some of the definitions given by some eminent scholars of CPA.

Nimrod Raphaeli: After a detailed review of literature on the subject. Raphali defined CPA as follows :

The defects of the definition are :
(a) It is tautological
(b) It is. vague and does not show anything about the substantive content of CPA.

Fred W. Riggs. Restricted comparative studies in public administration to those that are empirical, nomothetic and ecological.

This definition is too narrow and excludes from CPA quite a large number of normative and ideographic studies.
C.A.G. Former Comparative Administration Group (CAG) refers to CAP as “The theory of Public Administration as applied to diverse cultural and national settings” and “a body of factual data by which it can be expanded tested”.

This definition does emphasis the cross -cultural impact but does not have enough emphasis on the public administration aspect.

Robert H Jackson said that CPA can be defined as “that fact of the study of public administration which is concerned with making rigorous cross- cultural comparison of the structures and process involved in the activity of administration public affairs”.

This definition appears more suitable as :

(a) It emphasises the study of public administration and not private organizations.
(b) It lays emphasis on cross-cultural comparisons rather than intra- cultural ones.

The Context of CPA. We may now do well to put CPA in proper perspective. Public administration has been taken as a sub-field of the discipline of political science. It (public administration) has been further sub-divided into four specializations :

(a) Administrative theory, (b) Public personnel adminstration, (c) Government budgeting and financial administration, (d) Comparative Public Administration.

Another specialization has now started gaining prominence. It is development administration and is usually studied along with CPA. Thus CPA is one of the five areas of specializations in the field of public administration

which is itself a sub-discipline of political science. :

Nature Of CPA –

We may now consider the main features of the CPA which would define its nature. We will study five such features which do not form as exhaustive list of characteristics of CPA but they will be enough to give a clear picture of its nature.

Recent Origin. CPA is relatively a, new field of public administration which has emerged only after World War II. As already stated, Its origin can be traced to the 1952 Conference of Public Administration held at Princeton; Four reasons are given about the recent emergence of CPA after World War II.

(i) Henderson ha$ ‘argued that the intellectual roots of Comparative Public Administration, lie in the American behavioural sciences. Like the behavioural revolution’ in political science, .rise CPA has been concerned with developing rigorous- methods for the scientific study of public admiaistr&tioB,

(ii) During this period the scholars of public administration felt a great deal of dissatisfaction with the parochial nature of traditional approaches to public administration. James Heaphey has referred to the dissatisfaction with reliance on American experience as the sole basis of administrative science. Robert A. DwM was sore emphatic about the parochial nature of public administration research. He was very explicit in expressing the need for comparison as a pre-requisite for the development of science of public administration.

(iii) A number of Asian and African nations gained independence after World War II. These countries were in varying stages of social, economic and political development No studies were existing on the nature of public administration in these countries. It was natural’ on the part of the scholars to have intellectual curiosity about public administrative systems prevailing in these developing nations. CPA, therefore, was concerned with the collection of data on these systems.

(iv) After the Second World War, the United Nations and to a greater extent, the United States were involved in giving a lot of technical assistance to these newly emerging states. The experts involved in these technical assistance programme soon realised that the administrative structure or principles applicable in Western countries were not necessarily suitable in these countries.

These experts, therefore, felt a great need to initiate research work . ‘ to study the adminstrative system of these countries and to devise methods by which -they could be made capable of utilising the assistance given to them.

(v) During the post-war period, generous financial assistance was provided, to the research efforts of CPA by aid-giving agencies in the USA, like Ford Foundation or Agency for International Development etc. They did it because they wanted to know more about the administrative systems of the aid receiving countries. Empirical, Nomothetic and Ecological Emphasis. According to Riggs, CPA is characterised by:

(a) Shift from normative to empirical approach.
(b) Within the empirical-change in emphasis from ideographic to . nomothetic studies.
(c) Shift in focus from nan-ecoiogical to ecological approach.

When Riggs formulated bis ideas m 1962, he found that the second and toir^ characteristics were ‘not dear while the first was fully developed and clear. Later the other two characteristics were also developed.

However, it should not be taken to mean that the normative concerns s which were neglected in the initial stages of CPA are no longer important. Indeed there has been a resurgence of nonnative concerns in the public administration in general and CPA in particular. This has been particularly so after the emergence of the “New Public Administration” which arose from the post-behavioural revolution in political sciences.

Scope Of Cpa :

Woodrow Wilson in his essay “study of administration” visualised the scope of the comparative studies in public administration. He felt that such comparative studies were necessary.

  1. to see whether administrative processes in the US were relevant or applicable to other countries. “
  2. to see whether any administrative institutions or practices can be transplanted from other countries to the US administration.

Wilson’s argument for introducing the comparative method in the study of public administration was more practical than theoretical. According to him, the scope of CPA (although he did not use this term) would be to use, it for the practical purpose of introducing administrative reforms in different countries based on the experience of other countries.

Other scholars like Nimrod Raphaeli, Robert A. Dahl and Ticker included the theoretical aspects also in the scope of CPA. They felt that comparison is a pre-requisite for the development of science of public administration. Only on the basis of cross-cultural studies in the field of public administration in different ecological settings, it may be possible to bring out the general principles of administration.

1. CPA Movement The development of CPA Movement has already been mentioned above. It would be enough to empliasis here the contribution of the scholars in Comparative Administration Group (CAG) led by Riggs who were in search of new concept to explain the dynamic and developmental aspects of administrative systems seen from a cross-cultural perspective.

These scholars were striving to build truly ecological constructs, i.e. those capable of explaining the impact of environment on administrative systems and vice-versa. Their efforts gave a new dimension to the CPA. In fact this led to a geographical division of labour between the American Public Administration and Comparative Public Administration the later being interested primarily in developing countries of Africa. Latin America and Asia. This division was also responsible for giving an ecological developmental dimension to the study of CPA.

2. Ecological vs. Environmental Perspectives: The efforts to construct models containing elements of ecological integration have not been very successful so far. For example, Rigg’s prismatic model has been by and large able to explain the impact of social environment on the administrative system. The influence of fee adrrimstratiqn on the environment- has not been very illuminating. Although he criticised the other scholars for using the words “ecological” and “environmental ” almost synonymously, his analysis also is weak in inter-actional analysis. This is probably due to the difficulty of empirically analysing the Influence of administration’ on other social institutions.

Writes on development administration on the other hand have considered administrative system an independent variable and treated development goals as dependent variables. However, it has not been properly brought out as to in what was an administrative system affects the developmental process in the society. In this connection, the analysis, has been mainly confined to the problems of administrative reforms particularly in its institutional aspects.

It is clear that CPA requires dynamic models of change. Such models: should, have an ecological perspective, one which encompasses an analysis of the internal conditions that affect administrative innovation and the ecological conditions which favour or frustrate such innovations.

3. Challenge of  Modernisation. According to the contemporary scholarship in CPA the most significant variable seem to be those associated with the complicities of the modernisation and diversity which in turn arc concerned with the dynamics of social ch’r.ge. These complexities involve the following fundamental questions :

  • What .does modernisation really ir./olve.
  • How do societies differ process of modernisation.
  • Are there different process of modernization.
  • How diverse are cultures which are compatible with the concept’ of modernity.

Public administration is intimately connected with the process of modernisation. Only by treating public administration with reference to all the four dimensions, viz., ecological, goal-orientation, developmental and cross- cultural comparability, can all the above questions be’ dealt wiih. In other words conceptual- constructs in public administration should Have the following – elements in order to respond to the challenges of modernisation :

  • Cross-cultural comparability : allowing broad comparisons am on- administrative systems in Western as well as non-Western settings
  • Developmental dimensions : giving comparison a broad linkage with the question of modernisation.
  • Ecological perspective : studying the interaction between the administrative systems and their environment. Such studies have to be inter-actional in nature.
  • Goal-orientation : Stressing unique goals of particular cultures in relation to ther administrative systems.

Incorporation of these elements in the conceptual context of the CPA would promote analysis of comparative as well as development administrative systems from the ecological, developmental and goal-orientation angles in brief the elements of ecological, developmental goal-orientation and eross cultural comparability have to be tied together in comparative administrative analysis.

4. Nomothetic Elements. At present CPA has developed mostly macro and middle-range theories. Broad generalizations and hypotheses are developed while the empirical verification is not taking place. In fact, in the area of empirical analysis, CPA is far behind American Public Administration. However, in some other areas, the comparative theory can contribute to the American administrative theory.

For example, if can provide certain propositions like those dealing with prismatic elements in a diffracted society and with positive formalism. Similarly, Comparative Public Administration (CPA) can use the rich collection of propositions developed in recent years -of American Administrative Theory and test the extent to which such propositions are culture bound. Since many of the developing countries have now developed to a great extent, the principles evolved in American Public Administration may be now applicable to them. For example, the notions of economy and efficiency are of great relevance to the emergent nations which have to take up modernization on a large scale with limited resources. Similarly, the findings of human rationalists may also have great relevance to the developing counties.

New Developments. Two new foci are developing in the American Public Administration, viz. New Public Administration and Temporary Soceity. Both these, foci are concerned with the problems relating to administration- environment interaction and to socio-administrative change in this context. In other words, both possess an ecological developmental orientation, though with differing emphasis.

DU SOL BA 3rd Year Administration and Public Policy Notes

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