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Public Administration Q/A


Q.Describe the evolution of the discipline of public administration with special emphasis on post-1970 devel¬opments.

Evolution of Public Administration

Ans: The discipline of public administration, despite the uncertainty and turmoil in the pre-1970s registered progress and entered the seventies with an enriched vision. Public administration attracted within its fold scholars from various disciplines and thus was becoming truly interdisciplinary in its nature. Indeed of all the social sciences, it is the public administration which is most interdisciplinary. It is focussing its attention more and more on the dynamics of administration. It is also drawing heavily on the management science.

Public Administration has come close to policy science and related areas and has been showing ample concern for issues in the fields. Since 1970, some significant developments have taken place in public administration as a discipline.

In 1970, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration was founded. It has been recognized that public administration be called a separate “self-aware” field of study. Although there is not yet a focus for the field in the form of “pure science of administration” progress has been made particularly in the area of organizational theory and information science. There has been less movement towards delineating a locus for the field. Nevertheless, public administration does appear to be emphasizing such areas as state and local government, executive management, and administrative law.

The new development in the discipline of public administration can be discussed under the following heads:

  • Normative concerns as value questions have recently been reassesed in public-administration; the emergence of the philosophy of neo-liberalism provided a powerful base for the setting up of public administration in public interest philosophy. Restoration of communication between philosophers and administrators and raising the level of value consciousness have been the main aim of the writers like Hodgkinson. It provided ethical dimension to public administration. Evolution of Public Administration 
  • Public administration like other social sciences, too adopted interdisciplinary approach in recent years. Three distinct inter-theoretical linkages have been identified (a) politics-administration union, (b) Economics-admin­istration confluence and the political economy paradigm; (c) organization theory-administration intermixing.

Now, in the post 1970 unlike earlier politics-administration dichotomy, politics came to be reunited with administration. New public administration movement asserted the importance of values in administration and said that public administration is just another expression for the study of politics relating administration to the

– environment has been the main focus of Peterself.

Economics-administration confluence and the political economy paradigm, brings public administration within the purview of economic analysis. The contribution of economists to organization theory has also been quite good.

Again political economy paradigm regards political economy as the study of interplay of power, the goals of power wielders and the productive exchange system.

Evolution of Public Administration

However, a recent development that deserves attention is the consistent attempt to construct a radical organization theory based chiefly on Marxist thought. It criticizes traditional theory on the ground that it is system-maintaining and capitalism serving.

  • The debate over bureaucracy-democracy relationship is a reaction to over bureaucratization in the wake of rapid expansion of governmental activities and dissatisfaction with bureaucratic inefficiency. Four streams of thought have emerged in this context. The first is public choice school. It does not accept that bureau­cracy is rational and efficient; it is highly sceptical of its structure and actual operating behaviour.

David Beetham, for instance, says that “the central political problem posed by bureaucracy, was how to restrict it to its proper function, how to ensure that the officials concerned with administrative effectiveness, and hence with power was properly subordinate to the politician’s function of defining the ends that power was to serve and taking responsibility for them”.

  • The concept of “development administration” which was an important feature of administrative theory in the 1960s, came under c;iticism in recent years. The development administration concept has been criticized on various grounds. For instance Riggs said, “The existence of a career bureaucracy without corresponding strength in the political institutions does not necessarily lead to administrative effectiveness- without firm political guidance bureaucrats have weak incentives to provide good service, whatever their formal, preentry training and professional qualification.

Its criticism has come also from techno-managerial school and the ecological school. Development administration was also criticized as ideological and Eurocentric.

As an academic field, public administration’s evolution may thus be viewed as a succession of five over­lapping paradigms. The emerging focus of public administration is organization theory and management science, its locus is the public interest and public affairs. Today, a large number of universities in India provide for the teaching of Public Administration. To this end, there are departments of public administration in many universities. Besides, this is also taught in the joint departments of political science and public administration as well as in the department of political science.

Q.”Administrative efficiency is enhanced by keeping at a minimum the number of organizational levels through which a matter must pass before it is acted upon”. – (Herbert A. Simon)

Ans: Administrative structure of public or private space is based on hierarchy. The hierarchy is nothing but various levels of organization. In an org

Q.Whereas Downs model is largely dependent on a theory of psychological motivation, Niskanen’s model is framed by neo-classical thinking. In the light of the above, discuss the public choice approach to decision-making.

Ans. Public choice approach to the study of organizations focus on problems of control and responsiveness. Using economic tools of analysis, this bran

Q. In the evolution of’ the discipline of Public Administration, Minnowbrook Conferences 1,11 and III reflect the discipline’s re-conceptualisation and its changing values. Elucidate. (CSE, 2011)

Ans. There has long been a polemical discussion within the field of Public administration regarding the theoretical basis of the field. Some authors a

Q.”The field of pub adm is a field of business”. (Woodrow Wilson)

Ans: According to Woodrow Wilson, the affairs of public adm are similar to that of business. It implies that the primary concern of business, namely e

Q.In the last two decades, almost all countries of the world have experienced transformations in their ad-ministrative systems.’ Explain this phenomenon with examples from the developed and the developing nations in the context of New Public Management Movement.

Ans : In the world, during 1980’s and 1990’s remarkable changes took place in public sector management in almost all the countries. Structurally t

Q. Calling Woodrow Wilson, the father of Public Administration is doing injustice to equally or even more eminent contributions made prior to him.’ Comment.

Ans : Woodrow Wilson is known as the father of Public Administration. His seminal contribution, ‘The Study of Administration’ was published in the

Q. “Kautilya was not only the foremost politico-administrative thinker of ancient India but he was an advo¬cate and preacher of moral values too.” Comment.

Ans: The study of administration in India starts with the work of Kautilya. He finally blended the administrative studies with moral values. His work,

Q. “Public and Private administrations are two species of the same genus, but they also have special values and techniques of their own.” Comment.

The dichotomy between Public and Private administrations dates back to the starting of administrative studies. .The classical writers held the view th

Q. Democracy and good governance are contradictions in terms. Discuss with examples.

Ans: Democracy means popular government and it broadly takes two forms —parliamentary and presidential. These two forms refer to the differences in

Q. Give an account of major landmarks in the growth of the discipline of public administration in the 20th century. What are the possible trends in its growth in the first decade of 219’ century?

Evolution of Public Administration Stages Though Public administration as an activity has existed in human society from time immemorial, its emergence

Q.Describe the evolution of the discipline of public administration with special emphasis on post-1970 devel¬opments.

Evolution of Public Administration Ans: The discipline of public administration, despite the uncertainty and turmoil in the pre-1970s registered progr

Q.”… The paradigms of public administration may be understood in terms of locus on focus.” – (Golembiewski). In the light of the above statement describe the “five-paradigms” of Nicholas Henry about the evolution of the discipline of public administration.

Ans: According to Golembiewski, each phase may be distinguished and understood in terms of its locus or focus. ‘LOCUS’ refers directly to the ‘w

Q. “The inculcation of belief in the real existence of common purpose is an essential executive function.” Comment.

Ans: Organisation whether public or private is primarily concerned with co-ordination of all the resources through the process of, planning, organizin

Q.”If public administration is to play a major legitimizing role in governing our complex society, it needs to be more fully conceptualized”. Discuss.

Virtually every society today has been experiencing a transformation in its structure and functioning which is the result of collective working of man

Q.”Administrative question are not political questions”. Discuss.

Ans: The relationships between politics and public administration have evolved over a period of time. The American statesman right from the beginning

Q.The advent of the concept of “roll back of the state” since the 1980’s has been altering the role of Pub. Ad. but certainly not diminishing its central place in human society”. Discuss.

Ans: With the ever increasing complexity of Public Administration and its scope, it has become ‘very difficult for the governments to oversee the ad

Q” Though there are certain points of similarity between public and private administration yet no private organization can ever be exactly the same as a public one”. Examine.

Answer- The classical writers held the view that public and private administrations are the undifferentiated members of the genus administration. Henr

Minnowbrook conference in U.S.A. identified four features crucial to ‘new public administration’. Explain.

The Minnowbrook conference held in 1968 in U.S.A. was a youth conference and it was this young academic get together which gave rise to what has come

“Publicness” of Public Administration in an ideal democratic government remains the ultimate value in theory and practice.” Elucidate.    

Answer- Publicness in public administration can be understood from two prospectus. First perspective- what is the ultimate goal of public administrati

Q.”A science of administration would be a body of formal statements describing invariant relationships between measurable objects, units, or elements. Unquestionably administrative research has produced definite percepts and hypothesis that are applicable to concrete situations.” – (Fritz Morstein Marx)

1. “A science of administration would be a body of formal statements describing invariant relationships between measurable objects, units, or el

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