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Large-scale administrative organization has existed from early times. The ancient empires all organized and maintained political rule over wide areas and large populations.

The personal nature of that rule was very great. Everything depended on the emperor. The emperor in turn had to rely on the personal loyalty of his subordinates. It was a system of favoritism and patronage.

In a system based on personal preferment, a change of emperor disrupted the entire arrangements of government. Those who had been in favor might now be out of favor. Weak rulers followed strong rulers, foolish monarchs succeeded wise monarchs – but all were dependent on the army.

Modern administrative system is based on objective norms (such as laws, rules and regulations) rather than on favoritism It is a system of offices rather than officers. Members of the bureaucracy are chosen for their qualification. When vacancies occur by death, resignation, or for other reasons, new qualified persons are selected according to clearly defined rules. Bureaucracy does not die when its members die.





In the studies of the 1880s and later scholars have collected an impressive body of data how best to carry out and manage routine operations.

Later successful business was seen as the model for the proper management of government, and the field of public administration was seen as a field of business, because management of all organizations in both the fields involves planning the activities and establishing goals.

Some scholars argued that administration is a more general term and a more generic process than management. Administration takes place at factories, hospitals, prisons, whether these organizations were private or public.

There is an obvious difference between administration of business, or private organization, and administration of public organizations. Thus, the word public in ‘public administration’ is meaningful, and the study of public affairs will have to take into account not only management subjects common to both public and private sectors. And then, public organizations are more dependent on government allocations, more constrained by law. These differences suggest caution in applying business management techniques to government agencies.


Date: 2015-02-28; view: 1903

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EPILOGUE | Public Administration as an Academic Discipline
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