Management: Science, Theory, and Practice

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  Public
 Administration
 and
 Business
 Administration:
  Siamese
 Management
 Twins
 Separated
 at
 the
 Heart?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By
 Jaciel
 Keltgen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Dr.
 Matthew
 Fairholm
  POLS
 812
  University
 of
 South
 Dakota
 

Siamese
 Management
 Twins
 
 
  Introduction
 
  Countless
 scholars
 and
 practitioners
 over
 the
 years
 have
 attempted
 to
  legitimize
 the
 field
 of
 public
 administration,
 make
 sense
 of
 the
 so-­‐called
 public
  administration
 dichotomy,
 and
 to
 reinforce
 -­‐-­‐
 or
 erase
 -­‐-­‐
 the
 connections
 between
  public
 administration
 and
 its
 more
 popular
 and
 more
 perhaps
 more
 heartless
  sibling,
 business
 administration.
 

2
 

These
 attempts
 have
 been
 gathered
 into
 scholarly
 journals,
 fancy
 tomes
 and
  college
 textbooks.
 But
 the
 fact
 remains
 that
 there
 is
 still
 great
 political
 debate
 over
  the
 entire
 public
 administration
 profession.
 Arguments
 will
 continue
 long
 after
 this
  paper
 has
 been
 researched,
 written,
 annotated
 and
 put
 on
 a
 shelf
 somewhere.
 MPA-­‐ trained
 professionals
 who
 work
 for
 state,
 local
 or
 the
 federal
 government
 and
 MBA-­‐ trained
 professionals
 engaged
 in
 the
 quasi-­‐public
 sector
 will
 also
 continue
 to
 do
  their
 jobs
 no
 matter
 what
 lines
 are
 drawn,
 conclusions
 made
 or
 research
 papers
  presented.
 Does
 it
 really
 make
 any
 difference
 whether
 public
 administration
 and
  business
 administration
 are
 linked
 in
 any
 way?
 According
 to
 some
 of
 the
 authors
  who’ve
 weighed
 in
 on
 the
 matter,
 as
 well
 as
 three
 professionals
 who
 currently
 work
  or
 who
 have
 worked
 in
 the
 public
 sectors,
 and
 curricular
 offerings
 in
 master’s
  programs,
 it
 does
 matter.
 All
 management
 is
 not
 necessarily
 the
 same.
 The
 history
 of
  the
 debate
 is
 important
 and
 ongoing,
 as
 are
 the
 sorts
 of
 tasks
 expected
 on
 the
 job
 as
  well
 as
 preparation
 for
 those
 tasks
 and
 outcomes.
 
 

 
 

Siamese
 Management
 Twins
 

3
 

Not
 surprisingly
 since
 most
 of
 the
 literature
 reflects
 research
 and
 writings
 by
  scholars,
 there
 is
 little
 mention
 of
 emotion
 or
 passion
 reflected
 in
 discussions
 of
  business
 administration
 tasks.
 The
 vernacular
 is
 limited
 to
 terms
 like
 “bottom
 line”
  and
 “return
 on
 investment”
 rather
 than
 “connection
 to
 mission”
 or
 “doing
 the
 right
  thing.”
 These
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