Public Communication

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Unlike many of the other writing assignments done thus far, this paper will be providing brief synopses for several essays on issues involved with the study of public management. Although it might be possible to state that the ideas and theories presented in these texts are either true or false, it will be the goal of this writing to take the simple approach and focus on the thoughts that are presented are still relevant in modern practice of public management. However, it is first important to point out that even today there is no aggregated view for weighing or measuring the success of public managers. This is because in part due to the various ways in which the agencies manage themselves, for example whether or not they chose to follow national performance review (NRP) response or a total quality management (TQM) method. Another problem is that often times today a management policy that has been set up and successfully tested for the private sector is either grafted to the, or imposed over the management policies of a public enterprise. The issue that this brings up is that, depending on the agency, that there is no clear idea on who the ‘customers’ are, nor what ‘product’ is that the public agency is trying to appease. Meanwhile, the management theories that are being imposed on to them, are based on a quantifiable examination as to rather they are successful or not. Simply put, there is no easy or standard way for researchers of the field of public administration to be able to clearly differentiate between the successful management styles of one public administrator to another. In fact, researching this problem is the very thing that our first author is calling for in his essay. Graham T. Allison attempts with his article, “Public and Private Management: Are They Fundamentally Alike in All Unimportant Respects?” to both collective and summarize the prevailing ideas on public management at the time (1979). In addition, he highlights several areas in which the academic thinkers were struggling with and arguing over. Allison point out everything from the similarities of “How are Public and Private Management Alike?,” to charting out the functions of general management, and to the ‘current’ research being done to answer several questions that these topics have been brought up since Woodrow Wilson now canonized first article on the subject (1979,p 397) (1887). Allison’s call for research in this field is still greatly needed and sought after today as we shift from one management style to another, seemingly distinctive, in today’s public agencies. One example of the reason that this research is needed can be found in comparing the resent style swing to the NPR, from the more ‘traditional’ management style outlines in Louis Brownlow, Charles E. Merriam, and Luther Gulick essay, “Report of the President’s Committee on Administrative Management” (1937). In their essay, they were working under the assumption that the management side of public administration could be, and was, separate from the political decisions and policies that directs the public service sector. Under this assumption, they crusaded for more power and control over the public management process, on the behave of the executive branch. Some of their ideas included allowing the president to hire powerless, sector concentrated, secretaries that would assist the president with gather necessary information from the public bureaus under their area of concern and to pass back the decisions that the president makes back to the effected agencies. These authors go on further to state that all major decisions on the functions of personnel, fiscal, organizational, and planning management should be given directly to the sole control of the president (1937, p 94). The first problem is that fiscal management falls under the authority of the congressional branch of government. In addition, with the shifting towards NPR, and other acts of congress, we see congress taking a...
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