Nature of Public Administration

Topics: Public administration, Government, Public sector Pages: 26 (8224 words) Published: October 11, 2012
UNIT-1 Structure 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8


1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.0

Learning Outcome Introduction What is Administration? Administration, Organisation and Management Defining Public Administration Nature of Public Administration Scope of Public Administration 1.6.1 Scope of Public Administration as an Activity 1.6.2 Scope of Public Administration as a Discipline Public and Private Administration 1.7.1 Distinction between Public and Private Administration 1.7.2 Similarities between Public and Private Administration Importance of Public Administration 1.8.1 Importance of Public Administration as Specialised Subject of Study 1.8.2 Importance of Public Administration as an Activity Role of Public Administration under Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG) Conclusion Key Concepts References and Further Reading Activities LEARNING OUTCOMES After going through this Unit, you should be able to: • define Administration and Public Administration • describe the nature of Public Administration • explain the scope of Public Administration • distinguish between Private and Public Administration • analyse the Role of Public Administration vis-à-vis Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG)



Administration as an activity is as old as society itself. But as an area of study it originated, with the publication of Wilson’s essay on study of Administration in 1887. As a process, administration occurs in both public and private organisations. It occurs in such diverse institution as settings as a business firm, labour unions, religious or charitable organisations, educational institutions, etc. Its nature is affected by the 1

sphere with which it is concerned. Administration is commonly divided into two types, Public and Private Administration. As an aspect of government activity it has existed since the emergence of political system(s). While public administration relates to the activities carried out by government, private administration refers to the management of private business enterprises. It is important to understand the functioning of administration for on this lies the understanding of the government. In this Unit an effort has been made to bring the concept of administration, public administration in particular, closer to you. This understanding will take you through the entire course of Public Administration. In what follows, we will examine the meaning, nature and scope of public administration. 1.2 WHAT IS ADMINISTRATION?

The word ‘administer’ is derived from the Latin word administere, which means to care for or to look after people, to manage affairs. Administration may be defined as “group activity which involves cooperation and coordination for the purpose of achieving desired goals or objectives”. Broadly speaking, the term administration appears to bear at least four different meanings or different senses depending upon the context in which it is used: (1) (2) As a Discipline: The name of a branch of learning or intellectual discipline as taught and studied in colleges and universities. As a Vocation: Type of work/trade or profession/occupation, especially one that involves knowledge and training in a branch of advance learning. As a Process: The sum total of activities undertaken to implement Public Policy or policies to produce some services or goods. As a Synonym for 'word' Executive or Government: Such other body of persons in supreme charge of affairs, for example, Manmohan Singh Administration, Bush Administration, etc.



Noted below are definitions by a few famous writers. E.N. Gladden “Administration is a long and slightly pompous word, but it has a humble meaning, for it means to care for or look after people, to 2

manage affairs…. is determined action taken in pursuit of conscious purpose”. Brooks Adams “Administration is the capacity of coordinating...

References: and Further Reading
Baker, R.J.S., 1972, Administrative Theory and Public Administration, Hutchinson University Library, London. Bhattacharya, Mohit, 1998, New Horizons of Public Administration, Jawahar Publishers & Distributors, New Delhi. Bertram, M. Gross, 1964, The Managing of Organisations, The Administrative Struggle, The Free Press of Glencoe, CollierMacmillan., London. Denhardt, Robert B. and Joseph W. Grubbs, 2003, Public Administration: An action Orientation, Fourth Edition, Thomson (Wadsworth), Canada. Prasad, D. Ravindra, V.S. Prasad and P. Satyanarayan, 2004, Administrative Thinkers (Ed), Sterling Publishers, New Delhi. Pugh, D.S., 1985, Organisation Theory: Selected Readings (Ed), Penguin Books, Middlesex, England. Sharma, M.P. and B.L. Sardana, 1988, Public Administration in Theory and Practice, Kitab Mahal, New Delhi. Srivastava, Om Prie, 1991, Public Administration and Management, The Broadening Horizons, Volume 1, Himalaya Publishing House, Delhi. 1.12 Activities
Consider public administrative operations with which you have recently dwelt or are familiar as a functionary or as a citizen. The differences between public administration and private administration are profound. Explain how the two fields differ and why the two terms are not interchangeable.
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