The Scope of Public Administration

Topics: Public administration, Political philosophy, Government Pages: 5 (1335 words) Published: July 29, 2012
U09A1 – The Scope of Public Administration
Jessica Fena Alvarez
MPA5002 – Survey of Research and Practice in Public Administration Joyce Johnson


The following document attempts to discuss the scope of public administration, including the history of public administration as a field of study; societal factors that drive the behavior of the public sector, different theories help define the customer of public administrators as well as equal delivery of public service and diversity sensitivity.


Public administration is connected to the effective management of government laws and projects including the proper behavior of the officers and leaders. This is a comprehensive and complex subject and has many applications and implications to the performance of the government.

Public administration is important in the effective execution of the policies and laws of the government. It involves the careful analysis of the execution of the policies and laws of the government so that the government can be able to keep performing its roles and responsibilities to the people. Concerning the politics in public administration, the public administrators are in charge of implementing any changes or reforms in policies. They are responsible for accomplishing the objectives and targets of various agencies and offer excellent public service. It is just difficult to analyze a policy problem or concern in the government without taking into account the main political organization that controls the decision making and voting power (Denhardt, 2008). The intent of this paper is to examine the scope of the public administration field by analyzing the different significant theories that inform the practice of public administration; as well as individual societal factors that have an impact on how equally public service is delivered to members of our communities.

Politics and Public Administration
Thus, knowing the political changes that the government officials are facing is necessary for public administrators to be able to fulfill their agency responsibilities and attaining success. An additional concern in establishing policy is taking into account the various political interests facing a possible policy change which usually happens among councils and boards. In order to achieve their goals, the management has to take into account the political interests and the voting environment where the policy reforms will happen. Being aware of the political environment for an issue will alter the timetable, execution, and message used by public administrators who are responsible for dealing with policy reforms.

Since the introduction of public administration as a field of study in the late 80’s, experts have tried to emphasize ideas that could help distinguish public administration from politics. Demer (2009), states that researcher Wilson, W. attempted to make that distinction in 1987 by stating that “Public administration lies outside the proper sphere of politics”. However, during the decades following Wilson statement, scholars suggested several conceptualizations in their efforts to comprehend the place of public administration in the governance process (Demer, 2009).

According to Demer (2009), there are three school of thoughts under which the place of public administration in politics can be examined: separation, political, and interaction schools. The separation school suggests that there is a dichotomy in administration and politics. Under this school of thought Wilson suggested that “Administration lies outside the proper sphere of politics. Administrative questions are not political questions. Although politics sets the task for administration, it should not be suffered to manipulate its offices” (Demer, 2009).

The political school train of thought represents emphasis on public administration as a concept and it offers a...

References: Denhardt, R. (2008). Public Administration. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning
Demir, T. (2009). Politics and Administration. Administrative Theory & Praxis (M.E. Sharpe), 31(4), 503-532. doi:10.2753/ATP1084-1806310403
Riccucci, N. (2010). Public administration. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press
Stillman, R. (2009). Public Administration: Concepts and Cases. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning
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