Review of “A New Vision for Public Administration”
Charles T. Goodsell
Public Administration Review, 66.4, July/August 2006: 623:635
The theme of the article by Goodsell is illustrating “how public administration in the United States can be seen on its own terms, and not those of others” (p. 634). This article argue that the professors and practitioners of the field have inadvertently allowed it to be observed and interpreted from standpoints imposed by others who are external to its institutions and subject matter (p. 623). These include elected officials and politicians and a variety of critics supporting programs for improvement. The representations of the field expected by these outside viewers have been indiscreetly acknowledged within public administration, leaving the field disposed for influence as a tool for purposes other than its own. This situation has made it difficult for the field's leaders to formulate a separate intellectual vision for public administration that is consonant with their appropriate goals and concerns (p.623).
The topic under consideration is to contend that it is time for the field to advance, in the sense that it must express, at least to itself, a vision that apprehends its understanding of public administration's contented involvement to a democratic society. The article also present that the vision is no more “true” in an objective sense than the visions of others. The subject of investigation are the viewpoints in which the social constructs can be seen in different ways, and how the public administrators can be thought to be owning the capacities of human observation and visual understanding that allow them to see such objects.
Method of Inquiry
The method of inquiry used by the author is qualitative research. The author does this through corresponding to what a recent analyst of governance described as society’s three major institutions: the state, the market, and civil society (p. 624). The state perceives public administration from the perspective of centralized, combined control by the chief executive. The market sees it in terms of private area standards and the principles of commerce. Civil society's viewpoint is that the field's self-governing prospective is apprehended through direct impact over government by those affected by it.
The author provides a brief and attentive summary of the major findings through a trio of conceptual categories. The three categories he analyzes are: States view on public administration, Market view on public administration, and Civil Society’s view on public administration. Public administration centers on matters of branded control under state’s view. This is controlled from the top and if the top person in charge is a tyrant, then the control is made unconditional by intimidations and eliminations. “In a democracy, the situation is more complicated: Laws and elections must be honored, a free press tolerated, and, in America, the separation of powers and divisions of federalism dealt with” (p. 624).
Public administration centers on matters of branded control under state’s view. This is controlled from the top and if the top person in charge is a tyrant, then the control is made unconditional by intimidations and eliminations. “In a democracy, the situation is more complicated: Laws and elections must be honored, a free press tolerated, and, in America, the separation of powers and divisions of federalism dealt with” (p. 624). The bureaucracy came to be observed as coextensive with the executive branch of government, under the exclusive direction of the chief executive. Without consulting the Constitution, this was simply assumed to be the case. The Constitution enforces many judicial and legal controls over supervision that check the president's power over administration. Although the president is explicitly designated commander in chief of the army and navy, over civilian matters...
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