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Introduction to Public Administration

<<< Previous MANAGERIAL PROGRAMME AGENDA II:Theoretical Bases of Management, Critique on Management
Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
At the end of the last lecture the students will be exposed to:
The remaining part of seven points of public management;
Critique of new public management and
What have we covered in the course;
We shall first examine the remaining part of internal changes of new public managers
A stress on private sector styles of management practice This includes staffing
changes designed to better fit staff for their positions, to appraise their performance and to
reward them accordingly with merit pay. The emphasis on performance also leads to short-
term appointments by contract and to terminate staff who is not performing. This concept
is based on economic idea that wages increase productively.
Discipline and parsimony in resource use New public management requires increased
attention on the best use of resources. This includes cutting costs but also involves
directing resources to emphasize those programmes which most assist the attainment of
strategic objectives. Governments have been able to control spending far more by having
better information.
All these changes drive from particular theories-they are theory-driven to an unusual
degree for government administration.
These last two points strengthen the previous point that individual performance be linked
to wages and that organizations should aim to reduce cost.
Theoretical Bases of Management
The traditional theories of public administration were criticized. The traditional public
administration was based on two theories:
Theory of bureaucracy and
Theory of separation between politicians and administrators.
There are also two main theoretical bases to new public management. These are economics and
private management.
That economics and private management are the two main theoretical bases for NPM is not a
matter of controversy, because management is `clearly an activity which is concerned with using resources
so as to achieve defined objectives' and these objectives `are defined predominantly in the language of
economics' (Pollitt, 1990)
The economic basis to managerialism allows it to draw on what is the most powerful of social
science theories. There are two key assumptions in economics. First, there is the assumption of rationality:
those individuals can be assumed to prefer more of something rather than less. Secondly, the individual
rationality assumption allows the elaboration of models which can extend to high levels of abstraction.
Economist and economic thinking became influential in government also:
Cost-benefit analysis
Public choice theory
Gave rise to market based public policies
Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
Critique on Management
Since, the upsurge of reforms in developed countries and implementation of reforms in public or
civil service, they called it `public management' instead of `public administration'. The effects of this change
are taking place in developing countries like Pakistan as well and privatization of public organization and
encouragement to private sector is taking place. Although now the work done by public servant may be
called as management, because the focus is on the achievement of results. But there is some criticism of
managerialism or NPM. The critique is as follows:
1. The Economic Basis of Managerialism
The foundation in economics form one of the criticisms of managerialism. The questions on
assumptions of economics are on its "approach to rationality. And the critique is that all individuals do not
behave rationally, likewise all bureaucrats do not maximize own advantage. There are two main critiques of
economics. First, that economics is not a `perfect' social science and its application to government will not
give `perfect' results. This is not a new critique but has been there ever since economics and capitalist
system matured.
The second, critique is that economics can be the for economic system, but government cannot
provide services on consumer transaction basis, (costing every service on profit basis) that consumer
behaviour laws do not apply to public sector, because public sector is different from private sector, because
its objectives are not to make profits.
2. The Basis in Private Management
That "managerialism" derives its spirit from private sector is a source of criticism. The public sector
is different and that private sector models of management become irrelevant. For example changing the
focus of organization from inputs to outputs i.e. results has logical which are: Setting objectives, devising
programmes, setting structure, measuring performance and evaluating programmes. All this steps are logical
progression and once objectives and results are defined clearly other steps will follow. But in public sector
objectives sometimes cannot be defined clearly and therefore, all the logical steps that follow do not stay
relevant. Since it is difficult to determine objectives, this may be the key difference between public and
private sector. However, this does not mean that effort should not be made to define objectives because
without objectives the meaning of creating government organization is lost.
3. Neo-Taylorism
The main theoretical critique is that managerialism represents revival of F.W. Taylor's ideas of
efficiency, output measurement, piece wage rate etc. It is argued that going back to this theory ignores the
development of human relations and other theories. The emphasis of NPM (or managerialism) to control
government spending and decentralising management responsibilities with performance management is
seen as management philosophy which can be described as neo Taylorism. Authors like Pollit see
managerialism as the direct descendent of Taylor's scientific management; and that human relations aspects
are down played.
4. Politicisation
The changes that are taking place in public service are said to be "politicizing". Meaning thereby,
that ministers who head ministries will select own division/department head and will then expect that heads
of departments achieve goals which ministers have given them. This idea of NPM cuts across traditional
model's emphasis on neutrality and impartial administration. The dichotomy between politics and
administration and neutrality of public servant is no more there. This is negation of what Woodrow Wilson
idea about non political and efficient bureaucracy, which he put forward in 1880.
5. Reduced Accountability
There is concern whether NPM concepts & procedures fit in the system of accountability. There is
a conflict between the concept of public management and public accountability. If public servants are to be
accountable for results then politician's accountability is absolved. How can public servants be accountable
to citizen? It is the politicians who take vote from public to serve them and it is the policy direction of
politicians that civil servant implement. So in NPM accountability gets more diluted.
Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
6. Implementation
In NPM strategy and goals and objectives are formulated at top and there is little attention paid to
implementation. Improvements in strategy and budgeting occur at top, but at lower level implementation or
performance management leaves much to be done. Evaluation of programme is still considered unusual and
is not comprehensive.
7. Unclear Specification
A final area of critique is that specifications are unclear in NPM model. It means there is no real
definition of public management or managerialism. There is listing of things involved: performance
measurement, incentives, programme budgeting, and so on but no clear definition for these concepts.
Summing the Critique
The critique of NPM has some valid points, but these are to be proved as yet because the real test
of new theory is the performance. It has to be seen if NPM will work.
The basic concept of NPM decentralises responsibility and accountability to manager who has to
achieve results. It is to be seen that NPM will achieve what it intends to achieve i.e. better performance and
What is the role of government?
From the time the public administration was the practice of managers to the time it acquired the
shape of a discipline to be taught in colleges and universities there has been one fundamental question:
What is the role of Government in providing goods and services? Is government going to be welfare
state? To what extent government will provide services? To whom government will provide services? What
services will be provided by the private sector? Will government charge for services that once were provided
free? How should government charge? Should it cover cost? Should it make profit on the services that it
There have been these questions asked. The reason for asking these questions is that government's
cost of providing services is increasing, because of its large size and efficiencies mainly. So governments
have to see what can be done.
Besides there is the upsurge of markets and by markets we mean commercialization of all
activities: make money on the sale of services; sell services to those who have ability to pay etc.
Therefore, the role of government is undergoing change under market pressures and
commercialization of services. This needs to be questioned whether this is the `correct' role of government?
What have we covered?
In these 45 lectures an attempt was made to understand the concepts, theoretical framework of
public administration/ management, definitions etc were explained. We started of with the explanation of
public administration; and one definition that was given is: It is the continuously active, `business' part of
government, concerned with carrying out the law, as made by legislative bodies (or other authoritative
agents) and interpreted by the courts, through the processes of organization and management." This
definition covers most rather all dimensions of what government does.
We also covered significant area of constitution that establishes organization, institution of state,
rights of citizens, etc. We covered evolution of the management, core functions: Planning and organizing,
public finance, administrative accountability, skills of manager, district administration, and local government
and then the changing concepts of public administration/ management.
Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION:Institutions of State, Individualism
  2. EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION:Classical School, The Shovelling Experiment
  3. CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF THOUGHTS I:Theory of Bureaucracy, Human Relation Approach
  4. CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF THOUGHTS II:Contributors of This Approach
  5. HUMAN RELATIONS SCHOOLS:Behavioural School, System Schools
  6. POWER AND POLITICS:Conflict- as Positive and Negative, Reactions of Managers, Three Dimensional Typology
  7. HISTORY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION I:Moghul Period, British Period
  9. CIVIL SERVICE:What are the Functions Performed by the Government?
  10. CIVIL SERVICE REFORMS:Implementation of the Reforms, Categories of the Civil Service
  11. 1973 CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN:The Republic of Pakistan, Definition of the State
  12. STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT:Rules of Business, Conclusion
  13. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ADMINISTRATION:The Public Interest, Ambiguity, Less Efficient
  14. ORGANIZATION:Formal Organizations, Departmentalization
  15. DEPARTMENTALIZATION:Departmentalization by Enterprise Function, Departments by Product
  16. POWER AND AUTHORITY:Nature of Relationship, Delegation of Functional Authority
  17. DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY:The Art of Delegation, Coordination
  18. PLANNING I:Four Major Aspects of Planning, Types of Plans
  19. PLANNING II:Planning ProcessThree principles of plans
  21. DECISION MAKING:Theories on Decision Making, Steps in Rational Decision Making
  22. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (HRM):Importance of Human Resource, Recruitment
  23. SELECTION PROCESS AND TRAINING:Levels at Which Selection takes Place, Training and Development
  24. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL:Formal Appraisals, Informal Appraisals
  26. PUBLIC FINANCE:Background, Components of Public Finance, Dissimilarities
  27. BUDGET:Components of Public Income, Use of Taxes, Types of Taxation
  28. PUBLIC BUDGET:Incremental Budget, Annual Budget Statement, Budget Preparation
  29. NATIONAL FINANCE COMMISSION:Fiscal Federalism Defined, Multiple Criteria
  30. ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL:Types of Accountability, Internal Control, External Control
  31. AUDIT:Economy, Effectiveness, Objectives of Performance Audit, Concepts
  32. MOTIVATION:Assumptions about Motivation, Early ViewsThree Needs
  33. MOTIVATION AND LEADERSHIP:Reinforcement Theory, Leadership, The Trait Approach
  34. LEADERSHIP:Contingency Approaches, Personal Characteristics of Employees
  35. TEAM I:Formal & Informal teams, Functions of Informal Groups, Characteristics of Teams
  36. TEAM II:Team Cohesiveness, Four ways to Cohesiveness, Communication
  37. COMMUNICATION I:Types of Communication, How to Improve Communication
  38. COMMUNICATION II:Factors in Organizational Communication, Negotiating To Manage Conflicts
  39. DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION:The British Period, After Independence, The Issues
  40. DEVOLUTION PLAN I:Country Information, Tiers or Level of Government
  41. DEVOLUTION PLAN II:Aim of Devolution Plan, Administrative Reforms, Separation of powers
  42. POLITICAL REFORMS:District, Tehsil, Functions of Union Council, Fiscal Reforms
  43. NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT (NPM):Strategy, Beginning of Management Approach
  45. MANAGERIAL PROGRAMME AGENDA II:Theoretical Bases of Management, Critique on Management