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Introduction to Public Administration

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Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
At the end of the lecture the students will be able to:
Understand the dissimilarities between public and private sector
Understand the similarities between the two sectors.
It is said that the work in public organizations is guided by commitments to public service ideals.
This is the basic difference between the two sectors. However, public sector organization are involved with
management, and, for that reason, public administration is often confused with business management.
As we have already seen, early writers in the field often suggested that government should become
more like business. The reason to express this device was that private sector organizations were considered
more efficient and effective. The reason to efficiency was often attributed to the profits earned. Observers,
therefore make the primary distinction between business and government that of profit. While government
is concerned with providing services or regulating individual or group's behaviour in the public interest.
The canvass and scope of government is much broader since it provides service to the citizens and not to
specific customer. For example Company that manufactures cars will be dealing with those who can afford
cars. While government provides roads which is used by those who have animal driven carts, bicycles,
motorbike etc. In this way all would agree that the context of public management significantly changes the
work itself.
The basic differences between the public and private sector are seven which are:
The Public Interest
Pluralistic Decision Making
The Market
Less efficient
We will deal with each one by one:
In Pakistan, the federal constitution defines the environment of public administration and from it
originates laws that affect. The executive branch of the government. It tells that laws are to be legislated by
the legislature and the public administration has to implement the laws and the policies. In the case of
private sector, there is no constitution. Although there is legal binding which has different nature and
Basic political science tells us that executive, legislature, and courts are responsive to different
constituencies and political pressures and the all three branches have legitimate interests in public
administration, because all these represent branches that affect it in its own way. Their respective
constituency or the group they represent e.g. legislature represent their vote bank. The constituency of
courts are judges and clients. The executive represents their own group of civil servants. Beside the
constitutional framework creates a system of federalism that allows overlap in the activities of federal and
provincial administration. Often the federal government will create a program and rely on the provinces to
implement it. Such a situation is not found in private business.
The Public Interest
Public interest is a good of larger number of people i.e., any good or service is provided which is
used by large number of citizens. Private interest is limited as compared to public interest. Example:
education for all vs. education for selected few. Private sector will provide education to those who have the
Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
ability to pay, while government will provide education to all with low tuition fee. Similarly the benefit of
maintaining law and order is for all and not to the selected few.
In the private sector profit is the basic measure of evaluating performance of organization in
business. The same is not true in public agencies, and where making or losing money is not the main
criterion for success or failure. The objectives of public organizations are stated in terms of service
provision. For example, an agency's mission may be to protect the quality of the environment or to provide
an adequate level of rehabilitative services to the disabled. In both the situations, the government may
spend more and the purpose of spending may not be making profit but to provide service. In this way we
see that the goals of public agencies are not as clear as private sector. These goals are less quantifiable.
Pluralistic Decision Making
Pluralistic decision making means when more than one type of groups is the beneficiaries or
affectees. Pluralism means that people belong to different ethnic, racial, regional, cultural backgrounds.
Since people are different ethnically and culturally, their demand and needs vary. There would also be
divergent views on issues of public interest. For example people of a region would need roads, while people
of other region might need dams. Since the money available is the same. There is need to build consensus.
In private sector a company would decide to manufacture a two wheeled vehicle, keeping in view the
income of buyer. It does not seek any consensus on that. We can say pluralistic decision making of public
sector is different from the private sector decision making.
How Does Pluralistic Decision Making makes Public and Business Management Different?
In parliamentary democracies, managers operate with much greater visibility than their counterparts
in industry because they are constantly being watched by the media.
One comes across reports in newspapers about the inefficient performance of some government
departments that come in contact with public more frequently. So inefficient, undemocratic, injustice
behaviour of public organizations get reported, unlike the behaviour of managers in private organization.
Thus public manager's actions become more visible as compared to the actions of private managers. This
difference is due to the fact that public manager's action affects large number of people.
The Market
Another important difference between public and private sector is the arena of markets. Although
government policies and actions affect markets, but government does not face same challenge of market as
the private sector. The distinct differences between public and private sector in this regard are:
Public agencies do not face competition of other firms as the private sector organisations
would do.
Price of governmental operations is established through budgetary routines rather than
fixed at the market. The prices of goods and services in the private sector are determined
through the principle of demand and supply'. If the supply of a good is short, then it price
would be high and vice versa. The government does not fix the price of its services on this
principle. If the price of a good or service is fixed, it is fixed on its budgetary allocation that
is how much spent on a good by the government in its budget.
The remoteness of market forces from most public administrative operations has profound
consequences. Since the prices are not fixed in the market, governments' operation and
expenditure become too large which has affect on its public financial management.
Some of these services and products provided by government are referred to as public
goods. What are Public Goods? These are goods such as: Defence, Roads, Street light etc.
Characteristics of Public Goods are that individuals cannot be excluded from enjoying and these are
not exhausted or diminished by the use of other. In other words these are non rival. Example can be given
of a road used by all and its value does not diminish.
Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
Less Efficient
There is often the allegation that public organizations are less efficient. It means that public
organizations do not maximize output with given resources. This allegation is not new and because of this
allegation there have been efforts to make public organisations as efficient as private organization.
There are different kinds of power that organizations possess. But the power of government is
different and omnipresent. The distinctive power of government is as follows:
Power to regulate: government can regulate private sector by formulating laws. These laws
are binding on private sector and they have to abide by it.
Power to coerce: only government has the power to use force and to put people behind
bars for violating law. Thus power of punishment can only be used by government, and no
private organization has this power.
Pervasiveness: the government laws and regulations have general applicability. The most
common example of this is the application of traffic laws all over the country and its
acceptability by all.
Vague and unquantifiable goals
Pluralistic decision making: People with diverse ethnic background are involved in decision
That public officials working in public agencies is reported in the
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