According to major scholars, there are three main different types of public administration and approaches to the field of public administration and management. Approaches or Theories of public administration help us to understand the importance and functions of public administration. Key types of public administration include; Classical Public Administration, New Public Management, and lastly Postmodern Public Administration.
These theories offer different perspectives on how administrators and managers practice public administration, including its relevance as an academic study. Public administration plays a major role through its complex functions, mainly to improve economic growth, social development promotion, infrastructure establishment, human development, policy formulation, and protecting people’s interests through programs and outsourcing of partnerships to improve efficiency. Below are the modern and classical theories of public administration which define types of public administration.
Top 4 Theories of public administration
What are the different theories of public administration?
There are three different theories of public administration that help us to understand public administration: Classical Public Administration Theory, New Public Management Theory, and Postmodern Public Administration Theory
Classical Public Administration Theory
The classical theory of public administration, otherwise better known as the structural theory of public administration, centers on major variables. It does not include other theories of administration but promotes the managing of government institutions through the bureaucracy. The authors of this, namely Henri Fayol and prominent social scientist Luther Gulick, explained bureaucratic features, major importance, and elements of classical theory, including; Unity, Efficiency, Atomism, Specialization, and Command.
New Public Management Theory
New public management is an ideological perspective that aims to improve organizational performance. In New public management, reforms place an emphasis on the need to make public Organizations business-like. NPM emphasizes that public organizations have become competing entities with the private sector, hence there is a need for the adoption of a business model.
New public management introduces important key elements to improve efficiency, by shifting from the traditional model of administration. Importance of new public management, elements, and characteristics, include; cutting the red tape, making a people-based economy, customer-first business approach, and evaluation of the competition in the market.
Modern Theory of Public Administration
The modern theories of public administration today, place great emphasis on the more important aspect of the behavioral process and quantitative analysis through theories borrowed from the schools of thought. Theories of public administration can not function alone without the scope of modern management theory which has changed the way public administrators perform duties, and responsibilities, and look out for their jobs.
Advancements made by the modern theory of public administration include the promotion of decentralization, cutting the red tape, focusing on efficiency, and a culture of putting the customer first. The new public management theory modern theory of public administration, enables managers and managerial systems to evolve into more effective ones from the traditional models. The modern approach to public administration has been known to be a theory that its main aim is to produce results through systems output.
Post-Modern Public Administration Theory
Postmodern public administration theory was founded by Charles Fox and Hugh Miller in the year 1995. Post-modern public administration theory proposes discourse to improve the model of public administration and enhance policy-making procedures and structures. The postmodern theory of public administration has created another discipline, within its scope to manage complexity.
Major efforts of this theory introduce a way to dive into empirical research, policy analysis, and administrative discourse. Fox and Miller’s proposition through the post-modern theory of public administration, methodologically broadens the sphere of public administration principle. It generates a set of major empirical discoveries in public administration.
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