importance of public administration
importance of public administration

In this article, we will fully explain learning, studying, functions, principles, administration jobs, and pillars that help enforce administration towards people’s needs. Particularly, what is public administration about as both study, science, art, and academic discipline. Read public administration(Woodrow Wilson) and Principles of Bureaucracy. It was defined by Woodrow Wilson and deals with the implementation of public policies by the public servants.

Administration contributes to government sector administration and policymaking. Hence why it has a lot of generic functions, not forgetting societydemocracy developers, and the modern state. Given that, it’s considered one of the most important forms of administration today, in developing and developed countries.

Scope of public administration

Meaning, nature, and scope of administration: Chiefly, what is the scope of new public management and administration? The meaning of management or administration is referenced from the Latin word ‘ministiare’, meaning to serve people, and serve ‘Public, the meaning the term public and people.

Therefore administration is an important discipline that involves the process to execute the policy of the government. Management or people’s administration also comprises human resources and management processes at work to ensure employees work collectively. The Public interchangeably helps to form an administrative process. These Articles also outline an essential element of public management that operates in private, public institutions, social and political settings.

what is public administration about

Scope of Public Administration consists of important views and perspectives introduced by a man named L.D. White, the traditional perspective of management or administration by Gullick and scientific management by Frederick Taylor in 1980. Significantly, types of administration models include classical theory of administration, post-modern public administration, Bureaucracy, and neo-classical management. Public management and administration scope also consist of three main important perspectives namely; POSDCORB perspective, Broad perspective, and Prevailing view.

POSDCORB perspective: According to Luther Gullick the narrow perspective called POSDCORB view consists of important elements needed in enhancing the affairs of government organizations. Altogether, narrow perspective functions include;

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Staffing
  • Directing
  • Coordinating
  • Reporting and
  • Budgeting

POSDCORB functions improve work executives and managers by separating duties from those of non-managerial and personnel controls. It also coordinates activities within the organization to ensure everything is properly done with professionalism through managerial techniques.

Broad perspective: Woodrow Wilson explained three major branches of the government. Hence the scope of management and administration today acts as a comparative structure of politics but advised to practice politics dichotomy.

Administrative theory: This theory deals with activities of organizations, theory behavior, personal administration, applied administration, political functions, and responsibilities. It further tackles finance control, planning, strategic formulation, educational procedures, social welfare, local administration, and foreign policy.

Dealing with the administration as Subject

Public administration’s duties and roles include expanding the welfare society and improving the role of the government. It also acts as a piece of machinery in case of an emergency.

Focus of administration

Public administration focuses on Planning organizational systems, Organizing responsibilities, and Directing human resources to attain efficiency with less cost. Both management and administration are beyond other disciplines. However, it overlaps studies, including Business administration, sociology, political science, economics, and psychology. Public management or administration has been a study of practice for making law, and policy formulation with interest to people.

examples of a bureaucratic organization
examples of a bureaucratic organization

Scope of public administration as a discipline

By scope, Public Administration is an academic discipline. It also deals with people affairs and enhances students’ and researchers’ understanding of the critical role that administrators play in institutions. Meanwhile, management and administration as an academic discipline have introduced new theories broad of great importance to social sciences. Management Administration both embraces and massively enhances all the activities of the government.

Functions of public administration

Below are 5 generic processes of making administration responsible policymaking, promoting common values among citizens, controlling government operations, budgetary planning, and resource provision.

1. Policy Making

The most important generic function of administration is the process of formulating government policies. It’s of great significance and importance to public administration, especially in politics and democracy due to the process required in making government policies. A good policy must also uphold rule of law, and promote fairness, development, and security for people.

2. Controlling government operations

Public administration ensures proper implementation, especially for government policies and programs. Hence in order to enhance government capabilities, one of the general functions of administration, involves controlling government operations. Through managerial functions, administrators use proper planning, resource organizing, and measures to help direct, and moreover, properly implement efficiency and effectiveness.

3. Budgetary Planning & Control

Government budgets require checks and balances, public administrators play an important function in the process of Budgetary planning and control through the legislative, judiciary, or executive wings of government. It also deals with accounting information that gets processed in a democratic government to know how much was spent in the prior year. Comparatively, it tracks the performance of different ministries and public institutions.

4. Resource provision

Among the general functions of public administration, the one that can not be ignored is the provision of resources and utilization. Public administrators help in the act of providing food, in case of hunger or famine to people in need. They are also in charge of preparations, forecasting, and provision beforehand to ensure necessities get properly utilized.

5. Determination of correct procedures

The administration is responsible for the Determination of proper processes and ensures positive exemplary behavior that does not promote nepotism, favoritism, violation of human rights, and discrimination. Determination of correct procedure occurs during goal attainment and delivery of services to reduce corruptive practices and helps to motivate good behavior to help society and government achieve their goals.

Examples of good governance
Examples of good governance

Principles of administration

Exploring the topic of responsibility and its significance in the field of civil service reveals a strong connection between all of the pillars of civil administration.

Here are the top 12 principles of public administration

1. Transparency

Transparency is one principle that aims at keeping public servants in check as far as their operations are concerned. We can only achieve transparency when there is a free flow of information that concerns the interests of the people. Such information should also be made easily accessible.

2. Equity

Public servants deal with people from diverse backgrounds and all deserve their service. The aspect of equity places paramount importance on striking a balance in giving opportunities to all men and women regardless of who they are. 

3. Economy

When researching the pillars of civil administration, the economy comes in under the banner ‘efficiency and effectiveness.’ This is the most prominent principle of public relations administration. Human beings’ primary instincts care about survival. Their relationship with public administrators is consequently focused on the distribution and management of resources. The main goal is to deliver the best public service at very low costs. However, the idea is not only to put the existing resources to use but also to add value for the benefit of the people.

4. Subsidiarity

Due to the administration’s concern with efficiency, effectiveness, and improvement, the focus has been placed on the question of formal organization in service delivery. This birthed the principle of subsidiarity, where departments, ministries, and agencies are organized on the basis of common or closely related purposes.

5. Pluralism

Pluralism places emphasis on the disbursement of power among different economic and ideological groups. It accepts diversity as a beneficial element of society. Further, autonomy should be enjoyed by disparate functional or cultural groups within a society, including religious groups, trade unions, professional organizations, and ethnic minorities. With regards to administration, pluralism puts servants in a position where they ought to serve these diverse groups of people with impartiality.

6. Accountability

As societies became more organized and the control of resources went into the hands of elected government structures, the public became dependent on these governments for services. Moreover, quality is important. Providing public good in a cost-effective manner is the main goal of public service. Likewise, public administrators are held highly accountable by the constituents they serve. Accountability is a critical principle that has the power to make or break governments. Additionally, it requires ethical decision-making, equal representation, legitimacy, efficiency, effectiveness, and responsibility.

7. Participation

Public administration accepts that all people are equal irrespective of their backgrounds, ethnicity, gender, and/or affiliations. Further, the participation of all men and women in matters of public interest is progressive.

8. Access to services

For equality to be achieved, every citizen ought to be afforded equal access to public services such as health care, and education among others. This principle role works hand in glove with transparency which shows how resources are distributed through free access to information.

9. Representation

The fundamental building block around the principle of representation is the idea of “the people’s will!” It becomes a question of, “Who will represent the will of the people?” Are they those who are elected by the people themselves? Representation is not the cornerstone of public administration but it is the cornerstone of the entire government system. So people chose who is going to be responsible and accountable for the country and them. Significantly, all democratic power that governments yield comes from the people. So without people, the government has no power.

10. Legitimacy

For legitimacy to be carried out, public administrators should provide a conducive environment for adequate public involvement. “There must also be opportunities for empirical research and decision making in order to accomplish legitimacy in the state.” Public approval of a state’s power is the determining factor, whether or not it is legitimate.

According to Dr. Beaumaster, “The person who has the authority and power is legitimate. Legitimacy Power is derived from authority; authority is derived from legitimacy; legitimacy is a moral or normative standing. So whenever that person makes an unethical decision, this will reflect in his power and he may lose it.”

11. Responsibility

When looking at the pillar in the form of Responsibility in the realm of Public Administration, you will come across a myriad scholarly emphasis on the importance and reasons for responsible civil servants. Public administrators are held accountable by the public and they cannot act on their own accord because they are held responsible for the officials who have been elected by the public.

Elected government officials determine the course of action of public servants and this fact is highly relevant to the dichotomy of politics and public administration. In order for public servants to be responsible, they must also adhere to certain values and principles which make them efficient, legitimate, and representative of social equity. “The highest duty of public administrators is to embrace a broad set of obligations and responsibilities that promote the public interest, demonstrate character, advance justice, and seek the greatest good.”

12. Integrity

Integrity is a principle in public administration that has more to do with one’s ethical conduct than anything else. Public authorities must also behave appropriately in their dealings with private citizens, businesses, and other public authorities. Officeholders, elected representatives, and public servants must behave professionally and ethically.

Who is known as the father of public administration and why?
Who is known as the father of public administration and why?

Types of public administration

According to major scholars, there are three main different types of public administration and approaches to the field of public administration and management. This approach further helps us to understand the importance and functions of public administration. The key types of public administration include; Classical Public Administration, New Public Management, and lastly the Postmodern Public Administration.

Main Theories of public administration include;

1. 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, EfficiencyAtomismSpecialization, and Command.

2. New Public Management Theory

New public management is an ideological perspective that aims to improve organizational performance. It places emphasis on the need to make public Organizations businesslike. 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. Further, the importance of new public management, elements, and characteristics, include; cutting the red tape, making a people-based economy, a customer-first business approach, and evaluating competition in the market.

 3. Modern Theory of Public Administration

The modern theories of 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. Moreover, theories of public administration cannot function alone without the scope of modern management theory. This has further 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 red tape, focusing on efficiency, and a culture of putting the customer first. In new public management theory of public administration also enables managers and managerial systems to evolve into more effective ones from the traditional models. Further, the modern approach to administration is known to be a theory where the main aim is to produce results through systems output.

4. Post-Modern Public Administration Theory

Postmodern administration theory was founded by Charles Fox and Hugh Miller in the year 1995. It proposes discourse to improve the model of administration and enhance policy-making procedures and structures. Further, the postmodern theory of 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 also broadens the sphere of the public administration principle and generates a set of major empirical discoveries in administration.

Importance of administration

The importance of administration is due to its core functions in managerial administration being of appropriate importance, such as human resources, and human development. This also helps in advocating for people’s rights and safety, along with enhancing development through public-private sector partnerships.

10 Roles of public administration

  • 1. Implementing policies
  • 2. Protecting People
  • 3. Cost-Effective
  • 4. Equal Distribution Of Resources
  • 5. Government Budgeting
  • 6. Helps to Measure Development
  • 7. Leadership And Management
  • 8. Resource provision
  • 9. Determination of correct procedures
  • 10. Politics Dichotomy

Importance of public administration in society

It’s an important instrument as noted for making good policies and provision of services. Any society governed by state law needs public administration to make good policies, efficient procedures, and programs on behalf of the government. Public administration also serves local people’s interests, and importance in society with no profit-making motive, and facilitates equal resources even for poor people.

Duties of public management

New public management is an ideological perspective that aims to improve organizational performance. New public management also places emphasis on the need to make public organizations businesslike. Public organizations compete with the private sector, hence there is a need for management. 

Significantly, NPM plays an important role in the delivery of goods and services. It also gave rise to most organizations, putting clear distinction between management and Administration. Here there are important benefits of new public management in today’s world.

Public Administration degree

How many subjects are there in management or public administration degree? There are 30 courses in public management and administration if you intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree. It also takes between 4–5 years to graduate. However, a diploma only takes 2 years before completion, slightly less than a degree and the syllabus comprises 20 courses. Finally, a certificate in management with administration only consists of 10 courses and takes between 6 months to 1 year to complete.

Public Administration degree requirements

bachelor of public administration, or BPA, takes about three to four years to complete. Any University also requires a high school certificate or prior diploma in the related field. They also have administration courses as part of the syllabus. Hence it comprises about 40 courses that provide training and education in public policy and public management.

Public Administration degree jobs

Public administration job examples

Examples of administration jobs include social and political activism. In the private sector, they work as business administrators, government advisers, human resource specialists, project coordinatorsexecutive assistants, foreign correspondents, defense administratorsdoctorslecturersand policy-makers, including public relations managers.

Reference books for public administration and articles