Administration is as old as Mankind. It has existed ever since Man began to organize himself. Administration is a Process common to all group effort, Public or private, Civil or military, large scale or Small scale. The word Administration is derived from the Latin word ‘ad’ and ‘ministrare’ which means to serve. Considered as an concrete activity, administration includes all types of Work necessary to achieve the goal in view it assumes Myriad of Shapes and forms in various subject matter fields; it is both skill and on art and its Process is Universally identical Administration has been practiced from time immemorial only it form and style have been Undergoing Changes to suit the Changing needs over the period of time.
Public administration is a segment of the wider field of Administration. Woodrow Wilson defines Public administration as “detailed and systematic application of law”.
Meaning and Scope of public administration
- Public administration is the whole government in action
- It includes all operations having for their purpose the fulfillment or enforcement of public policy.
- The science of public administration is an enquiry as to how Policies may best be carried in to operation.
- Public administration is Concerned with “What”- the technical knowledge of a field which enables the administrator to perform his tasks; and the ‘how-the technique of management according to which the Programmes are Carried to success.
- It involves, managing, directing and supervising the activities of thousands or even millions of workers so that some order and efficiency may result from their efforts.
- The core of the Public administration is not the method management but the goods and services that are produced or tendered
Scope and Significance of Public administration
The full scope of public administration would cover administrative theory and applied administration. The wellbeing of the nation (society) is increasingly dependent on the efficiency of the Government (i.e.) Public administration. The future of the Civilized Government and even the Civilization rests on the competence, efficiency and efficacy of the Public administration. Every Individual in the modern society is Concerned with and totally interlinked with public administration at every form of his or her life right from the cradle to the grave; nay even before his or her birth (in the form of pre-natal care of the expectant mother) to even after his or her death (proving his Will and thereby taking Care of his property in certain ways). Thus on account of the importance of the public administration it has been rightly described as the “Heart of Modern civilization”.
Art VS Science
While Public administration is widely accepted as an Art, whether it is a science is a debatable One. There are Some Who holds it as social science because administration deals with vast amount of data, applications of methods related scientific enquiry. Nevertheless this point is debatable because public administration deals with humans who unpredictable and irrational animal which contradicts itself with the Phenomenon of science which is based on Nature and proved Principles of its physical characters. Therefore there is still a certain degree of uncertainty in accepting Public administration as science because most of its principles are tentative conclusions or deductions from certain inarticulate major promises which may not be universally present. Public administration can be considered as instrument to achieve the goals set by government. Thus with the growing importance of public administration in public functions, Public administration became more and more complex and hence it needed a complete overhaul with Scientific investigations in to the working of Government and its employees. So a need for a review of administrative practices were voiced upon by the Practitioners and Academies alike, Thus a symbolic beginning of fairly autonomous field of academic enquiry began with the publication of an essay by Woodrow Wilson in 1887 in which Wilson said “There Should be a science of administration which Shall seek straighten the path of the Government, to make its business less unbusiness-like to strengthen and purify its organization, and to crown its duty with dutifulness “. Now with public administration identified as a means to meet the ends of the government then came irony of whether it deals with executive function of the government or it is an integrated entity of all the three branches of the government namely legislative, Judiciary, Executive. Those who hold the broader view feel that all the branches are interrelated and one cannot function without the help of other, thus keeping in mind, one can come to on conclusion that public administration should be studied inclusively with all the three-departments of the government and also as a Part of larger political process.
Philosophy of Administration
Public Administration today has come to determine the vigour and quality of every institution Therefore Ordway Tread has emphasized the need for the formulation of the Philosophy of public administration which according to him would lead to more professional self-consciousness and convinced sense of social Justification among the executives. Some of the important Points as philosophy of public administration put forward by Marshall E.Dimock are
- It must bring into Sharp focus to all elements entering in to administrative action.
- All elements entering in to administrative action should be integrated and brought in to a system of proper and unified relationship.
- Where possible principles are developed, it should be borne in mind that they are valid guides for future action under substantially Similar conditions.
- Administration is concerned with both ends and means .A Skillful fusion of the two is the test of administrative excellence. That means must be in the spirit and harmony with the ends.
- A Philosophy of administration should be conceived in such a way that, if it describes reality and provides reliable tools to the executive, it constitutes a grand total which exceeds the sum of its parts.
- A Good administrative system should communicate spirit and sounded feeling of widespread satisfaction.
Meaning of public Administration
Public administration is concerned with the purposes of society as a Whole, as opposed to groups within it, such as trade unions, businesses and the like. Public administration is therefore concerned with the purposes of the State. The Government, a specialized group of People in the State can be said to provide policies for society aimed at establishing Goals and ends of the society while public administration is concerned with achieving them. Public administrators deal with the activities of the State as opposed to private administrators who are concerned only about the goals of non-state actors. One of the important aspects of Public administration is Public accountability .Administration has been defined as cooperative human effort towards achieving a common goal. Public administration is that species of administration which operates within a specific political setting. It is the action Part of the government, the means by which the goals of the government is realized.
Nature of Public administration
There are two broad views in the nature of public administration. They are,
- Integral View
- Managerial view
According to this view, public administration consists of all those operations (manual, clerical, managerial, technical etc) having for their purpose the fulfillment or enforcement of public policy. Some of the proponents of integral view are L.D.white and Henry fayol.
The Managerial view postulates that administration is the organization and the use of men and materials in the pursuit of Common objectives. It thus does not include all activities of administration in to its ambit but takes out only those activities for its Study which involves techniques of management. Some of the proponents this view are Herbert Simon, Smithburg and Thompson and Luther Gullick.
Neither of these views can be rejected outright. It all depends on the context in which the term is used. Finally to Conclude, As a Study public administration examines every aspect of governments efforts to discharge the laws and to give effect to the Public Policy; As a process, it is all the Steps taken commencing from the time an Enforcement agency assumes jurisdiction to the laying of last brick; As a Vocation, it is organizing and directing the activities of others in a public agency
Elements of public Administration
Public Administration compromises of the following elements
- Management of personnel
- Method and procedure.
- Public Finance
- Administrative Accountability
This involves the Structuring of individuals and functions in to productive relationship. It represents the Static part of the administration. It is called as the anatomy of public administration.
Management of Personnel
This is concerned with the direction of individuals and functions to achieve the predetermined ends. It represents the dynamic aspect of Administration and it may be called the Physiology of administration.
Method and Procedure
This represents the technique of administrating, the process of working, and the law of administration.
Material and supply
This includes the tools with whose help the administrative Work is carried on.
This is the material without which Personnel cannot be employed and work cannot be performed. This is the chief determining factor in public Administration, in fact, in the whole government, as the efficiency and the prestige of the administration depends upon it.
This is the accountability of the administration both in terms of internal Control as well as external responsibility to the judiciary, the legislative and the People.