14 thoughts on “109. Evolution of PA Part I

  1. 1. Public administration developed as an offshoot of political science. It was considered as the step- sister of other social disciplines. Public administration is characterised by having locus and focus. Locus is “where” of the field, which is government bureaucracy in this case. Focus is the specialized “what” of the field, which are principles of administration or execution of policies. But the focus changes with time and circumstances. During the days of Plato and Aristole public administration focused on the promotion of virtue (Truth, Good, Beautiful). During Machiavelli’s time the focus shifted to morality and acquisition of power. When Nation states and Welfare states emerged the focus shifted to taxes, statistics and administration of military organisation.

    2. Woodrow Wilson once famously wrote “It is getting harder to run a constitution than to write one”, hence he called for a science of administration which gave rise to Politics-Administration dichotomy-the first stage of evolution of public administration. He wanted a systematic and a disciplined body of knowledge that would make administrative work corruption free, efficient and service oriented. According to Wilson politics deals with making of the policies and administration deals with implementation of those policies. He further segregated the two disciplines by stating the institutional locations of the two functions were also different. Policies originate in the legislature and the higher echelons of the government whereas administration was identified with the executive, the bureaucracy.

    3. The second stage of public administration is the stage of orthodoxy. The science of administration was made to evolve into a science of management. This could be applied not only to government organisations but also to the management of private companies. The focus of public administration was fully on efficiency rather than public. Scientific management was applied to the problems of administration. Principles of management were used by administrative practitioners and they worked with business schools to emphasize these principles. Herbert Simon was a critique of this principle. He considered it to me unscientific and mere proverbs which cannot be put into action.

    4. Elton Mayo believed that workers are not just concerned with the money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work. Hence he introduced the Human Relation School which focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers and looking after employee’s interests, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together.

    Hawthorne experiments were conducted at Hawthorne Plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago. First experiment was conducted on male workers. In order to increase the productivity of work, wages of the workers were increased but the result didn’t seem to improve. Hence he concluded that merely increasing the wages wouldn’t lead to efficient and productive work.

    Second experiment was conducted on female workers. He studied the effect on their productivity levels by changing factors such as lighting, playing music and working conditions. He expected to see a decline in their productivity levels but the productivity levels increased or remained the same. From this Elton Mayo concluded that workers are best motivated by better communication between workers and managers, greater manager involvement in employees working lives and working in teams.

    Classical theory focuses on extracting work by providing monetary and material rewards whereas HRT focuses on productivity of work through social and psychological factors. Classical theory gives importance to formal principles and structural working while the HRT gives importance to informal organisations and their day to day working. Classical theory focuses on supervision and control of workers while the HRT give a lot more liberty to the workers.

  2. 1.Robert T. Golembiewski, who noted four phases in the historical development of Public Administration says that each phase may be distinguished and understood in terms of its locus or focus.’Locus’refers directly to the ‘where’ to the contexts that are conceived to yield the phenomena of interest. ‘ Focus’ refers to the analytical targets of public administration , the ‘what’ with which specialists are concerned.

  3. 1. Public administration has changed its nature and scope even as the problems facing society changed. From taking a strictly scientific or mechanistic view, it moved on to a Human relations view and is concerned with the current problems of society

  4. Woodrow Wilson separated Politics from Administration and argued that politics is concerned with policy making and administration is concerned with the implementation of policy decisions. Wilson’s memorable quote “There should be a science of Administration which shall seek to straighten the paths of government , to make its business less unbusinesslike, to strengthen and purify its organisation and to crown its duties with dutifulness.”
    His contributions can be seen from four interlinked standpoints
    -his advocacy of a ‘science of administration’
    -his emphasis on the special nature of administration distinguishing administration from politics.
    -his apparent predilection for business or private administration.
    -his early initiative for comparative study of administration.

  5. 2. President of USA Woodrow Wilson’s essay “The Study of Administration” is considered to be the symbolic beginning of a fairly autonomous inquiry.
    Wilson wrote “it is the object of administrative study to discover, first, what government can properly and successfully do, and secondly, how it can do these proper things with the utmost possible efficiency and at the least possible cost either of money or of energy”.
    Wilson’s four principles:
    – Advocacy of a science of administration: Wilson wrote “there should be a science of administration which shall seek to straighten the paths of government, to make its business less unbusiness like to strengthen and purify, its organization, and to crown its duties with dutifulness”. Wilson refers science to a systematic and disciplined body of knowledge which he thought would be the latest fruit of science of politics.
    – Emphasis on the special nature of administration distinguishing administration from politics:
    Wilson’s objective was clear, but his statement was possibly naïve. His basic argument was that administrators could concentrate on operating the government rather than on substituting their judgement for that of elected officials. This idea is called politics-administration dichotomy. He sought to make a distinction between ‘political activity’ and ‘administrative activity’ in public organisation.

    – Apparent predilection for private or business administration: Wilson wanted to make government business “less unbusinesslike”. The affairs of public administration were synonymous with those of private administration. The central concerns of business administration like economy, efficiency and effectiveness should also be the concerns of public administration. He had great admiration for private administration. Consideration of the government from a commercial perspective.

    – Initiative on comparative study of administration: Wilson may be regarded as the founder of comparative public administration. He rejected the philosophical method and emphasised the historical and comparative method. Comparative studies are learning experience. His was clear in his mind that administration stands on different bases in democratic and other states. He recognized that lessons learned from other countries would have to be “filtered through the cultural lens of the person seeking to learn those lessons and borrow techniques”.

  6. 3. The second stage of evolution may be described as the stage of orthodoxy.
    Features of stage of orthodoxy:
    – An attempt was made to evolve a value-free ‘science of management’.
    – The public aspect of public administration was virtually dropped at this stage and the focus was almost wholly on efficiency.
    – Efforts were underway to delineate firmly the boundaries of new discipline of public management.
    – Public administration merged into the new science.
    – Politics as practised by the politicians was considered irrelevant.
    – Principles of management were worked out as ready-made aids to practitioners.
    – Scientific management to efficiently handle the ‘business’ of administration became the slogan.

    Simon related public administration to psychology, sociology, economics and political science. He rejected the political administrative dichotomy. Even as he tried to make it Scientific, he also tried to combine it with a broad range of values and concerns for public policy. He dismissed the so called scientific principles of public administration as really unscientific and called them mere proverbs, unverified and unproved assumptions.

  7. 4. Human relation approach is the third stage of evolution of administrative thought. This approach is which bought out the limitation of the machine concept of organisation in scientific management thought. This approach gives the vital importance to the human side of the enterprise.

    The Hawthorne expirement 1920 at the Hawthorne plant of the western electric company let to this stage. The experiments focussed upon the work groups, shook the foundation of the scientific management school by demonstrating the powerfull influence of social and psychological factors on the work situation. The mechanistic notion of organisation was exploded by showing that manipulation of monetary rewards and the physical aspects of the work situation had very limited impact on the worker and productivity.

    Classical Theory gives importance to the formal principles and structural working of organisation, where as Human relation theory gives importance the informal organisation and their day to day working.

  8. The second stage of evolution of Public administration can be called the Stage of Orthodoxy because:
    -The ‘Public’ aspect of public administration was virtually dropped at this stage and the focus was almost wholly on efficiency.
    -efforts were underway to delineate firmly the boundaries of a new discipline of ‘management’. Public administration merged into a new science.
    Herbert A. Simon criticised the principles of administration and described them as “proverbs”. He advocated a behavioural approach to make it a more scientific discipline. He focused upon decision making as the alternative to the principles approach. He rejected the idea of Politics- Administration dichotomy and recommended an empirical approach to study of public administration. He related public administration to psychology,sociology,economics and political science.

  9. 1)
    Public administration can simply (and in a broader sense)
    be defined as the “Action part of Government” through which the
    purposes and goals of the government are realised. As PA being
    an action part, it can never have a fixed boundary as the goals of
    the goverment are not same and varies with time.

    The “action part” is defined and guided by the objectives and goals
    of the society of which these Public administrators are part of.

    So, public administration is subjected to the choices of “where” and
    “what” of a society.

    ‘Locus’ stands for the institutional’where’ of the field; while
    ‘focus’ is the specialised ‘what’ of the field.

    Policies employed at “one place” and for a “particular field” may not
    be relevant even if one aspect of “where” and “what” changes.

    Hence the principles of Public administartion are subjected to change
    with time and place (locus) and field (focus).

  10. 3)

    Stage of orthodoxy tended to reinforce idea of politics-
    administration dichotomy and to evlove a “value free”
    science of management and in doing so, the “public” aspect of
    public administration was dropped and focus was all on efficiency
    and administration became “result-oriented” without any concern for
    the frailities of human beings. It tried to delineate firmly the
    boundaries of “management” discipline and emphasised the mechanical
    aspects of management.
    Scientific management to efficiently handle the “business”
    of administration became the slogan.

    The new management principles made bureaucracy a mindless machine
    which takes decisons mechanically which may not server the “public
    interests”.

    Simon says that its just not efficiency and economy but social and
    psychological factors that greatly influence the way the decisions are taken.
    Simon rejected the politics-adminstartion dichotomy and emphasised
    logical positivism.

  11. 4)

    Human relations school suggests the management to discover the ‘social person’ in the worker, treat them as individual worker with individual needs.
    It says, workers are not interested only in financial gains, they also need
    recognition, satisfaction and stability in the work environment. Workers should be made part of the decision making process especially in the matters effecting their interests, thereby maintaining good communication channel between the management and workers. It also says, the work environment should encourage informal relations along with formal realtions so as to achieve efficiency.

    Hawthorne experiments:
    carried out in 1920 in the Hawthorne plant of the western electric company.
    1. Illumination tests: idea was to vary and record levels of illumination in
    a test room with the expectation that lighting had a directly impact on the
    productivity. After the experiments, it was conculed that light is not an
    important factor in productivity.

    2. Relay Assembly Test Room Study:
    To evaluate the effect of rest periods and hours of work on efficiency, they
    formed two groups of six females and kept in seperate rooms, these groups were allowed to make their own choice of rest periods and hours of work. Informal relationships among workers, participation in decision-making, etc. had a greater effect on productivity than working conditions.

    3. mass interviews:
    It was observed that when workers were allowed to speak freely on matters that are important to them, efficiency increased.

    4. Bank Wiring Observation Room Experiments
    Workers pay was made dependent on the performance of the group as a whole group they are part of. It was expected that all the workers would finally achieve the highest level of performance, but the results showed that the group established their own standards of output collectively and
    social factors play a major role in influencing the productivity.

    Human relations school of thoughts were born out of Hawthorne experiments.

    Classical theory emphasizes on financial incentives, hierarchichal relations and formal principles for higher productivity. HRT says, social aspects, informal relations and freedom in decision making plays crucial role in deciding productivity.

  12. 1. Public administration is system of organisation and action concerned with performance of the activities. It says that each phase may be distinguished and understood in terms of locus and focus locus refers diectly to the “where” to the contexts that are conceived to yield the phenomena of interest. focus refers “what” of the field which the principles of administration of policies.

    2.Woodrow Wilson says that politis and administration dichotomy is often traced to the science of administration. He seperated politics and administation .politics has to do with policies or expressions of the state will.Administration has to do with the execution of these policies. There should be a science of administration which shal lseek to straighten the path of government to make its business less unbusiness like to strenghten and purify its organisation and crown its duties with dutifulness. He wanted a systematic and disciplined body of knowledge that would make administration work corruption free efficient and service oriented.policies originate in the legislature and the higher echelons of government where administration was identified with the execution the bureaucracy.

    3.The ‘public’ aspect of public administration was virtually dropped at this stage and the focus was almost wholly on efficiency. This stage can be called the stage of orthodoxy, as efforts were underway to delineate firmly the boundaries of a new discipline of ‘management’. Public administration merged into the new science. Politics as practised by the politicians was considered irrelevant. Scientific management to efficiently handle the ‘business’ of administration became the slogan. Principles of management were worked out as ready-made aids to practitioners. The administrative practitioners and the business schools joined hands to emphasize the mechanistic aspect of management untrammeled by the whims of politicians and the frailties of human beings. Critics dubbed these principles as mere proverbs. But the excesses of scientific management triggered a series of reactions against the mechanistic concept of administration which the new movement sought to establish.

    4.While the Classical theory gives importance to formal principles and structural working, the Human Relations gives importance to informal organizations and their day to day working.These experiments showed that human relations were more important than scientific theories. Social and psychological factors on the work situation mattered most in promoting efficiency Mere monetary rewards were not enough. This approach demanded grater attention to the formation and effect of work groups in the organization and the force of informal organization . By drawing attention to the social and psychological factors of work situation, it underscored the vital importance of the ”human side of the enterprise”

  13. 1) Locus refers to the “where” concept in the public administration in which it locate the area of interest for the public administration to focus on. Locus talks about concrete distinction of public administration. Focus refers to the analytical target of public administration where question of what to be done is answered.
    Focus tells about logical distinction of public administration.
    Robert T. Golembiewski his monumental book: ‘Public Administration As a Developing Discipline, Part I, Perspectives on Past and Present’. He used locus and focus to identify the different development phases in public administration. Also Nicholas Henary uses this to provide evolution of Paradigms in the public administration.

    2) Woodrow Wilson tried to separate politic and public administration based on logical distinction of its activity. He says that, the legislature is responsible for the policy making and public administration is responsible for execution of the policy.The main focus of public administration should be on efficiency and accountability. He advocated that both the field should be separated. This is what we called the politics-administration dichotomy. His contribution to public administration is said to be start of the study of public administration and he is being called as founder of the public administration. He wrote “The study of Administration”. In this he talked about the scientific approach of public administration and politics-administration dichotomy. This is also marked as science of public administration. Though there has been criticism about the dichotomy, Frank Goodnow has stated that Woodrow wilson was never intended complete separation of Political science and public administration since they are very much loosely coupled to each other.

    3)Henari Foyal applied pinciple of management approach in the administrative management. He believed that administrative management would help organizations achieve optimum performance in working toward their goal. He purpose 14 Management principles as being used by management in a organisation. These 14 Management principle are :- (1)Division of work (2)Authority (3)Discipline (4)Unity of command (5)Unity of Direction (6)Subordination of individual interests to the general interests (7)Remuneration (8)Centralization (9)Scalar chain (10)order (11)Equity (12)Stablitiy of tenure of personnel (13)Initiative (14)Espirit De Corps. According to Herbert Simon in article titled “The Proverbs of Administration”(1946) presented a thorough critique of the pinciple of management approach. He said that the principle of management were vague and `plagued by contradiction. He argued that for each principle, a contradictory principle existed.

    4) Human Relation Approach talks about the social and psychological factors at the workplace and act as major determinant of workers satisfaction and organisational output. This is related to the behavioural science and varied contributions were made from the behavioural scientists.

    The Hawthorne experiment 1920 at the Hawthorne plant of the western electric company.
    This was carried by Elton Mayo.
    First Phase, a study was made based on the scientific management tradition and undertaken to find out the relationships between intensity of illumination and workers eficiency as the measure of output. Study could not out with any consistent relationship. Irrespective of any variation in the physical conditions of work, production continued to increase.

    In second phase, research was pursued in two other phases. In the second phase, the importance of social factors in the work situation was confirmed. In the third phase, small group behaviour was the focus of research. They concluded those actual production norms were set by the informal work group. It revealed the critical influence of social organisation on the individual worker.

    Difference between classical theory and Human Relation approach:
    The Classical theory gives importance to formal principles and structural working, the Human Relations Theory gives importance to informal organizations and their day to day working.

  14. 1) Evolution of Public Administration can be characterised broadly based on the paradigms involving locus and focus. The initial study of public administration concentrated on “locus” on where the public administration should be and the “focus” dealt with what the study of public administration should be. Focus meant studying the scientific aspect of public administration and locus dealt with where it should be applied.

    2) Wilson believed that the science of administration should seek to straighten the paths of government to make its business less unbusinesslike, to strengthen and purify its organisation and crown its duties with dutifulness. He advocated for a ‘science of administration’. He emphasised on the special nature of administration distingushing administration from politics.

    3) The stage of orthodoxy reinforced the idea of politics-administration dichotomy and to evolve a value-free science of management. The “public” aspect of public administration was virtually dropped and the focus was almost wholly on efficiency. Scientific management to efficiently handle the “business” of administration become the slogan. Simon criticised this theory concluding that it was unscientifically derived. He rejected the politics-administration dichotomy.

    4)Human Relations School of thought drew attention to the social and psychological factors of work situation like formation and effect of work groups in the organisation, the force of informal organisation in the formal setup, the phenomenon of leadership and conflicts and cooperation among groups in the organisation underscoring the vital importance of the human side of the enterprise.

    In the Hawthorne experiment, initially a study was undertaken to find out the relationships between the intensity of illumination and workers’ efficiency as measured by output. But even with the reduction in illumination, the production was increasing. It was later hypothesised that the changes in output was not due to illumination but due to changes in social situation at the workplace and changes in motivation and satisfaction and the style of supervision. In the second phase, the importance of the social factors in the work situation was confirmed and in the third phase, small group behaviour was the focus of research. It was found that the actual production norms were set by the informal work group and such norms were often at variance with those fixed by the management.

    The classical theory emphasised on physciological and mechanical aspects of work organisation. It is rule based while the Human Relations approach focussed on the behaviour of the organisation members to achieve efficiency.

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