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The scholars of public administration have expressed two divergent views on the nature of public administration. These are: (a) Integral view, and (b) Managerial View of Public Administration.

THE INTEGRAL VIEW OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

This view considers public administration as a complete activity. It includes all the persons, from top to bottom, who has contributed in some way in achieving the given objective. Administration, according to this view, depends upon the subject matters of the concerned agency, that is, its difference from one sphere to another sphere.

According to L.D. White, Public Administration “consists of all those operations having for their purpose the fulfillment or enforcement of the public policy. This definition covers a multitude of a particular operation in much fields-the delivery of a letter, the sale of public land, the negotiation of a treaty, the award of compensation to an injured workman, the quarantine of a sick child, the removal of litter from a park, manufacturing plutonium, and licensing the use of atomic energy”. (White 1958: 1) 

Another scholar Marshal E Dimock also shares the same view, holds that administration is concerned with the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of government. The ‘what’ is the subject matter, the technical knowledge of a field that enables the administrator to perform his tasks. The ‘how’ is the technique of management, the principles according to which cooperative programs are carried to success.

THE MANAGERIAL VIEW OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

According to this view, the works of only those persons who are engaged in the performance of managerial functions in the organization constitute administration. In this managerial view, the administration has the functions of planning, programming, and organizing all the activities in an organization to achieve the desired ends. Luther Gullick and Herbert Simon subscribe to this view.

Luther Gullick says “Administration has to do with getting things done; with the accomplishment of defined objectives”. (Gulick 1937:191)

Ordway Tead observes, “Administration is conceived as the necessary activities of individuals (executives) in an organization who are charged with ordering, forwarding and facilitating the associated efforts of a group of individuals brought together to realize certain define purposes.” (Tead 1959:67)

These two views deal with the nature of public administration. In simple terms, the nature of public administration deals with the execution of a plan of action to achieve the desired objective.

To summarise, we can take an observation of M.E. Dimock, G.O. Dimock, and L.W. Koeing in Public Administration: “As a study, public administration examines every aspect of government’s efforts to discharge the laws and to give effect to public policy; as a process, it is all the steps taken between the time and enforcement agency assumes jurisdiction and the last brick is placed (but includes also the agency’s participation, if any, in the formulation of the program in the first place); and, as a vocation, it is organizing and directing the activities of others in a public agency”. (Dimock & Koeing 1959:12)

READ ALSO:

MEANING AND DEFINITION OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ADMINISTRATION
WOODROW WILSON’S VIEW ON PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
SIGNIFICANCE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
NATURE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
SCOPE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

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