Introduction to Gulick's and Urwick's work

Stressed the importance of structure of organization in determining its functions. Neglected the human side of the organization. Design of an organization is important so lack of design is cruel, illogical, wasteful, inefficient like appointing a person and pay him wages without an idea of his position. They focused on finding neutral principles on which designing the structure of an organization can be done. Focused on functional specialization.

Gulick's human factor and time in public administration: The main function of a state is human welfare, survival, improvement to meet challenges of ever changing environment but not war. But structure of modern state is designed for war. All authority is concentrated at top but work at lower levels. He suggested to focus on the non existent free market and not the non existent economic man.

Time is the crucial factor for every event. Without it there is no change, growth, cause effect, responsibility for management. All public policy innovations are rooted in time and in democracy timing is hallmark of statecraft.

Principles of Organization

Gulick Urwick
Division of work is basis of organization objective is the basis of creating departments
POSDCORB is the scope of public administration correspondence is needed for coordination
suggested 4 principles for creating departments responsibility
coordination through hierarchy scalar principle
deliberate coordination span of control
coordination through committees specialization
decentralization coordination
unity of command, staff and line, delegation, span of control definition

  1. Unscientific theory is empirical and not tested under scientific conditions.
  2. Neglects human dimension.
  3. Sociological, psychological aspect is neglected.
  4. Believes in only economic motivation for workers. Doesn't believe that workers are connected to an organization emotionally. Ignores influence of social groups on humans i.e. voluntaristic.
  5. Mechanistic theory fails to explain dynamism in organization behavior. Treats workers as cogs in machine.
  6. Descriptive theory is absent and focus is on prescriptive or normative aspects i.e. "What ought to be".
  7. Treats organization as a isolate system from environment.
  8. Subjective nature of rationality not considered i.e. behavior of workers in organization different from actual behavior.
  9. Focus on structure of organization.

Significance :
  1. First to propose the idea of science of public administration. Earlier it was believed as an art. This meant that it had no principles of universal applicability but depended on the competence of the person in charge.
  2. Promoted use of reporting, accounting, budgeting in which administration was deficient.
  3. Played an important role in rationalizing, stimulating production in an industrial organization.

Bureaucratic Theory of Public Administration

Weber believed that Administration was domination and this was since he was influenced by Bismarck's rule to use bureaucracy to end civil liberties.

Theory of Authority:

  1. Power: The probability that one actor in a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his will despite resistance i.e. unwilling resistance.
  2. Authority: Probability that a command given will be obeyed by a given group of people i.e willing obedience.

Legitimacy turns power into authority. Weber said authority is domination and all administration is domination. Weber classified all authority on basis of legitimacy and legitimacy would influence type of obedience, type of administration staff, ways of exercising authority.

Types of authority: Authority can rule only if its legitimate and legitimacy will decide apparatus to justify power of command.

  1. Traditional authority: Rests on established belief in the sanctity of immemorial tradition and legitimacy of the status of those exercising authority under them. Ruler is occupying a traditionally sanctioned position of authority and he is bound by tradition. But can have personal prerogative. Obedience is to ruler not rules and chief not superiors. The chief is given obedience within the limits of those rules. This system retains legitimacy as long as customs, traditions are followed.Administrative staff is either patrimonial i.e. personal servants or feudal i.e. lords who own loyalty to him.
  2. Charismatic authority: The ability or charisma of the leader is important in this. On the basis of it obedience is given to him on personal trust. Administrative staff is followers who are given power depending on the likes and dislikes of the leader.
  3. Legal - rational: The rules are supreme and those who are elevated to power on the basis of those rules are legitimate and have obedience as long as they exercise authority within their scope of office. Weber's bureaucracy rests on that basis.

Categorization of people in an organization is in following categories: Those who obey orders, those who are keen to see continuation of domination as they derive benefits from it, those who participate in domination as they exercise power, those who are ready to join domination.

Beliefs of Legal rational Authority:
  1. A legal code is established which can claim obedience from members of that organization.
  2. Administration looks after interest of organization within limits of a law. This administration is the bureaucracy.
  3. Man exercising authority also obeys the legal code.
  4. Members obey the law only in capacity as members.
  5. Final obedience not to the person holding the authority but the impersonal order that appointed him to the position.

Characteristics of bureaucracy:

  1. Bureaucrats are subject to authority in official capacity otherwise they are free.
  2. Hierarchy of offices.
  3. Each office has a sphere of competence.
  4. Office is filled by a free contractual relationship
  5. Officials are selected on basis of technical qualification
  6. Emoluments are given, full time occupation, career system.
  7. Written documentation. Official work is continuous.

Critics of bureaucracy:

  1. Concerned with only formal structure not informal organizations
  2. Consider administration in isolation with its environment
  3. Suitable for repetitive jobs
  4. Can't function in unstable environment
  5. Adherence to rules causes rigidity
  6. Not applicable to administration in developing countries.
  7. Bureaucracy was to be neutral but tended to side with dominant classes.
  8. Weber's dilemma was that he claimed bureaucracy would lead to efficient administration but excess bureaucracy would lead to interference.
  9. Weber didn't consider rationality, didn't explain whether model would attain maximum efficiency, what extend did model suit administration requirements of different places and changing times.

Note: Weber believed that an iron cage of rationality should be built for administrators where they remain bound by rules and no nepotism is seen.