Chapter 2: NATURE, SCOPE AND APPROACHES OF PUBLIC
Nature of Public Administration
There are two types of natures of public administration:
Integral: All activities needed to
achieve an objective like technical, managerial, manual,
clerical. Administration differs from from one sphere to
another depends on subject matter of concerned agencies.
E.g: Post office in India.
Managerial: This consists of only
managerial views needed for implementation of an objective.
Hence it is the same in all spheres as basic managerial
techniques are same.
Flaws: Public administration examines all aspects
of government efforts to discharge law and give effect to
public policy. It includes tasks like formulation of programs,
enforcement till the last activity.
Scope of Public Administration
Gulick proposed the POSDCORD view of public administration.
Planning: Working out broad outlines of work
and methods of doing things to achieve goals in a systematic
Organizing: Creation of a formal structure
of authority through which work can be sub divided.
Staffing: Training, maintaining favorable
work conditions i.e. all aspects of personnel administration.
Direction: Continuous task of making
decisions and embodying them in specific, general orders.
Coordinating: Continuous task of making
decisions and embodying them in specific and general orders.
Reporting: Securing cooperation and team
work between various units. Interrelating various parts of
Budgeting: Fiscal planning, accounting and
- Policy formulation, evaluation of policy and public
relations are key aspects that are missing.
- All government agencies have different problems but
POSDCORB advocates all problems are same.
- POSDCORB can't be whole or significant part of public
administration. It represents only the tools of the
- It ignores knowledge of subject matter and is more
technique oriented than subject oriented.
- Each administration agency has its own local POSDCORB
because of the subject matter with which its concerned.
Approaches to study Public Administration
- Philosophical: Oldest and most
comprehensive approach. It enunciates the ideals
underlying administrative activities.
- Legal: Focus is on studying public
administration as part of law and focuses on
constitutional legal structure, organization, powers,
functions, limitations of authorities.
- Historical: Studies public
administration through historical development in the past
having its impact on the present.
- Case method: Deals with detailed
account of specific events that lead to a decision by an
Role of Public Administration in society
- Preservation of polity.
- Maintenance of stability and order.
- Institutionalization of socio economic changes.
- Management of large scale commercial changes.
- Ensure growth, economic development.
- Protection of weaker sections.
- Formation of public opinion
- Influence public policies and trends.