Importance of Public Administration

  1. Scientific, technology development has led to "big governments" which implies vast increase in scope of the activities of public administration.
  2. Industrial revolution has given rise to socio - economic problems forcing governments to take up new activities.
  3. Emergence of a welfare or service state instead of a police state.
  4. Adoption of economic planning by modern governments to achieve goals of welfare state has increased scope of public administration.
  5. Population explosion has created socio - economic problems.
  6. Natural calamities, increase in violence, reduction in social harmony has led to crisis management or rescue operations so increase in scope of public administration.
  7. The above functions cause "Administrative lag" which is due to difference between aspirations and performance. this has to be met by Public administration.

Stages of Evolution of Public Administration

Stage I: Politics Administration Dichotomy

Separation of politics and administration first proposed by Woodrow Wilson "Father of Public Administration". He said politics is policy making while administration is policy execution. Hence he called for a separate study of public administration.

Wilson's essay was epochal in delineating conduct of government as a field of analytical study and generalization and beginning of public administration as a subject. Public administration was neglected in the 19th century as population was manageable and administration was simple.

Goals of public administration are:

  1. Straighten paths of government i.e. advocacy for science of public administration.
  2. Make its business more business like i.e. predilection for private administration.
  3. Strengthen and purify the organization
  4. Crown its duties with dutifulness i.e. initiative for Comparative public administration.

Stage II: Principles of Administration

Certain principles could be discovered that increased the efficiency, economy of public administration. The argument was administration was administration irrespective of the work. Principles were independent of the nature of enterprise, personnel and creation theory.

Stage III: Dichotomy i.e. separation of politics from administration was rejected. Since administration has policy formulation so it can't be separated from politics.

Woodrow Wilson

He wanted public administration to understand the basis of administration in different states. To learn weakness or virtues by comparison. To learn more efficient administration methods of European autocracies to meet democratic challenges without force.

Europe had seen a growth in administration as governments in European countries had been independent of popular assent. The desire to keep government a monopoly made monopolists interested in the least irritating means of governing. European ideas of government were for compact, centralized states so their ideas, aim, thoughts, principles were needed to be changed.

Wilson wanted reforms in administration to extend to executive functions and methods of executive organization, actions.

However his drawback was proponent of administration politics dichotomy. His theory was vague, ambivalent and didn't answer what study of administration entails, proper relationship between administration and politics and whether adminstrative science can be natural science.