Chapter 4: COMPARATIVE
Importance of Comparative Public Administration [CPA]
- Study of public administration on a comparative basis.
- Explain factors responsible for cross national or
cultural differences in bureaucratic behavior.
- Study of public administration by making rigorous cross
cultural comparisons of the structures and processes
involved in the activity of administering public affairs.
- Study of public administration applied to diverse
cultures and national settings.
- Learn distinctive features of a system or a group of
- Examine success or failures of a particular
administrative features in particular ecological settings.
- Understand strategies for administrative reforms.
Factors and trends in CPA:
- Revisionist movement in comparative politics due to
dissatisfaction with traditional approaches.
- Traditional public administration was culture bound.
- Post World War II, the US scholars were exposed to third
- Rise of behavioral approach.
Trends in public administration:
- Shift from normative i.e. "What
public administration ought to be" to empiral i.e.
"What public administration is?".
- Ideographic i.e. suitable for a
particular setting to nomothetic i.e.
- Non ecological i.e. administration
isolated from environment to ecological i.e.
administration as related to external environment.
Focus of Comparative public administration is to
- Environment of administrative system.
- Whole administrative system
- Formal, informal structures of administrative systems.
- Performance of administrative systems.
- Roles of individuals.
- Interaction between personalities of individuals in
- Communication system.
- Policy and decision systems.
Conceptual approaches in CPA:
- Bureaucratic: Focus is on rationality
and efficiency. The weber's model of hierarchy,
specialization, role specificity.
- Behavioral: Analyses human behavior in
- General systems: Analyses interaction
between administrative systems and their environment.
- Ecological: Impact of political,
social, economic, cultural subsystems on administrative
- Structural functional:Prismatic society
has growing degree of structural differentiation but not
matched by equal degree of integration.