Is Public Administration An Art Or Science?


8 Answers

Connor Sephton Profile
Connor Sephton answered
Public Administration is commonly defined as "government in action." It relates to institutional framework of government, as well as the socio-economic, political and behavioral patterns of the individual who ran the bureaucracy. Additionally, public administration involves the formulation and implementation of public policies and government programs. It is an indispensable instrument of the government in performing and achieving its functions.

On the other hand, bureaucracy is the process of managing and coordinating people and work based on hierarchical authority and formal rules. As an organization, it is geared towards getting people to work together notwithstanding their diversity and complexity of their respective jobs. Governments administer their day to day operation through its large bureaucracy. Usually, the bureaucracy is run through agencies with specific tasks and expertise. Additionally, they work hand in hand with other government agencies to implement government programs and policies.  These agencies are created to address political demands since it is active both in politics and in policy making.

The government on the other hand is governed by checks and balances in conformity with the concept of democracy. Similarly, the government checks on the bureaucracy through its different departments. The Executive can reorganize the structure of the bureaucracy and can use its management tools to control and supervise it. Meanwhile, the Legislative through its investigative powers can conduct hearings and enact laws to make the bureaucrats liable and accountable for their actions. The Judiciary on the other hand can actually force the bureaucrats to act in accordance with the constitution and legislative intent of the law.

Bureaucrats are not elected officials and they are considered as public administrators and public servants. One of the main issues is about their accountability. Oftentimes, the independent power held by these bureaucrats ran in counter with the concept of democracy. This is where public administration comes in. It reconciles both bureaucracy and democracy in order to carry out a competent and responsive public administration of the government.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Discuss public administration, an Art or Science
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Public administration is science or arts?
Hassan Raza Profile
Hassan Raza answered
Lyndall Urwick (1891-1983) was a British army officer turned theorist and consultant whose work integrated the ideas of scientific management with the ideas of classical organization theory. Luther Gulick (1892-1970) served on President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Committee on Administrative Management during the 1930s, and his major interests were political science and public service.

Urwick and Gulick edited a 1937 publication titled Papers on the Science of Administration, which included articles on organization theory and public administration. Gulick isolated the responsibilities of the chief executive and enumerated them according to the acronym POSDCORB, which stands for planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting. One of his main points was that well-managed, self-contained organizations or departments are nearly always headed by a single top manager such as a CEO. For his part, Urwick believed that the activities necessary to achieve organizational goals should be grouped and assigned to individuals in an impersonal way, echoing the impartial detachment of Max Weber's bureaucracy.

Urwick also wrote about the problems of managing large numbers of employees, identified multiple levels of supervisory management, and used a formula to determine the minimum and maximum number of subordinates a manager can effectively supervise. His work was an important step in synthesizing the principles of scientific management with the thinking of Weber and Fayol.

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