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This midterm is cumulative, meaning you are asked to utilize all of the materials from our first 4 module readings. Before starting your midterm, please review the following. Then, before submission, check each of the boxes off to ensure you are meeting the requirements of the assignment.

Public administration terminology, concepts and authors should be used frequently
You will need to provide complete responses to 3 questions, points are noted on each question.
You are required to incorporate 2 citations by authors from the classics book or from scholarly articles in each answer.
oou will lose 5pts per question, if two citations are not added in-text and at the end of
your midterm
You may create one reference list for all of your midterm OR you may create a difference reference list for each question
For a question to be considered complete you are expected to include an introduction and a conclusion
Opinions should be used sparingly
Grammar, spelling and overall organization matter, and your grade will reflect how well you construct your paper in addition to the content you create

History of Public Administration

Government for the people and by the people, when we study the matrix of rights and responsibilities shared by the administrative powers then we find that definition of the public administration fills in the gap (Brian R. Fry, 2013). The active US history of the modern era identifies the history of public administration in four schools of thoughts. These schools of thoughts represent various eras of public administration where various other factors played like the leaders of the country and other socio-economic impacts on the society played a crucial role (B Guy Peters, 2015).

In the easiest terms, the Public administration can be termed as a set of rules and other activities that manifests the business side of the government. Since history is immemorial, all the rulers of the world during the ancient time practiced different models of public administration. However, their focus was more on the policies by they can practice more control over the life of the people and secure their kingdoms (Jos Raadschelders, 2015). Public administration in a democratic setup is a relatively new concept that came in existence during the days of industrial revolution. It was the time when in order to increase the productivity of the population the government sectors started thinking about their welfare and comforts (Mary E. Guy, 2015).

The role of President Thomas Jefferson in the field of public administration is of pivotal importance, his model of a public administration set up new norms for the responsibilities of the government towards the public, he promoted the concept of a patronage system where governments were responsible for employment generation. In his model, the electoral process became the place of bargaining. Many critics gave it the name of the political machine (Michiel S. de Vries, 2011). 1883 was another significant year when the rights of the civil servants were revised. It happened after the provision of the Pendelton act to support the rights of the civil servants. In the year 1900, Fredric Taylor introduced the concept of financial budgeting with an intention to create a sustainable system financial system to redefine the concept of the administration (Rice, 2015).

In the year 1927, Elton Mayo conducted many studies and brought in the concept of the management in the realms of public administration. He fixed accountability for the government bodies and industries towards certain operations in the society. It was a milestone in this history of the public administration because it formed the base of the current model of public administration in the country. 1964 and 1990 are also important because they ensured a maximum participation of all the citizens in the process of public administration (Ongaro, 2017).  

After keeping aside the chronological order aside, the major change in the definition of the public administration came in when many thinkers said that public administration should not be a part of the regular political exercise. During the 1970’s thinkers and social scientists expanded the horizons of the public administration by adding the teachings of the anthropology, political science, and sociology. However, the big breakthrough was still far away, it was the breakthrough when they started considering it as a part of the management exercise (Davide, 2016).  

American Bureaucracy from the point of view of Weber, Merton, and Herring

The American bureaucracy is a sum of five types of organizations that are working independently with an intention to bring out the fruits of administrative exercise for the masses of the country. These five types of organizations go as follows.

  1. Cabinet departments.
  2. Independent executive agencies.
  3. Independent regulatory agencies.
  4. Government corporations.
  5. Presidential commissions.

Merton’s conceptualization of the bureaucracy was radically different; on the levels of the definition he said that Bureaucracy is the need of hour for any society so that they can handle the complexities of the life with the increase in the density of the population in certain areas or the places (Richard A. Harris, 2009). An administrative touch is always needed for the distribution of the goods to society. However, he discouraged the culture of vertical organizations for two reasons. According to him, the vertical organizations can cause a red-tapism in the operations. He also expresses (Rice, 2015)sed his concerns about the scenarios where ends will become important instead of the means for these organizations and they will start thinking in the terms of the profit and the gains.  

The current structure of the American Bureaucracy has enough tools to keep a check and balance on the concerns raised by Merton (George, 2017). For instance, the independent regulatory agencies work without any pressure of the means and targets. They only look at the things from the point of view of the irregularities and keep a check when any other organization wanders from the mission of the service of the public (Steven J. Balla, 2015).

On the label of the functioning, the American bureaucracy performs three major duties; it takes care of the policies made by the elected government. It also takes care of certain duties like the licensing procedures and fee collections etc. It also takes care of the government activities and works as a consistent arm of the government (Crozier, 2009).

The Weberian model of the bureaucracy advocates in the favor of an apolitical machinery working as the public administrative body. It is true that American bureaucracy is liable to carry out the works and policies as designed by politicians in the power. However, they follow a certain method. Most of the cabinet departments make sure that the implementation of the policies may continue even if the government loses its post. The issues like allotment of the permits and the licenses also find a mention in the Weberian model under the head of the repetitive tasks (Davide, 2016). The current American bureaucracy has separate units working in this direction; most of the outlets also act as the port of the revenue collection to follow the sustainability norms of a public administration model. According to the Weberian model standardization of the features of the public administration is the best method to avoid nepotism and another self-centered thought process. of the system and the individuals (Rice, 2015).

The federal bureaucracy has more than 2.6 million workers working under the system of federal bureaucracy. Social thinker Merton’s conception of the apolitical bureaucracy got its desired food for thought when Herring started to introduce responsibility matrixes and the matrix of the rights for the public servants (Crozier, 2009). He gave an organizational structure to the US bureaucracy and ensured that it worked as an autonomous body at all levels without receiving any additional guidelines from the political fraternity. Right now the American bureaucracy also commands some government corporations like the postal departments. Herring’s reform ensured a smooth functioning for such types of departments because he fixed the responsibilities and rights on a balanced scale (B Guy Peters, 2015).    

Merton's thought process that describes Public administration as the rationally organized social structure comes very close to the current functioning of the public administration. In the same definition, he further states that the acts of this body follow a pre-decided series of the actions that are connected to the objectives of the organization and the grand objective of serving the people of the country while maintaining a balance with Exchequer. In the recent past, the commercial face of the public administration became more evident because of the well-defined patterns to judge the accountability of the public servants (Ongaro, 2017).

We should never forget that the present day public administration practices and policies have their roots in days of the industrial revolution when they were trying coming up with a social settlement to support the productivity of the goods and the life as a good. The public administration thus becomes an exercise of the management where the citizens and the bureaucrats are bound to serve together because together they form a system.

Many thinkers try to come up with different definitions of public administration but most of them were not catering to the complete picture. For instance, in the modern era, they compared Public administration with an exercise of management. This reflects the partial nature of the public administration because maximum profit or the optimum profit is not the goal of this exercise, the goal of this exercise is to maintain sustainability where the system can serve the people with the help of a repetitive set of services. Most of the government corporates in the USA never reinvest their money with an intention to make more money; instead, they invest to develop new pastures of development in the interest of the people of the country (Michiel S. de Vries, 2011).

We can check the efficiency of the health service in any given state of the USA. Metro cities, two-tier metro cities, and small cities deserve their own share of facilities in the area in accordance with the population which is living there. Even then we cannot ignore the remote villages. In terms of the equity these villages offer nothing in the revenue model. Even then authorities are bound to cover these areas with the help of mobile health checkup vans and round the corner availability of the ambulances to ensure health facilities in the fastest possible way (Brian R. Fry, 2013).

We can also take the example of the education facility. The constitutional right to education tells us to treat everyone on an equal scale. This is why even the remotest areas of the country deserve the same standard of primary schools at par with the metro cities. This is where the principle of equality comes in.

Conclusion:

When we have a look at the PA practices and policy in the last fifty years then we find that equity, equality, and efficiency can move on realistic goals with ease. Government sector of USA has presented many examples in front of us. They created a common good for the society and the mass scale operations attached to these common goods make them cost effective for the PA machinery. Most of the government corporations in the country are setting strong benchmarks for the private players in terms of the quality and the offering of the price. These PA establishments are also serving the lower strata of the society well and creating a balance and sense of well-being for the economically weaker sections of the society (Rice, 2015).

Reference:

B Guy Peters, J. P. (2015). The Next Public Administration: Debates and Dilemmas. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Brian R. Fry, J. C. (2013). Mastering Public Administration: From Max Weber to Dwight Waldo. Washington DC: CQ Press.

Crozier, M. (2009). The Bureaucratic Phenomenon. New Jersey: Transaction Publisher.

Davide. (2016). Corruption in Public Administration: An Ethnographic Approach. Cheltenham: EE.

George, H. (2017). The Public Administration Theory Primer. Abingdon: Routledge.

Jos Raadschelders, E. V.-G. (2015). Global Dimensions of Public Administration and Governance: A Comparative Voyage. New Jersey: Wiley.

Mary E. Guy, ‎. M. (2015). Public Administration Evolving: From Foundations to the Future. Abingdon: Routledge.

Michiel S. de Vries, P. K. (2011). Value and Virtue in Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective. New York: Springer.

Ongaro, E. (2017). Philosophy and Public Administration: An Introduction. Cheltenham: EE.

Rice. (2015). Diversity and Public Administration. New York: M.E.Sharpe.

Richard A. Harris, ‎. J. (2009). A History of the U.S. Political System: Ideas, Interests, and Institutions. Santa Barbara: ABC CLIO.

Steven J. Balla, M. L. (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Classics in Public Policy and Administration. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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