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Public administration can be broadly described as the development, implementation and study of branches of government policy. The pursuit of the public good by enhancing civil society, ensuring a well-run, fair, and effective public service are some of the goals of the field.

Public administration is that type of politics ,wherein development,implementation and study of various branches of government policy are done for an effective public service.

Public administration is carried out by public servants who work in public departments and agencies, at all levels of government, and perform a wide range of tasks. Public administrators collect and analyze data (statistics), monitor budgets, draft legislation, develop policy, and execute legally mandated government activities. Public administrators serve in many roles: ranging from "front-line" positions serving the public (e.g., peace officers, parole officers, border guards); administrators (e.g., auditors); analysts (e.g., policy analysts); and managers and executives of government branches and agencies.

Public administration is also an academic field. In comparison with related fields such as political science, public administration is relatively new, having emerged in the 19th century. Multidisciplinary in character, it draws on theories and concepts from political science, economics, sociology, administrative law,behavioural science,management, and a range of related fields. The goals of the field of public administration are related to the democratic values of improving equality, justice, security, efficiency, effectiveness of public services usually in a non-profit, non-taxable venue; business administration, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with taxable profit. For a field built on concepts (accountability, governance, decentralization, clientele), these concepts are often ill-defined and typologies often ignore certain aspects of these concepts (Dubois & Fattore 2009).

In academia

A public administrator can expect to serve in a variety of capacities. In the United Statesmarker, the academic field draws heavily on political science and law. In Europe (notably in Britainmarker and Germanymarker), the divergence of the field from other disciplines can be traced to the 1720s continental university curriculum. Formally, official academic distinctions were made in the 1910s and 1890s, respectively. Returning again to the United States, the Federalist Papers referred to the importance of good administration at various times. Further, scholars such as John A. Rohr writes of a long history behind the constitutional legitimacy of government bureaucracy.

One minor tradition that the more specific term "public management" refers to ordinary, routine or typical management concerns, in the context of achieving public good. Others argue that public management as a new, economically driven perspective on the operation of government. We will see that this latter view is often called "new public management" by its advocates. New Public Management represents a reform attempt, aimed at reemphasizing the professional nature of the field. This will replace the academic, moral or disciplinary emphasis. Some theorists advocate a bright line differentiation of the professional field from related academic disciplines like political science and sociology; it remains interdisciplinary in nature.

As a field, public administration can be compared to business administration, and the master of public administration (MPA) viewed as similar to a master of business administration (MBA) for those wishing to pursue governmental or non-profit careers. An MPA often emphasizes substantially different ethical and sociological criteria that are traditionally secondary to that of profit for business administrators. The MPA is related to similar government studies including public affairs, public policy, and political science. Differences often include program emphases on policy analysis techniques or other topical focuses such as the study of international affairs as opposed to focuses on constitutional issues such as separation of powers, administrative law, problems of governance and power, and participatory democracy.

The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) is a terminal applied-research doctoral degree in the field of public administration, focusing on practice. The DPA requires a dissertation and significant coursework beyond the masters level. Upon successful completion of the doctoral requirements, the title of "Doctor" is awarded and the post-nominals of D.P.A. are often added.

Public administration theory is the domain in which discussions of the meaning and purpose of government, bureaucracy, budgets, governance, and public affairs takes place. In recent years, public administration theory has periodically connoted a heavy orientation toward critical theory and postmodern philosophical notions of government, governance, and power. However, many public administration scholars support a classic definition of the term emphasizing constitutionality, service, bureaucratic forms of organization, and hierarchical government.


Antiquity to the early 19th century

Classic scholars including Plato, Aristotle, Vishnu Gupta(Kautilya) and Machiavelli are the basis of subsequent generations of public administration. Until the birth of a national state, the governors principally emphasized moral and political human nature, as well as the on the organization of the governing bodies. Operations were perceived to be secondary to establishing and clarifying the overall guiding theory of government. In Machiavelli's The Prince, European princes or governors were offered advice for properly administering their governments. This work represents one of the first Western expressions of the methodology of government. As the centuries moved past, scholars and governors persisted in their various endeavors explaining how one governs.

Though progress varied across the globe, 16th century Western Europe primarily ascribed to the "national-state" model of government and its corresponding administrative structures. Predominantly imperial Asia, tribal Africa, and the tribal/colonial Americas were each feeling the extent of Europe's diplomatic strategies whose emphasis was war, profit, and proselytizing. In any event, nation-states required a professional force and structure for carrying out the primary purposes of government: ensuring stability with through law, security with a military, and some measure of equity through taxation.

Consequently, the need for expert civil servants whose ability to read and write formed the basis for developing expertise in such necessary activities as legal records, military prowess, and tax administration, and record keeping. As the European imperialist age progressed and the militarily dominant region extended its hold over other continents and people, the need for increasingly conventional administrative expertise grew.

Eighteenth century noble, King Frederick William I of Prussia, created professorates in Cameralism in an effort to service this need. The universities of Frankfurt an der Odermarker and University of Halleweremarker Prussian institutions emphasizing economic and social disciplines, with the goal of societal reform. Johann Heinrich Gottlob Justi was the most well-known professor of Cameralism. Thus, from a Western European perspective, classic, medieval, and enlightened scholars formed the foundation of the discipline that has come to be called public administration.

Mid-1800s - 1930s

Lorenz von Stein, an 1855 German professor from Viennamarker, is considered the founder of the science of public administration in many parts of the world. In the time of Von Stein, public administration was considered a form of administrative law, but Von Stein believed this concept too restrictive.

Von Stein taught:
  • Public administration relies on many prestablished disciplines such as sociology, political science, administrative law and public finance. Further, public administration is an integrating science.
  • Public administrators need be concerned with both theory and practice. Practical considerations are at the forefront of the field, but theory is the basis of best practices.
  • Public administration is a science because knowledge is generated and evaluated according to the scientific method.

In the United Statesmarker, Woodrow Wilson is considered the father of public administration. He first formally recognized public administration in an 1887 article entitled "The Study of Administration." The future president wrote that "it is the object of administrative study to discover, first, what government can properly and successfully do, and, secondly, how it can do these proper things with the utmost possible efficiency and at the least possible cost either of money or of energy." Wilson was more influential to the science of public administration than Von Stein, primarily due to an article Wilson wrote in 1887 in which he advocated four concepts:

  • Separation of politics and administration
  • Comparative analysis of political and private organizations
  • Improving efficiency with business-like practices and attitudes toward daily operations
  • Improving the effectiveness of public service through management and by training civil servants, merit-based assessment

The separation of politics and administration has been the subject of lasting debate. The different perspectives regarding this dichotomy contribute to differentiating characteristics of the suggested generations of public administration.


The separation of politics and administration advocated by Wilson continues to play a significant role in public administration today. However, the dominance of this dichotomy was challenged by second generation scholars, beginning in the 1940s. Luther Gulick's fact-value dichotomy was a key contender for Wilson's allegedly impractical politics-administration dichotomy. In place of Wilson's first generation split, Gulick advocated a "seamless web of discretion and interaction" (Fry 1989, 80).

Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick are two such second generation scholars. Gulick, Urwick, and the new generation of administrators stood on the shoulders of contemporary behavioral, administrative, and organizational "giants" including Henri Fayol, Fredrick Winslow Taylor, Paul Appleby, Frank Goodnow, and Willam Willoughby. With the help of these specialists and their empirical work on human nature, group behavior, and business organizations, second generation public administration scholars had a necessary advantage over the pre-generation and first generation scholars. That is, the new generation of organizational theories no longer relied upon logical assumptions and generalizations about human nature like classical and enlightened theorists.

Gulick is considered a watershed theorist, a truly unique administrative scholar credited with generating a comprehensive, generic theory of organization. During his seven decade career Gulick differentiated his theories from those of his predecessors by emphasizing the scientific method, efficiency, professionalism, structural reform, and executive control. Gulick summarized the duties of administrators with an acronym; POSDCORB, which stands for planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting. Finally, Fayol offered a systematic, 14-point, treatment of private management. Second generation theorists drew upon private management practices for administrative sciences. A single, generic management theory bleeding the borders between the private and the public sector, was thought to be possible. With the general theory, the administrative theory could be focused on governmental organizations.

Post-World War II - 1970s

The mid-1940s theorists challenged Wilson and Gulick. The politics-administration dichotomy remained the center of criticism in the third generation. In addition to this area of criticism, government itself came under fire as ineffective, inefficient, and largely a wasted effort. The sometimes deceptive, and expensive American intervention in Vietnam along with domestic scandals including Watergate are two examples of self-destructive government behavior during the third generation. There was a call by citizens for efficient administration to replace ineffective, wasteful bureaucracy. Public administration would have to distance itself from politics to answer this call and remain effective.

Elected officials supported such reform. The Hoover Commission, chaired by University of Chicago professor Louis Brownlow, to examine reorganization of government. Dr. Brownlow subsequently he founded the public administration service on the university, 1313 E. 60th Street. The organization PAS provided consulting services to governments at all levels of government until the 1970s.


In the late 1980s, yet another generation of public administration theorists began to displace the last. What was called New Public Management was proposed by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler . The new model advocated the use of private sector innovation, resources, and organizational ideas to improve the public sector. During the Clinton Administration (1992-2000), Vice President Al Gore adopted and reformed federal agencies accordingly. New public management there by became prevalent throughout the US bureaucracy.

Some critics argue that the New Public Management concept of Americans as "customers" rather than "citizens" is an unacceptable abuse. That is, customers are a means to an end, profit, rather than part of the policy making process. Citizens are in fact the proprietors of government (the owners), opposed to merely the customers of a business (the patrons). In New Public Management, people are viewed as economic units not democratic participants. Nevertheless, the model is still widely accepted at all levels of government.


In the late 1990s, Janet and Robert Denhardt proposed a new public service model . This model's chief contribution is a focus on Americans as "citizens" rather than "customers". Accordingly, the citizen is expected to participate in government and take an active role throughout the policy process. No longer are the proprietors considered an end to a mean. Whilse this remains feasible at the federal, state & local levels, where the concept of citizenship is commonly wedded, the emergence of 'transnational administration' with the growing number of international organizations and 'transnational executive networks' complicates the prospects for citizen engagement.

One example of this is, an Australian non-for-profit eDemocracy project which invites politicians, senior public servants, academics, business people and other key stakeholders to engage in high-level policy debate.

New public management (NPM)

The critics of NPM claim that a successor to NPM is digital era governance, focusing on themes of reintegrating government responsibilities, needs-based holism (executing duties in cursive ways), and digitalization (exploiting the transformational capabilities of modern IT and digital storage).

Human Resources

Public Budgeting

Leading Definitions

Practical: "A plan for financing an enterprise or government during a definite period, which is prepared and submitted by a responsible executive to a representative body (or other duly constituted agent) whose approval and authorization are necessary before the plan may be executed." ~Frederick A. Cleveland

Theoretical: The leading question: "On what basis shall it be decided to allocate x dollars to activity A instead of activity B?" ~V. O. Key Jr.

Leading Theorists and Contributions

Frederick Cleveland: constructed a practical definition of budgeting.

William F. Willoughby: describes the purpose of a budget document.

V. O. Key, Jr.: sparked the normative question regarding how scarce resources ought to be distributed to unlimited demands.

Verne B. Lewis: argued for a budgeting theory based on economic values; strongly contributing to the study of public finance.

Richard A. Musgrave: the Father of Public Finance; identified the three roles of government in the economy: allocation of resources, distribution of goods and services, and economy stabilization.

Aaron Wildavsky:suggested that budgetary decision making is largely political, rather than based on economic conditions.

Allen Schick: outlined the three functions of budgeting:

1) Strategic Planning; deciding on the goals and objectives of an organization.

2) Management Control; management's process of assuring effective and efficient accomplishment of goals and objectives laid out via strategic planning.

3) Operational Control; focused on proper execution of specific tasks that provide the most efficient and effective means of meeting the goals and objectives ordered by management control.

Irene S. Rubin: facilitated the discussion of the dichotomy between theory and practice of public budgeting. See also: Rubin, Irene S. (1997) The Politics of Public Budgeting: Getting and Spending, Borrowing and Balancing. Third Edition, Chatham House Publishers: Chatham, New Jersey.

Approaches to Budgeting

A brief note on Systems Theory applied to Political Science: Inputs enter the governmental system that produces outputs which--in turn--are related to outcomes. The conversion of inputs to outputs is a measure of efficiency as the measurement of contributing inputs to impacting outcomes is a measure of efficacy.

Line Item Budgeting is arguably the simplest form of budgeting, this approach links the inputs of the system to the system. These budgets typically appear in the form of accounting documents that express minimal information regarding purpose or an explicit object within the system.

Program Budgeting takes a normative approach to budgeting in that decision making--allocating resources--is determined by the funding of one program instead of another based on what that program offers. This approach quickly lends itself to the PPBS budgeting approach.

PPBS Budgeting or--Program Planning Budgeting System--is the link between the line-item and program budgets and the more complex performance budget. As opposed to the more simple program budget, this decision making tool links the program under consideration to the ways and means of facilitating the program. This is meant to serve as a long-term planning tool so that decision makers are made aware of the future implications of their actions. These are typically most useful in capital projects. The planning portion of the approach seeks to link goals to objects or expected outcomes from specific outputs, which are then sorted into programs that convert inputs to outputs; finally, the budgeting of PPBS helps determine how to fund the program. A leader in the promotion of PPBS was Robert McNamara's use in the United States Government's Department of Defense in the 1960s.

Performance Based Budgeting attempts to solve decision making problems based on a programs ability to convert inputs to outputs and/or use inputs to affect certain outcomes. Performance may be judged by a certain program's ability to meet certain objectives that contribute to a more abstract goal as calculated by that program's ability to use resources (or inputs) efficiently--by linking inputs to outputs--and/or effectively--by linking inputs to outcomes. A decision making--or allocation of scarce resources--problem is solved by determining which project maximizes efficiency and efficacy.

Zero-based budgeting is a response to an incremental decision making process whereby the budget of a given fiscal year (FY) is largely decided upon by the existing budget of FY-1. In contrast to incrementalism, the allocation of scarce resources--funding--is determined from a zero-sum accounting method. In government, each function of a department's section proposes certain objectives that relate to some goal the section could achieve if allocated x dollars.

Flexible Freeze is a budgeting approach pioneered by President George H. W. Bush as a means to cut government spending. Under this approach, certain programs would be affected by changes in population growth and inflation.

Program Assessment Rating Tool (P.A.R.T.) is an instrument developed by the United States OMB to measure and assess the effectiveness of federal programs that review the program’s purpose and design, strategic planning, program management, and program results and accountability. The scores are rated from effective (ranging between 85 and 100 points), moderately affective (70-84 points), adequate (50-69 points), and ineffective (0-49 points).

Functions of a Budget Document

Traditional Model

Control: using the budget document to control expenditures to maximize accountability. This function is most commonly associated with line-item budgets.

Management:using the budget document to manage organizations and personnel. This function is focused on performance and efficiency. This function is most commonly associated with performance budgets.

Planning: using the budget document as a plan to achieve some goal. The focus of this function is on the outcome and effectiveness of a program. This function is most commonly associated with program and PPBS budgets.

Modern Model

Monitoring: as a response to the traditional control function, the monitoring function focuses on the consequences of expenditures.

Steering: as a response to the traditional management function, the steering function serves as a guide for managing.

Strategic Brokering uses the budget document as a means of constantly looking for possible directions and reacting to the environment.

Six Steps Steps of the Budgetary Process; simplified

Revenue Estimation performed in the executive branch by the finance director, clerk's office, budget director, manager, or a team.

Budget Call issued to outline the presentation form, recommend certain goals.

Budget Formulation reflecting on the past, set goals for the future and reconcile the difference.

Budget Hearings can include departments, sections, the executive, and the public to discuss changes in the budget.

Budget Adoption final approval by the legislative body.

Budget Execution amending the budget as the fiscal year progresses.

Organizational theory

The thematic evolution of organizational theory is yet another way one might capture the development of the field. Modern public sector organizational theory can be thought of as the product of two fields of study: management and government. Each of these disciplines stand upon a foundation built by the theories of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Sigmund Freud, Abraham Maslow, and Robert Golembiewski.

Foundational scholars do not precede the entire discipline and have emerged by contributing to transformations of the field. The discipline has undergone at least two major transformations: from classic, rational managers and political scientists to a humanistic model of management and increasingly distinct public administration scholars. Indeed, some argue that the third and possibly fourth thematic developments are currently under way. That is, new public management that was popular with the Clinton Administration (1992-2000) may soon yield to new public service.

Management and government academic work

In much the same way “pre-generation” scholars provide a foundation for future governors and administrators, many seemingly unrelated scholars are important to the developing organizational theory. Though their respective connections with and relevance to organizational theory vary, Marx, Weber, Freud, Maslow, and Golembiewski (Denhardt 104-108) form the foundation for much of what has become public sector organizational theory.

  • Karl Marx-”The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” (The Communist Manifesto 1848, 10)
  • Max Weber-Government merely monopolizes the legitimate use of force in a given area.
  • Weber’s most famous work was The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1930).
  • Sigmund Freud-Subconscious needs and desires are manifest in everyday human activities; The Interpretation of Dreams (1900).
  • Abraham Maslow theorized that there is a hierarchy of human needs, each level of which must be fulfilled before one can effectively ascend to the next level.
  • Toward a Psychology of Being (1968).
  • The five categories of needs are, in hierarchical order: physiological needs, safety, love and belonging, self esteem, and self actualization needs.
  • Robert Golembiewski- Golembiewski wrote two books of particular relevance to public administration: Men Management and Morality (1967 in Denhardt 2001, 104) and Renewing Organizations (1972 in Denhardt 2001, 106).
  • In the first, he argues for what has come to be known as moral management, a “moral sensitivity…associated with satisfactory output and employee satisfaction” (Denhardt 104).
  • In the second, Golembiewski takes a “laboratory approach to organizational change” (Denhardt 106).
  • The author identifies five metavalues that guide this approach to organizational change

    1. “acceptance of inquiry based on mutual accessibility and open communication
    2. expanded consciousness and recognition of choice, especially the willingness to experiment with new behaviors and choose those that seem most effective
    3. a collaborative concept of authority, emphasizing cooperation and responsibility for others
    4. authenticity in interpersonal relationships“ (Denhardt 106-107).

    Golembiewski’s moral management and meta values are highly compatible with subsequently discussed Theory Y management, Type-Z Organizations, and a humanist approach to workplace organization.

    Given its interdisciplinary nature, one might visualize public sector organization theory as a helix of management and government scholars. Management theory began as a strictly rational, positivist dogma through a humanist revolution, and includes a modern reinterpretations and explorations. Similarly, government scholars in the United States first delineated a border between politics and administration that has been re-evaluated and re-interpreted throughout the history of the discipline. Today, public sector management incorporates developments in private management theory with a renegotiation of the policy analyst’s role in the political process.

    Early management theory

    Due in part to the historic context in which the field of public administration emerged, early management and government scholars attempted to be comprehensive rationalists. This required that they also ascribe to a positivist reality. That is, scholars seek a factual basis for drawing conclusions based upon observations and logical deduction. Positivists believe these methods yield factual, solid, unwavering truths, similar to the laboratory sciences. The early theorists sometimes lost sight of the unpredictable nature of social science.

    Early management theorists were almost exclusively private sector scholars. The concept of an employee as a manipulable tool was another feature of early theorists. By creating the proper conditions, management could better shape employees to fit the needs of the organization; the company was primary in early management theory. Though somewhat naive from a modern perspective, early management scholars set a precedent for systematic, unbiased decision-making. Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henri Fayol were two of the many seminal management theorists of particular importance to public sector management.

    Fredrick W. Taylor is probably most remembered for "scientific management." This is commonly described as the method by which the "one best way" to complete a task is discovered. In a 1915 address, Taylor outlined the mutual advantages of labor saving technology and processes, implicitly touting the significance of his model. Taylor argued that objective empirical observation would eventually yield an optimally efficient process by which a labor task could be completed. (Taylor in Shafritz and Ott 2001, 61)

    Much like Taylor, Henri Fayol was originally a private sector theorist. In General and Industrial Management (1916), Fayol outlined what he called the “General Principles of Management.” The author acknowledges, from a positivist perspective, the flexibility of management studies. However, his fourteen principles use in much the same matter-of-fact tone as Taylor’s. Fayol’s 14 principles included the division of work, authority and responsibility, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interest to the general interest, re-numeration of personnel, centralization, scalar chain, order, equity, stability of tenure of personnel, initiative, and espirit de corps.

    His elaboration upon each principle can be summarized as an argument for a logically structured organization with an efficient (non-duplicative) management chain. The author highlighted tension between individual and organizational interests, a theme that would be taken up again by subsequent humanists. Finally, his principles advocated a management style and structure intended to foster a healthy, spirited workforce, with a sense of loyalty to the company. Taylor and Fayol represent early, private sector, management scholars whose work would be succeeded by humanist managers from both the public and private sectors.

    Early political administration theory

    Government or political science scholars dominated what would become the public side of organizational theory. Woodrow Wilson, PhD. and 28th president, is remembered as one such political scientist who first distinguished public administrators from politicians. In an 1887 article, “The Study of Administration” Wilson called a professional workforce of public sector employees. He further argued for efficiency and responsibility to the public as key criteria by which this workforce would operate.

    His work marks the beginning of an era, at least in the United States, during which public administration has been thought of as a distinct field of study and practice. Since Wilson, public administration has been a discipline separate from politics, worthy of academic study and independent discussion. The idea that business-like administrators should separate themselves from politics in daily operations remains Wilson’s chief, most enduring contribution.

    Subsequent interpretations and the eventual development of rival dichotomies are perhaps a tribute to the importance of Wilson’s first distinction. The politics administration survived the mid-twentieth century in the works of Leonard White, Frank Goodnow, and W.F. Willoughby, but these scholars did not leave the original dichotomy as they had found it. Leonard White authored The Study of Public Administration (1948), a standard in the field for years (Denhardt 2000, 44). In it, the author argued that “the study of public administration…needs to be related to the broad generalizations of political theory concerned with such matters as justice, liberty, obedience, and the role of the state in human affairs “ (cited in Denhardt 2000, 44). The desire to restore a degree of reliability, merit, and workability to modernizing democracy was a major impetus for the continued division of politics and administration.

    In a related work, Frank Goodnow, Policy and Administration (1900), takes a local government perspective to comment on the separation of powers in government. He argues that the strict interpretation of the separation of powers in the constitution has been violated many times for good reason (Denhardt 2000, 46). “Therefore, it is appropriate to rethink the formal theory of separation of powers so that our theory might more closely match our practice” (46). The unique perspective offers valuable insight into other trade-offs, including that between legislative versus administrative centralization at the state level (Denhardt 47).

    W.F. Willoughby, ‘The Government of Modern States (1936), also contributed to the dialogue. Early in his career, Wolloughby argued for a somewhat strict separation of government powers. The executive branch was to enforce laws as they were created by the legislature and interpreted by the courts (Denhardt 47). However, he later recognized difficulties in this hard-line position. Consequently, Willoughby suggested there are five classes of governmental powers: legislative, judicial, executive, electorate, and administrative. These classes existed in addition to the three traditional branches of government. The theories of White, Goodnow, and Willougby represent nuanced elaborations of a dichotomy much like that of Wilson. However, this dichotomy would be more directly challenged with suggested alternatives by the next generation of public administration scholars.

    Emergence as a distinct field

    Luther Gulick and Paul Appleby were among those who argued for dichotomies that were wholly different from Wilson's. Gulick has been called a strong personification of public administration in the United States (Fry 1989, 73). Gulick ascribes to many of Wilson’s themes, including a “science of administration,” increased efficiency, structural reform of the bureaucracy, and augmented executive authority. The chief executive coordinates the otherwise disaggregate activities of a large, complex organization such as a government. However, Gulick challenged Wilson’s strict dichotomy by suggesting every action of a public administrator represents a “seamless web of discretion and interaction.” “The administrator’s role is to understand and coordinate public policy and interpret policy directives to the operating services, but with unquestioned loyalty to the decision of elected officials” (Fry 1989, 81).

    Paul Appleby argued against the increasingly dominant theory that administrators were somehow neutral policy actors. He argued that “administrators are significant policy actors who influence the policy-making process in several different ways” (Denhadt 49). Administrators are charged with the execution of public programs, the analysis of data for decision recommendations, and interpreting the law as it is carried out on a regular basis. Consequently, administrators influence and even produce policy on a daily basis. Despite their break with Wilson on the issue of completely separating administration from politics, these divergent scholars agreed that a professional workforce remain educated, skilled, and exist in meritous competition for public sector employment. Thus, Gulick and Appleby are major theorists whose theories truly break with Wilson's original public administration theories.

    A consolidated discipline

    In addition to Gulick and Appleby, Herbert Simon, Chester Barnard, and Charles Lindblom are among the first of those recognized as early American public administrators. These men ushered in an era during which the field gained recognition as independent and unique, despite its multidisciplinary nature. In Simon’s Administrative Behavior (1948), the argument is made that decision-making is the essence of management. The premises with which decisions are made are therefore integral to management. Simon also contributed a fact-value dichotomy, a theoretical separation to discern management, decisions based upon fact versus those made based on values. Since one cannot make completely responsible decisions with public resources based solely on personal values, one must attempt to upon objectively determined facts.

    Simon developed other relevant theories as well. Similar to Lindblom’s subsequently discussed critique of comprehensive rationality, Simon also taught that a strictly economic man, one who maximizes returns or values by making decisions based upon complete information in unlimited time, is unrealistic. Instead, most public administrators use a sufficient amount of information to make a satisfactory decision:, they “satisfice.”

    Charles Lindblom also expressed disaffection with the comprehensive rational model in a 1959 article, “The Science of Muddling Through.” He argued for “successive limited comparison" (81). ” Though the result of this process was not as rational or ultimately as reliable as decisions truly rational methods, incremental decision-making is undoubtedly preferable to making a decision “off-the-cuff” or those that consume extensive resources. Incrementalism's value lies in the realistic expectation that practitioners will be able to use it.

    Chester Barnard was also one of the watershed scholars. That is, his theories would bridge what would become a gap between managers like F.W. Taylor and Henri Fayol with subsequent humanists: Mary Follett, Elton Mayo, and Chris Argyris. Barnard published “The Economy of Incentives” (1938), in an attempt to explain individual participation in an organization. Barnard explained organizations as systems of exchange. Low-level employees must have more incentive to remain with the organization for which they exchange their labor and loyalty. The organization (and higher level employees) must derive sufficient benefit from its employees to keep them. The net pull of the organization is determined by material rewards, environmental conditions, and other intangibles like recognition.

    Scholars including Gulick, Appleby, Simon, Lindblom, and Barnard are among the early, independent public administrators. We will see, however, that many of their ideas and justifications for a positive, pro-active government are indebted, in fact, to the contributions of numerous female philanthropists (Acker 1992; Stivers 2002).

    Public management

    Several theorists bridged the gap between strictly private and public sector management. Luther Gulick negotiated a generic theory of organization. Max Weber exploring sociologist, explored the ideal bureaucracy in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism(Denhardt 2000, 27). He claimed that bureaucracies are organizations that manage resources for citizens (Weber in Shafritz and Ott, 2001, 73). The "physical" characteristics the organization and the position of public officials were essential to its structure. Weber held that graduated authority and equitable, formalized procedures guard against the subjective abuse of power by bureaucrats.

    Weber admired bureaucracy for its trustworthiness. The bureaucracy was constituted by a group of professional, ethical public officials. These servants dedicate themselves to the public in return for security of job tenure among the many advantages of public employment. By rationalizing the organization of individuals and recognizing the professional nature of the field, Weber implicitly supports Wilson's politics-administration dichotomy.

    Humanist era

    Humanists embrace a dynamic concept of an employee and management techniques. This requires a theoretical shift away from the idea that an employee is a cog in the industrial machine. Rather, employees are unique individuals with goals, needs, desires, etc. Mary Parker Follett, Elton Mayo, Chris Argyris are among the most prominent humanists. Mary Parker Follett claims that conflict is neither good nor bad, it is simply inevitable (Fry 1989, 98). Elton teaches that humans are social beings whose individualism is defined in part by participation in the group.

    Chris Argyris, a writer commonly associated with business management authored Personality and Organization in 1957. He argues that “formal organizational structures and traditional management practices tend to be at odds with certain basic trends toward individual growth and development”. Argyris continues,Executives must therefore fuse basic human tendencies for growth and development with demands of the organization’s task.

    Rethinking power and management

    The humanist era ushered in other possible interpretations of such topics as power and management. One of the most significant was Douglas McGregor’s “Theory X and Theory Y.” McGregor's work provided a basis for a management framework, a structure upon whose rungs the classic and new-aged management might be hung (Denhardt 99-100). First, commonly held by early management theorists, Theory X begins with the assumption that humans possess an inherent aversion to work. Employees must therefore be coerced and controlled if management expects to see results. Further, lazy humans prefer direction bordering micromanagement whenever possible (Denhardt 99).

    Theory Y is much more compatible with the humanist tradition. This begins with the assumption that work is as natural for humans as rest or play. Further, employees will direct and control themselves as they complete objectives. Humans learn naturally and seek responsibility (Denhardt 100). Consequently, managers need only to steer employees in a cooperative manner toward goals that serve the organization. There is room for many to create and share power.

    The Z-Organization can be thought of as a complimentary third element to McGregor's dichotomy. Z-organizations are a Japanese organizational model. Similar to Theory-Y management, Z organizations place a large degree of responsibility upon the employees. Further, relatively low-level employees are entrusted with the freedom to be creative, “wander around the organization” and become truly unique, company-specific employees. However, employees achieve only after “agreeing on a central set of objectives and ways of doing business” (Oichi 435).

    In Z Organizations, decision-making (Simon’s ostensible basis of management) is democratic and participatory. Despite the many advantages of this organizational model, there are several draw-backs. These include the depredation of a large professional distance--de-personalization is impossible in Z-organizations. A high level of self-discipline is also necessary. Z-organizations tend to be homogeneous and In Japan where this organizational form is popular, management is dominated by males and foreigners are a rarity.

    Organizational power

    An organization has an array of options for delegating power to its lower level employees. Bown and Lawlwer (2006)identify a spectrum of empowerment possible for service workers in private sector employment. Low-level workers can either be thought of as belonging to a production line and given little individual decision-making freedom (power). These workers can be thought of as individual actors, given discretion to interpret a situation as it arises, and make reasonably independent decisions themselves. Most organizations allow their employees to operate somewhere between these extremes depending on several criteria the organization has as a whole.

    Henry Mintzburg contributes to the power discussion with his article, “The Power Game and its Players." He writes that organizations consist of many individuals, each drawing a source of power from their position within the organization, knowledge skills and abilities, and relative role in that organization. Each also works to increase or maximize his or her power.

    Moss Kanter published “Power Failure in Management Circuits” to address symptoms of unhealthy organizational power struggles. The reader learns that many symptoms of dysfunctional organizations can, in fact, be traced to power problems.

    New public management

    New public administration theories have emerged over the latter half of the twentieth century. New frameworks increasingly acknowledge that government is seen by citizens through administrators, front line, service deliverers. These are the employees that execute decisions by elected officials.

    There has been a rigorous critique and emphasis upon implicit problems with new public management. First, a reliance upon competition and market forces assumes that individual self interest will effectively bring about an equitable social and economic reality for citizens. Henry Mintzberg’s protests,“I am not a mere customer of my government, thank you.” (cited by Dendhardt 2001, 77). “I expect something more than arm’s length trading and something less than the encouragement to consume.” (Denhardt 152 citing Mintzberg 1992, 77). “Do we really want our governments…hawking products?” While greater government efficiency, an individual emphasis, and lower cost operations of new public management may be initially attractive, Mintzberg and Denhardt highlight many incompatibilities of such values with justice, equity, security, and other important government values.

    Further, encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit in administrators carries the benefits of innovation and productivity. These benefits are balanced by necessary costs. An entrepreneurial attitude tends to be accompanied by a willingness to bend the rules, reduced level of accountability, and a motivation to take risk with public resources are potentially costly (Denhardt 152-153). Despite what might appear to be a destructive criticism of a new model for public service delivery, Denhardt advocates new public service, one that carefully navigates the intricate differences between public and private organizations.

    Feminist interpretations

    The simple phrase, "feminist interpretation" carries relevant concepts, often stimulating an emotional response. However, if one can move past prejudice or negativity popularly attributed to the word, one might find important challenges to the implicit assumptions upon which many modern institutions and disciplines are built. Specifically, feminists uncover and challenge the assumption that a heritage of male-dominated public administration has yielded anything other than a "masculine interpretation" of the field. The simple adjective, feminist, asks the public administrator to evaluate his or her premises in a search for masculine interpretations, buried beneath a century of academic dialogue and practice (Stivers, 2002).

    Many of the responsibilities public employees currently carry are rooted in nineteenth and twentieth century female philanthropists. Women volunteered their time to contribute to the communal welfare, innovating the rationale and justifications subsequently borrowed by paid male advocates of positive government. Government employees that advocated a public responsibility to assist the poor and underprivileged with material aid and necessary services. Due in part to women's role as pioneers, such activities were (and in actuality still are) perceived to be feminine.

    This and other traditional features are used to make the argument that males have a persistent advantage in professional organizations. Subtle, gendered processes perpetuate the advantage, vehemently denied by men and women alike.(Acker 1992). These may be overt, sexual jokes or discrimination in promotion, or covert, organizational processes and decisions apparently independent of gender considerations on their face.

    Processes fall into four categories:
    1. Production of gender divisions-hierarchies are gendered
    2. Creating "symbols, images, and forms of consciousness that explicate, justify, and, more rarely, oppose gender divisions” (Shafritz and Ott, 393).
    3. Interactions between individuals that “enact dominance and subordination and create alliances and exclusions.”
    4. “Internal mental work of individuals as they consciously construct their understandings of the organization’s gendered structure”

    Comparable Worth is another, related topic . Difficult, unpopular questions, like whether women are paid less because they ware women, are explored by contributing scholars. Women might be victims of discrimination because of societal expectations of their biological and psychological state of mind. That is, women bear children and are most often the primary care-taker of children. If a young, newly-wed women is pitted against a similarly qualified, young, newly-wed male for a promotion or position, do expectations of gender roles influence management decisions? Further, to what degree do women possess sufficient power of self-determination?

    While feminists are often attacked as radical an unfounded in their claims, the group provides valuable food for thought. That is, questioning premises and assumptions that have led administrators to truths is important for judging the value of these truths.

    New public service

    Among the many new trends in government administration, the “government scholar” is being rapidly replaced by the “policy analyst.” The change in specialty reflects a shift in focus toward policy outputs and outcomes. Government rhetoric would be expected to yield to measurable impacts of public action. Government professionals are shifting from a focus upon government actors to observation and quantification at all steps of the policy process. For example, domestic social programming and support like senior center activities, welfare, Medicare, and youth groups have measurable inputs and outputs that can be quantified and examined. Effectiveness and efficiency can be estimated with dollars, opinion surveys, confidence indexes, and the like, to quantify the output, impact, and value of such programming.

    New concepts of administrative roles challenge both the politics-administration and fact-value dichotomies. In the former case,administrators serving as policy analysts inevitably influence the information they generate, thereby impacting policy. In the case of the former, a newly constructed bureaucracy, representative of the populace it serves, personal values of administrators my reflect the values of the citizenry. In such a case, the necessity of a distinction between fact and value is compromised. A degree of subjectivity, interjection of personal values into factual decision-making may be preferred by the population. In place of alternate theoretical dichotomies, policy analysts and workplace diversity essentially compromise the value of the dichotomy mentality.

    In the new public service, citizens are expected to develop a sense of community in addition to personal interests, pushing the threshold past simple self-interest of the new public management. Further, public employees draw heavily upon the variety of humanist management theories that have developed in the private and public sectors. John Gardner writes that healthy communities consisting of good community members “deal with each other humanely, respect individual differences and value the integrity of each person” (cited by Denhardt 2000, 183). Similarly, Robert Bellah, The Good Society , argues that the relationships, the space between these communities and the government, ought to then be relevant.

    Smaller, intermediary institutions like churches, families, work groups, and civic associations, are also participants in the negotiation of the newly recognized space for public activity. Such commitment carries tangible benefits. Robert Putnam empirically demonstrates that communities whose citizens are civically engaged live in communities of reduced poverty, crime, better health and improved educational systems. Organization thereby represents a form of “social capital.” Capital being the aspects of social life, like the aforementioned networks, that “facilitate the coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit” (Denhardt 185 citing Putnam 1995, 67).

    After Wilson’s initial distinction between a professional workforce and elected officials, nuanced variations maintained his theoretical trajectory. Taylor and Fayol, Theory-X managers, initially dominated the management circuit until humanists like Mayo, Follett, and Argyris hung new concepts of organization and management on McGregor’s Theory-X/Theory-Y framework. During this time, truly independent administrators including Gulick, Simon, Barnard, and Lindblom forged a significant new field.

    A fact-value dichotomy challenged Wilson’s politics-administration dichotomy for dominance, management science was defocused on a revolutionary new unit of analysis: decision premises. Organizations, viewed as systems of exchange, had to recognize employees, even low-level line workers, as partners brokering for adequate compensation and fulfillment. Even the comprehensive rational model, the most scientific of all possible decision-making methods, was challenged as highly impractical. If managers instead make “successive limited comparisons,” they can make informed decisions in a timely, affordable manner.

    This dynamic evolution, indeed a changing system of intellectual exchange, continues today as the popular new public management dominates the field. Public administration should arguably be a field dedicated to service of its owners, not mere customers. Indeed, citizens ought to take an active role in their government as an owner would in a business. A government that is administered by a meritocracy, professionals with powerful analytic and literary abilities. Managers might soon find themselves operating with an ethical commitment to values, serve the public, an empowerment attitude with a concept of shared power, pragmatic incrementalism, and a dedication to the public. “Unlike the new public management, which is built on economic concepts such as the maximization of self-interest, the new public service is built on the idea of the public interest, the idea of public administrators serving citizens and indeed becoming fully engaged with those they serve. (Denhardt 2001, 190).

    Decision-making models and public administration

    Given the array of duties public administrators find themselves performing, the professional administrator might refer to a theoretical framework from which he or she might work. Indeed, many public and private administrative scholars have devised and modified decision-making models.

    William Niskanen's budget-maximizing

    An relatively recent rational choice variation, proposed by William Niskanen in a 1971 article budget-maximizing model, argued that rational bureaucrats will universally seek to increase their budgets, thereby contributing to state growth, measured by expenditure. Niskanen served on President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors; his model underpinned what has been touted as curtailed public spending and increased privatization. However, budgeted expenditures and the growing deficit during the Reagan administration is evidence of a different reality. A range of pluralist authors have critiqued Niskanen's universalist approach. These scholars have argued that officials tend also to be motivated by considerations of the public interest.

    Patrick Dunleavy's bureau shaping

    The bureau-shaping model, a modification of Niskanen, holds that rational bureaucrats only maximize the part of their budget that they spend on their own agency's operations or give to contractors and interest groups. Groups that are able to organize a "flowback" of benefits to senior officials would, according to this theory, receive increased budgetary attention. For instance, rational officials will get no benefit from paying out larger welfare checks to millions of low-income citizens because this does not serve a bureaucrats' goals. Accordingly, one might should instead expect a jurisdiction to seek budget increases for defense and security purposes in place of domestic social programming. If we refer back to Reagan once again, Dunleavy's bureau shaping model accounts for the alleged decrease in the "size" of government while spending did not, in fact, decrease. Domestic entitlement programming was financially de-emphasized for military research and personnel.


    Government's Ethical Origins

    It is recognized that, as government officials, there is an inherent servitude to the general public. This concept of ethics, a branch of philosophy which seeks to address morality, is not a relatively new idea within government. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote The Prince, which serves as a manual to illustrate what a monarchy should do to maintain power. This treatise is viewed as a springboard for ethical issues in modern day times.

    Paul Douglas, a former United States Senator from Illinois, argues that while many may secretly follow Machiavelli in their heart, most do not. “Instead, most men want a life of integrity and goodwill in which public officials are stewards rather than masters and treat their jobs as a means of helping people rather than dominating them” (1952, p. 12).

    Douglas further argues why ethical practices are needed. “Our government is now so huge and affects our lives so directly that we cannot be content with merely a moderately decent level of behavior on the part of our public officials. For even a small percentage of misbehavior on the part of these officials can do a vast amount of harm” (1952, p. 19).

    Further illustrating the bifurcation of thought on ethics in government, Cody and Lynn discuss the two opposing factors: utilitarians and deontologists (1992, p. 6).

    Utilitarians: Believe that the end sought justifies the means to that end. In other words, if an ethical solution is more costly, a utilitarian will argue from a standpoint of efficiency or effectiveness to justify a less ethical solution.

    Deontologists: Believe that certain absolute principles should be obeyed, regardless of the consequences. An example of an absolute principle would be honesty.

    Ethical Standards

    John Rohr, in defining bureaucrats as public administrators approaches ethic standards in government as a requirement due to the nature of the work of administrators. He states that “because bureaucrats govern through authority that is discretionary, and because they are not elected, the ordinary means of popular control are inapplicable” (1978, p. 4). The assumption is that public administrators are working to benefit the general public’s needs. When an elected official does not act in line with the public’s expectations, they can be removed from office. However, public administrators are protected with due process rights as government employees, and ethical violations can be difficult to justify the removal of a person from an office.

    Many questions about how ethics should be addressed in government exist. According to Cody and Lynn, the debate centers around how detailed ethical standards should be made. For example, they cite the general litmus test for administrators regarding whether or not they would like to hear about their actions on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper (1992, p. 3).

    The Honest Person Rule: Unless there is an underlying honesty within people, a set of ethical rules is meaningless. This supporting argument for the general guidelines maintains that for ethical standards to be practical an individual must be ethically sound from the beginning. As Cody and Lynn point out, it is possible for a public official to act unethically, but not be personally dishonest (1992, p. 5).

    However, broadly defined ethical standards is difficult to assess regarding concerns of ethical violations. In order to have greater accountability, more specific standards are needed, or a statement of applied ethics.

    Rohr classifies ethics in government with some of the approaches that have been taken. The USDAmarker devised a system where employees were asked questions and then asked to rank the actions as permissible, not permissible, and permissible with prior written approval. Rohr argues that this type of approach, known as the Low Road merely places an understanding of what not to do in order to steer clear of trouble (1978, pp. 53-54). This approach does not assist an employee in providing a standard for what is truly ethical behavior.

    The High Road, according to Rohr, is the basis of decisions upon a pursuit for social equity, which is based upon political philosophy and humanistic psychology.

    Rohr finds problems with both the Low Road and High Road approaches and centers his argument around regime values, or “the values of that political entity that was brought into being by the ratification of the Constitution that created the present American republic” (1978, p. 59). He contends that regime values are built upon three considerations:
    1. Ethical norms should be derived from the salient values of the regime;
    2. These values are normative for bureaucrats because they have taken an oath to uphold the regime; and
    3. These values can be discovered in the public law of the regime.
    The basic contention upon which Rohr builds his argument is that rulings by the Supreme Court are sufficient measures upon which an ethical framework can be constructed.

    Levels of Ethical Decision-Making

    Terry Cooper states that public administrators make decisions daily according to a distinctive four-level process. The four levels are:

    The Expressive Level: At this stage, a person responds to a situation with "spontaneous, unreflective expressions of emotion ... which neither invite a reply nor attempt to persuade others" (1990, p. 7)

    The Level of Moral Rules: This is the first level at which we begin to question actions and begin to look for alternatives and consequences. The responses at this level are often built upon "moral rules we acquire through the socialization process from our families, religious affiliations, education and personal experiences." Decisions on how to handle the situation are then whittled down based on what we feel is the most appropriate action within our own personal moral bank (1990, pp. 7-10).

    The Level of Ethical Analysis: There are times when a personal moral code will seem inadequate for the situation, or that the alternatives and consequences do not feel right. When this occurs, a person has entered this level and begins to examine their ethical principles, or "statements concerning the conduct or state of being that is required for the fulfillment of a value; it explicitly links a value with a general mode of action" (1990, p. 10). Particularly, at this level, one begins to reexamine their personal values, and may eventually disagree with actions to such an extent that they will become "whistleblowers."

    The Postethical Level: At this level, questions center around one's view of the world and human nature, how we know anything to be true, and the meaning of life. Here there is a philosophical examination as to why ethical standards are important and relevant to the individual.

    Cooper's Decision-Making Model

    Cooper devised a method of moving from an ethical problem to appropriate alternatives and consequences. This model follows a sequential, rational approach to ethical decision-making. This method utilizes description and prescription, where public administrators begin to describe to themselves and others an objective state of affairs, and then begin to suggest steps to change the situation (1990, p. 17).

    The steps to this process are as follows:

    1. The Descriptive Task: A problem is often presented in a fragmented, distorted fashion coupled with judgmental language and inflections (1990, p. 17). Cooper contends that the administrator is in a position to have more complete knowledge when an issue is brought forward. Additionally, an administrator should attempt to describe questionable situations void of personal feelings (moving beyond the expressive level).
    2. Defining the Ethical Issue: Often the most misinterpreted step, with defining the ethical issue, an administrator is not charged with defining the problem. Instead, there is an examination of what is the underlying ethical value that is being addressed. Oftentimes, there is a decision made because of a problem, without examination of the ethical issue. This is damaging to the process of decision-making because it harms one's ethical analysis skills and ethical identity. This is true because situations can differ, and practical decision-making may lead to inconsistencies without an ethical base (1990, p. 20).
    3. Identifying Alternative Courses of Action: Using a rationalistic approach, an administrator, with as complete knowledge of the situation as possible and an assessment of the ethical issue at hand, identifies all the plausible courses of action in response to the situation (1990, p. 21).
    4. Projecting the Possible Consequences: In this stage, all positive and negative results of each alternative are examined. When discovering the possible positive and negative outcomes of an action, administrators use their moral imagination, or the imagined enactment of how alternatives will play out. Ideally, as more consequences are enumerated, the ethical decision-making process will be strengthened (1990, p. 22).
    5. Finding a Fit: The appropriate solution or alternative is a balance of four elements (1990, pp. 22-25):
      1. Moral Rules: Those basic standards that can be attributed to the alternatives and their consequences.
      2. Rehearsal of Defenses: The assessment and alignment of alternatives with the accepted norms of the wider professional organization and political communities of which we are a part.
      3. Ethical Principles: In assessing the moral rules, it may become clear that certain moral values are competitive. Therefore, it becomes difficult to say that an alternative which support social justice is more correct than the security of an individual or the organization. Here, an administrator assesses alternatives and their moral values under the light of the level of ethical analysis - deciding how the hierarchy of moral rules is structured and ultimately influencing the final decision.
      4. Anticipatory Self-Appraisal: Simply put, this analysis of alternatives requires an internal reflection of whether an administrator feels that an alternative fits within what he or she perceives to be their own personality. This is an examination of whether an alternative will meet our need to feel satisfied with the decision.

    Politics and Ethics

    Public administrators act independent of legislators and most elected officials. This ensures that those on elections boards can operate independent of political influence. This is also true of law enforcement. Unfortunately, enforcing ethical violations can lead to consequences for the public administrator. While an officer can enforce a law against an elected official, the elected official can place pressure on others to force the officer to work a night shift or decrease the department’s budget. The protection of positions from political pressure is known as safe harbor.

    Rohr would argue that politics and administration are not separate, but are present at the same time when a public administrator makes decisions. He states that the problem with public administrators “is not that bureaucrats are excessively involved in policy formulation but that they are involved at all. This is a problem for a democratic society because to influence public policy as a public official is to govern” (1978, p. 39). In other words, those officials who are influencing decisions are taking on the role of those elected by the public without a responsibility of having to answer to the public for decisions made.

    Whistleblowing: After using all available means for working within the system, an employee of a governmental agency reports a problem to other governmental agencies or to the general public directly. The problem for whistleblowing on all levels of government (federal, state, and local) is that there are very few protections for these individuals (Cody & Lynn, 1992, p. 76).

    Ethics and the Personal Life of Administrators

    There are several factors of a person’s private life that are often viewed as something that is not made available to the public. When a person enters into a public life, oftentimes, aspects of their private life are made public.

    Health: It is important, in the public’s eye, that a public official be physically sound when conducting the duties of their office. For example, when Ronald Reagan had an assassination attemptmarker, he was often reporting how healthy he was. This may have been an attempt to prevent the transfer of powers to his Vice President. However, because of the mandate of a transfer of powers, it was necessary for the public to understand his overall condition (Cody & Lynn, 1992, p. 127).

    Finances: A public official may be a strong steward of public funds, but may have personal financial issues (i.e. failure to pay taxes, etc.). Disclosure of finances is particularly important, ethically, for the public to decide an official’s ability to properly manage public funds and to assess an individual’s potential for giving into politically charged financial pressure. Opposing viewpoints to this argue that public officials should not have to disclose financial information because they are sometimes linked to personal contacts that prefer to remain anonymous (Cody & Lynn, 1992, p. 128).

    Sexual Misconduct: The common view is that a public official’s sexual life is subject to scrutiny. This is due to the assumption that any sexual misconduct may lead to the manipulation of the official’s daily decisions. It is thereby often the subject of attention when sexual misconduct becomes known to the public (Cody & Lynn, 1992, p. 129).

    Appearance of Impropriety: Officials should make public any possible conflicts of interest prior to their actions, in order to avoid public scrutiny when making decisions that could be construed in favor of a personal interest.

    (Denhardt 127-128)

    Denhardt identifies two approaches to ethics in public sector work: a more rigorous, philosophical studies in ethics that can be applied to the field.

    • Alternately, administrators might simply assume “an ethical obligation to support ‘regime values.” Essentially, public employees should refer to the constitution and Supreme Court decisions for specifics on equity and justice.
    • John Rohr, Ethics for Bureaucrats (1978)
    • Terry Cooper The Responsible Administrator (1990)
    • John Burke-Bureaucratic Responsibility (1986).
    • Kathryn G. Denhardt-The Ethics of Public Service (1988)

    Notable scholars

    Notable scholars of public administration have come from a range of fields. In the period before public administration existed as its own independent discipline, scholars contributing to the field came from economics, sociology, management, political science, law, and, other related fields. More recently, scholars from public administration and public policy have contributed important studies and theories.

    For a longer list of academics and theorists, see the List of notable public administration scholars article.


    1. Wilson, Woodrow, "The Study of Administration," Political Science Quarterly 2 (June 1887)
    2. Fry, Brian R. 1989. Mastering Public Administration; from Max Weber to Dwight Waldo. Chatham, New Jersey: Chatham House Publishers, Inc.
    3. Public Administration Review, Vol. 56, No. 3 (May – Jun., 1996), pp. 247–255
    4. Denhardt , Robert B. and Janet Vinzant Denhardt (2000). "The New Public Service: Serving Rather than Steering." Public Administration Review 60(6)
    5. Diane Stone, (2008) 'Global Public Policy, Transnational Policy Communities and their Networks,' Journal of Policy Sciences.
    6. Cleveland, Frederick A.(1915)"Evolution of the Budget Idea in the United States". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 15-35.
    7. Key Jr., V. O.(1940)American Political Science Review 34. 1137-40.
    8. Cleveland, Frederick A.(1915)"Evolution of the Budget Idea in the United States". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 15-35.
    9. Willoughby, William F. (1918) "The Movement for Budgetary Reform in the States". D. Appleton and Company for the Institute for Government Research. 1-8.
    10. Key Jr., V. O. (December 1940) American Political Science Review 34. 1137-40
    11. Lewis, Verne E. (Winter 1952) Public Administration Review 12.1. 43-54
    12. Walsh, Mary Williams. "Richard A. Musgrave, 96, Theoretician of Public Finance, Dies". January 20, 2007. New York Times: Business.
    13. Wildavsky, Aaron. (Autumn 1961) Public Administration Review 21. 183-190.
    14. Schick, Allen. (December 1966) Public Administration Review 26. 243-58.
    15. Rubin, Irene S. (1990) "Budget Theory and Budget Practice: How Good the Fit?" Public Administration Review March/April 1990. 179-89.
    16. Easton
    17. Denhard, Robert B. 2000. Theories of Public Organizations. Orlando Florida: Harcourt Brace & Co.
    18. Shafritz, Jay M. and J. Steven Ott. 2001. The Classics of Organization Theory. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
    19. Lindblom, Charles 1959. “The Science of Muddling Through.” Public Administration Review. Spring 19.
    20. Acker, Joan. 1992. "Gendering Organizational Theory." in The Classics of Organization Theory. Jay M. Shafritz and J. Steven Ott eds. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 391-399
    21. Stivers, Camilla.1992 From the Ground(s) Up: Women Reformers and the Rise of the Administrative State”in Gender Images in Public Administration. Camilla Stivers ed. Sage.
    22. Fry, Brian R. 1989. Mastering Public Administration; from Max Weber to Dwight Waldo. Chatham, New Jersey: Chatham House Publishers, Inc.
    23. cited in Denhardt 2001, 100-101
    24. William Ouichi. 1981. “The Z Organization." in Classics of Organization Theory. Shafritz and Ott eds. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
    25. Bowen, David and Edward Lawler. 2006. “The Empowerment of service Workers; What, Why, How and When.” in Managing Innovation and Change David Mayle. Sage.
    26. Mintzburg, Henry. 2001. "The Power Game and its Players." in The Classics of Organization Theory. Jay M. Shafritz and J. Steven Ott Eds. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth 353-360.
    27. Acker, Joan. 1989. Doing Comparable Worth: Gender, Class and Pay Equity . Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
    28. Douglas, P. (1952). Ethics in government. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    29. Cody, W. J. M. & Lynn, R. R. (1992). Honest government: An ethics guide for public service. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
    30. Rohr, J. A. (1978). Ethics for bureaucrats: An essay on law and values. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
    31. Cooper, T. L. (1990). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role, Third edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc. Publishers.

    Dubois, H.F.W. & Fattore, G. (2009), 'Definitions and typologies in public administration research: the case of decentralization', International Journal of Public Administration, 32(8): pp. 704-727.

    See also

    Societies for public administration

    International public administration

    There are several organizations that are active. The oldest is the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA). Based in Brussels, Belgium, IASIA is an association of organizations and individuals whose activities and interests focus on public administration and management. The activities of its members include education and training of administrators and managers. It is the only worldwide scholarly association in the field of public management. Visit their Web site at

    Also the International Committee of the US-based National Association of School of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) has developed a number of relationships around the world. They include sub regional and National forums like CLAD, INPAE and NISPAcee, APSA, ASPA. For general information about these regional networks, visit

    The Center for Latin American Administration for Development (CLAD), based in Caracas, Venezuela, this regional network of schools of public administration set up by the governments in Latin America is the oldest in the region. Information about CLAD is accessible at

    The Institute is a founding member and played a central role in organizing the Inter-American Network of Public Administration Education (INPAE). Created in 2000, this regional network of schools is unique in that it is the only organization to be composed of institutions from North and Latin America and the Caribbean working in public administration and policy analysis. It has more than 49 members from top research schools in various countries throughout the hemisphere,

    NISPAcee is a network of experts, scholars and practitioners who work in the field of public administration in Central and Eastern Europe, including the Russian Federation and the Caucasus and Central Asia. Their English Web site is located at

    The US public administration and political science associations like NASPA, APSA and ASPA. These organizations have helped to create the fundamental establishment of modern public administration. For more information visit the Web sites of American Political Science Association,, and the American Society of Public Administration

    External links






    People's Republic of China







    Holland/The Netherlands





    United Kingdom

    United States

    Suggested reading

    • Smith, Kevin B. and Licari, Michael J. Public Administration — Power and Politics in the Fourth Branch of Government, ISBN 1-933220-04-X

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