EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AS A DISCIPLINE
Updated: Jun 14
Author: Sarvesh Kasaudhan, II Year of B.A.,LL.B from Lloyd Law College.
Public Administration is known as one of the important segments of administration that primarily manages all the affairs of public interest at the local, state, and national levels. Some of the great thinkers such as Nigro, Z.A. Vieg, Marshall E. Dimock, and Luther Gulick gave their perspectives about Public Administration.
According to Simon, “In its broadcast sense, administration can be defined as the activities of a group co-operating to accomplish some of the common goals”. According to L.D. White, “Public Administration is the detailed and systematic execution of public law. Every particular application of the law is art of administration”. According to Nicholas Henry, “broad-ranging and amorphous combination of theory and practice meant to promote superior understanding of government and its relation to society which it governs as well as to encourage public policies more responsive to social needs and to institute managerial practices attuned to effectiveness, efficiency and deeper human requisites of the citizenry”.
To some extent, public administration has its initiative under all the three branches of government, i.e., the legislative, executive, and judiciary.
As a Discipline
Public Administration consists of a field of systematic study and a field of activity both. Discipline is vital for the smooth functioning of any organization, and the fundamental purpose behind discipline is to establish a harmonious relationship between employers and employees. Discipline also refers to the state of an employee’s self-control and his effectiveness at work, and it implies a training of the mind that leads to self-efficiency, character, and patience towards work. There are considered to be some reasons that lead towards indiscipline, so it is mandatory to focus on those points also so that we can overcome them to work in a disciplined manner. It also gives a brief on what points we should focus on for proper discipline.
The points are as follows
There must be proper communication between an employer and an employee.
There must be proper and effective leadership, if a leader is unable to understand and sort out the problems of his/her employees then it will be considered a sign of ineffective leadership.
There must be a fair labour practice.
The wages and salary system of all the employees must be in an adequate manner, i.e., every employee must be paid according to his/her ability of work and also as per the work the employee does. The employees must be paid a bonus amount in some situations that are suitable at that particular time.
It is very mandatory to listen and take action on every query of the employees at any of the grievance procedures.
Every employee must be placed as per his/her interest and ability to work. In case of any kind of inappropriate appointment, it will not satisfy the case towards discipline.
The role of being senior is very important in this case. Sometimes it seems that seniors do not behave well to their juniors that leads to the lack of cooperation between them or between the entire team. Since every person wants respect in life, so in case of not respecting any employee may lead to indiscipline.
There must be a favourable working condition as per every employee. It is very much mandatory to develop a social relation between an employee and employer to work in a disciplined manner.
The management must not follow any kind of policy that leads towards divide and rule.
In the era of globalization, Public Administration privatized the substantial section of welfare delivery function using the method of contracting others, approaching the private entities, introducing quasi-markets, and summoning the volunteers.
The shifting of their role made in enjoying their primary function of being a central model for the state and market. In a market economy, Public Administration can advance the smooth function of the market as well as legalized its activities within the society. Globalization has transformed the nature and character of any particular state from a traditional administrative welfare state to a corporate welfare state that further set up some changes like Public Administration.
The model of welfare delivery for Public Administration predicted an unbiased and structured administration which gave the idea of some important features such as bureaucratic structure, professional domination, public accountability, equal treatment, and self-sufficiency. The mechanism of welfare delivery was to elaborate administrative mechanisms to facilitate the smooth delivery of public services.
Idea by Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson gave the idea that ‘there is a sharp distinction between politics and administration as both have their different dichotomy’ but as a discipline, we can understand the fact that the work of politics is to make policies according to the demand, but the work of administration is to implement all those policies. Then administration must work as science in a systematic and best way rather than that like any political system.
Importance of POSDCoRB view
In 1937, Luther Gulick and Urwick coined seven principles as ‘POSDCoRB’ view that represents the common activity of any field that is related to management and the administration in the following manner:
P stands planning. It means working out the broad outlines of the things that need to be performed well, and the adopted method must achieve the desired objectives of the enterprise.
O stands for organization. It gives the idea of building up the structure of authority through which the entire work to be done in a well-behaved and well-defined manner that must be in a coordinating way.
S stands for staffing. It means appointing suitable persons at the various posts under the organization and the whole of the managing system.
D stands for directing. It directly means the continuous task of making decisions and embodying them in specific and in general instructions and guiding the enterprises.
Co stands for coordination. In a straight manner, it interrelates the various parts of the work and eliminates the conflict and any kind of overlapping.
R stands for reporting. It defines a proper mode of communication and in a way, both the employer and employees must be coordinated well and informed in every situation. It also gives the idea of collecting information on any field by research and inspection and to convey it as a whole to the entire team.
B stands for budgeting that refers to the accounting, fiscal planning, control, and overall budget of any policy.
We can examine that the POSDCORB view gave a narrow idea of unity, certainty, commitment and made the study of Public Administration in a disciplined manner. Gulick made the view that the POSDCoRB view is commonly applicable to some organization somehow at all, either it comes under public or private form.
After some time of implementing the procedure, its criticism also came that it only considers the common technique of the administration, and it ignores the study of the subject matter. Neither there was any reference to the formulation and implementation of the policy. The idea came that in any context administration and politics can’t be divorced as it leads towards impracticable and undesirable.
It examined that at the time of making any policy administration’s role is also required, proper research and several other procedures are needed to be performed by the public administrator that any politician can’t perform. Another important point that came into existence was that both of their works are linked with the other one that can result in the best way of working.
 Fredrick C. Mausher, public administration | History, Examples, Types, & Principles, Encyclopedia Britannica (2021), https://www.britannica.com/topic/public-administration
 Sahabuddin Mondal, legal India, Nature And Scope of Public Administration Legalservicesindia.com (2021), http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/2311/Nature-And-Scope-of-Public-Administration.html
 Bureaucracy and the Evolution of Public Administration | American Government, Courses.lumenlearning.com (2021), https://courses.lumenlearning.com/os-government2e/chapter/bureaucracy-and-the-evolution-of-public-administration/
 Bidyut Chakrabarty & Prakash Chand, Evolution of Public Administration as a Discipline, Public Administration in a Globalizing World, (2012). ( P.g. 16 – 20)