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Scope of Public Administration

Public administration- Relevance ESIC Deputy Director Exam

  • PART-B of Recruitment Test (RT): Public Administration and Development Issues.

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Public Administration- Definition

  • Defining Public Administration:
    • Public administration is formed by two different terms, public and administration.
    • Public: means government which is mainly focus on government activities and actions
    • Administration: is derived from a Latin word “Administer” which means to serve, too direct, to control, to care for or to look after people. The term “administration” means management of public or private affairs.
    • Hence, simply public administration is known as the management of public affairs.
  • Public Administration is nothing but ‘government in action’. Public Administration is the implementation arm of the executive.
    • Public Administration is responsible for the implementation of government policies.
  • Public administration is a feature of all nations, whatever their system of government.
    • Within nations, public administration is practiced at the central, intermediate, and local levels.
    • The relationships between different levels of government within a single nation constitute a growing problem of public administration.

Public Administration- Meaning and Definition


Scope of Public Administration- POSDCoRB View

  • This school of thought believes that the scope of public administration is similar to each organization whether public or private.
  • It believes that Public Administration deals with various managerial processes and techniques within the organization like planning, organizing, coordination, etc.
  • Luther Gullick, the main proponent of this school, propounded that the scope of public administration can be defined through POSDCoRB activities.
  • These POSDCoRB activities are-
    1. Planning (P)- working out the broad outline of the things that need to be done.
    2. Organization (O)– establishment of the formal structure of authority through which the work is distributed, arranged and coordinated for the defined objective.
    3. Staffing (S)– related to recruitment and training of the staff and maintenance of favorable conditions of work for the staff.
    4. Directing (D)- It is the continuous task of making decisions and directing them in the form of specific and general orders and instructions and thus guiding the enterprise.
    5. Co-ordination (Co)- interrelating the various parts of an organization like branches, divisions, etc. it is aimed at elimination of overlapping within the organization.
    6. Reporting (R)- It is about informing the authority to whom the executive is responsible as to what is going on.
    7. Budgeting (B)– It is about accounting, fiscal planning and control.

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Scope of Public Administration- Subject Matter View

  • Proponents of the subject matter view believe that activities of public administration are not only limited to various processes (POSDCoRB View), it also deals with the substantive matters of the administration such as Defense, Law & Order, Public Health, Education, Justice, Welfare, Environment, etc.
  • These substantive aspects of administration not only require general managerial techniques but require their specialization of their own which are not covered by the POSDCoRB view.
  • For Example:
    • Police Administration: here, its techniques of crime detection, maintenance of law and order, prevention of crimes, etc. are more important in ensuring an effective and efficient police administration.
    • On the other hand, formal principles of organizations like personnel management, hierarchy, coordination, finance, etc. are the same for each type of administration.

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