Write a 2 pages paper on public administration. It is no doubt that public administration is a fundamental discipline and practice in any society in the world. Public administration is concerned with the implementation of public or government policies. In particular, it involves planning, directing, controlling, coordinating, and organizing of government policies and operations (Naidu 2005). There are two main theories of public administration: Wilson and Gulick’s theories. This paper will focus on Wilson’s theory of public administration. It will describe the background information on the theory, summarize the key points of contention, and provide an analysis of the competing values and viewpoints represented in Wilson’s theory.
Wilson’s theory of public administration was put forward by Woodrow Wilson who is considered as one of the pioneers of public administration. In his 1887 article titled “The Study of Administration,” Wilson formally recognized public administration and the role it plays in the society. In the article he argued that undertaking a course in public administration is essential in discovering what a government can successfully and properly do and how it can do things efficiently and with minimal cost and energy (Jeong Chun Hai and Nor 2007). The main theme of Wilson’s theory of public administration was that public administration should be founded on a science of management and separation of administration from traditional politics. Also, he advocated that public administration should involve comparative analysis of private and political organizations (Naidu 2005). Besides, he advocated the need to enhance the effectiveness of public service through training of civil servants, as well as through assessment that is merit-based. In addition, he advocated the improvement of efficiency of public administration by adoption of business-like attitudes and practices in daily operations (Naidu 2005).
Like other theories, Wilson’s theory of public administration has had key points of contention. The main point of contention of this theory has been on the view that politics and administration should be separated. On the one hand, there are those who argue that effective and efficient public administration can only be achieved through a distinction of politics and administration (Jeong Chun Hai and Nor 2007). On the other hand, there are those who argue that politics and administration are inextricably linked and, therefore, cannot be separated. Different perspectives on this view, as advocated by Wilson, have significantly contributed to differentiating characteristics of public administration generations (Naidu 2005). Certain generations have tried to completely delink politics and administration through mechanisms such as constitutions. However, those who disagree with Wilson’s viewpoint have tried to find ways through which politics and administration can have cordial and productive relationship for the benefit of the public (Jeong Chun Hai and Nor 2007).
Wilson’s theory of public administration has competing values and viewpoints. One of the main competing values and viewpoints is that relating to distinction of politics and administration. The other competing viewpoints have been in regard to how efficiency and effectiveness can be improved and sustained in public service (Naidu 2005). The competing values and viewpoints relate to whether delinking politics from administration would better implementation of public policies and meet public needs. The question in this respect revolves around legitimacy, transparency, accountability, and overall productivity among civil servants (Jeong Chun Hai and Nor 2007). In other words, which concept between separation and non-separation of politics and administration contributes to improved accountability, productivity, transparency and legitimacy in the implementation of public policy?
Jeong Chun Hai, Ibrahim, and Fadzlina Nawi Nor. 2007. Principles of Public Administration: An Introduction. Kuala Lumpur: Karisma Publications.
Naidu, Salem Pagadala. 2005. Public Administration: Concepts and Theories. New Age International.