The State of Public Administration: Issues, Challenges, and by Donald C Menzel, Jay D White

By Donald C Menzel, Jay D White

The developments and practices of public management are ever altering and it truly is crucial that they be appraised at times. Designed as a capstone survey of the sector, The kingdom of Public management specializes in innovative concerns, demanding situations, and possibilities that confront PA learn and perform within the twenty first Century.

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Argues Spicer (2008, 57–58), “The meanings of words like public administration, government, constitution, law, democracy, citizen, and legislature are inherently ambiguous and are never precise or neutral in any scientific sense. They are inevitably tied, in the final analysis, to what sort of institution we think government is, can be, or, for that matter, ought to be. ” Thus, he says, “in our desire either to be more practical or to meet the canons of a more precise and value-free social science, we often express [philosophical] ideas unconsciously or without thinking.

Criticizing The point of departure for critical theorists is a critique of the social, economic, and political order. Their presumption (Boyd and Kyle 2004, 255) is that “humans are enmeshed in relations that facilitate the domination of some by others which limits our freedom. ” The extent and persistence of oppression, discrimination, and hegemony are themes of critical theory. The individual’s essential humanity is assumed to be diminished as power accumulates in the large, formal organizations of the public and private sectors and is wielded by Weberian bureaucracies through “scientifically justified” uses of various instruments of control and regulation, that is, technical, means-ends definitions of rationality.

Questions that arise include those concerning both bureaucratic responsiveness to political authority and worker responsiveness to clients affected by their work. Based on the literature, Potoski (1999) argues both that bureaucracies can be responsive and that bureaucracies can be independent and even influential in their own right. He chooses to address a question concerning the conditions under which bureaucracies are either more politically responsive or more autonomous. The problem, as he sees it, is that “theories offer widely different and sometimes conflicting predictions about how politicians use administrative procedures to control agencies” (624).

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