pointing out the presence of administration would seek to improve organizations, rather than just the employees that worked for organizations. Wilson justified the existence of public administration as a way to examine the methods by which government operated and seek to find ways to be more successful. Wilson also advocated that public administration would help organizations operate in a more efficient manner (Cengage Learning 6).
Woodrow Wilson believes that government is administration in action and two concepts are inseparable (Cengage Learning 8-9). The United States government represents the people and without strong administration, the government is ineffective in serving and representing its citizens (Cengage Learning 8-10). Wilson’s ideas are correct in the sense that government and administration are synonymous. Administration provides a centralized means of representation, communication, and direction. Although public administration provides quite a few benefits to citizens, its existence can also become unnecessarily bureaucratic and inefficient. Public administration can also be the demise of a society.
Wilson believes the best way to develop the field of public administration by viewing it as a business and by better aligning executive functions, organization, and action (Cengage Learning 10). The problem with the modern validity of Wilson’s ideas is that public administration serves as the antithesis to the business world. Due to the decline of the business world, governments have had to step in to become more socialistic in nature (e.g. providing for disadvantaged citizens, stimulating the economy, spending more to increase GDP, increasing the money supply). Stillman’s essay takes the perspective that the role of public administration should be decreased and minimized. This is the opposite of Wilson’s perspective, which calls for the development of public administration. Public administration is at a deadlock due to the wide variance of what roles public administration and government should take in America. Both major political parties are on opposite sides of the fence and seem unable to reach effective compromises.
Wilson stresses the importance of finding the appropriate relationship between
democracy and public administration in order to avoid becoming like other nations, such as Russia. In Wilson’s opinion, there is a fine line between centralized command and too much control. Freedom is just as important to the growth and development of a society as is strong, efficient administration. The field seems to be dealing with the matter by becoming more fluid and less focused on standard management practices (Cengage Learning 26).
The case reiterated the fact that public administration is too bogged down in bureaucracy.
The central cause of the tragedy in the case is a lack of action and willingness to take
responsibility. The warnings of one of the inspectors clearly were ignored and it took too long for any governing body within the system to take the right action. The seven schools would analyze this case as a failure to govern, attend to the human needs of the miners, and get pass bureaucracy. The recommended solutions would be to put the needs of humanity first, change the reporting process, consider the values of human life, and become more streamlined in terms of process. Ultimately it is the decisions and actions of those in charge that shape outcomes, although those in charge are simultaneously dependent on the actions of subordinates. The problems presented in the case are systemic and cultural, which can be difficult to change.
It is clear from the case that the presence of government and government processes
resulted in the tragic failure. Increasing safety standards and regulatory oversights can sometimes compound the initial problem – too much bureaucracy. It seems that additional training and cultural shifts are necessary, as well as more efficiency in safety reporting and corrective action.
Public administration is important to society because it can ensure that society is on the
receiving end of the greater good. Several social programs that help redistribute resources and access to resources exist because of public administration. For example, some individuals would not be able to gain access to health insurance, educational resources, and the like without a strong and efficient public administration. The problems that arise from public administration are inefficiency, both in terms of processes, actions, and financial management. In addition, some who serve in public office are motivated more by their political reputations and personal interests than by the interests of their constituents.
Cengage Learning. Public Administration. 9th ed. 2009. Web. 10 July 2015.