Question one: Political / Administrative Dichotomy
According to Wilson, the administrative bureaucracy was separate from politics. The dichotomy ought to have been laid in the fact that while political parties and officers were allowed to be partisan, the administrative bureaucracy was supposed to be non-partisan and independent of politics. In addition, the administration was supposed to be considered not only in terms of personal problems officers experienced, but from the organizational approach with keen analysis of the organizational structure. Some of the rationales given by Wilson included the fact that it was essential to study government. Incidentally, Wilson observed that the administrative authority had the execution and implementation duty. As observed by Wilson it was becoming difficult to implement what had already been framed in the law. In that vein, a study of government and the manner in which the government operates was crucial.
The path created by Wilson would later be developed by Fredrick Taylor. The relationship between the conceptions by Wilson and Taylor lay in their adoption of the scientific management. While Wilson was modest in the application of science, Taylor went overboard and advocated for systemic scientific approaches to work. According to Taylor, work could be divided into scientific segments and executed by the personnel in charge. It has been observed that the Taylor approach merely extended human beings into machines with the expectation that they would be able to work as well.
Therefore, it can be argued that Taylor’s approach was built on the theme laid out by Wilson. The latter approach equally appreciated the need to study the organization and not merely considering the people. However, Taylor’s approach attracted disquiet and hesitance for its seemingly academic tone. This was not the case in the Wilson approach. While Wilson was keen not to lose humanity in the science, the approach by Taylor gave science more prominence. On the other hand, William Willoughby’s contribution cannot go unnoticed. He studied the budgetary process essentially considering three concerns of the budget. These were how budgets would advance and provide for popular control, how budgets would advance legislative and executive cooperation, and how budgets would ensure administrative and management efficiency. The approach by Willoughby ought to be seen in the context of Wilson’s call for the study of the organization rather than the people. Willoughby seems to have taken the trajectory desired by Wilson. For Willoughby, his main concern was the use of the budget to achieve organizational objectives. Willoughby, therefore, assumed the approach proposed by Wilson who saw administration as a science distinct from political science. In addition, Willoughby’s contributions still inform the modern day application of the budget system in any given administrative bureaucracy.
Frank Goodnow equally agreed with the Wilson understanding of the political administrative dichotomy. Goodnow was precise in laying the distinction between the political and the administrative. According to Goodnow, while politics was the expression of the will of the state, administration was the expression of the execution by the state. However, Goodnow did not assume a strictly scientific approach. His observations were to the extent that it was impossible to execute administrative functions without necessarily invoking political power such as the political party system that ended up wielding authority on the administrative bureaucracy.
Question two: Giving Orders
Mary Follett espouses three main principles of giving orders. These are the creation of particular attitudes, the provision for the release of these attitudes, and the need to augment the released response if it is being carried out. According to Follett, it is essential for managers to desist from given orders. This alternative should always be resorted to as the ultimate option. Follett observes the general employee disdain for orders and the human character that is anti-orders. Consequently, in giving orders, Follett advises that one first needs to create a particular attitude. It is imperative for the organization to ensure that employees feels appreciated and not seen merely a creature to take orders. The creation of attitude could assume different approaches.
Secondly, one needs to provide for the release of attitudes. For instance, the organization must take deliberate steps to ensure that a worker feels appreciated and valued. This would develop in the worker an attitude of acceptable and reception hence clear the way for reception of orders. Orders must not be seen as mere commands. Rather, orders should be looked at from a perspective of enabling organizational success.
One needs to appreciate the place of orders in the administration process. Orders generally create a power relation. The employee at the lower level would have the tendency of rebellion. As Follett observes one may assume that they often have to be antagonistic to the employer. The manner in which orders are communicated impacts on the organizational relationship.
Question three: Public Interest
In the New Public Service, public interest is defined in different ways. In fact, authors associate parallel public interest to love which has different meanings depending on the person. However, for purposes of defining public interest, this submission settles for the normative model advanced by Cassinelli and others. They define public interest as the highest ethical standards applicable to political affairs.
The political process theory further defines public interest with reference to the processes through which the policy is made. In other words, the theorists are not concerned with the public interests itself rather they confine themselves with the process through which the policy promoting the interest is arrived at. It looks at the processes in detail and demands for processes to follow due prerequisites. This approach in definition can be related to other definitions availed by other schools of thought. The abolitionists believe public interest is invalid and unnecessary. To them, public interest can only be talked about. It cannot be measured and hence remains invalid. In addition, the public interest remains ill-defined and, therefore, hardly understood by the masses.
Herring Pendleton in the normative school of thought argues that public interest is the bureaucrat’s ethical interpretation of vague statutes. He argues that laws are vague and it requires for the bureaucrat implementing the law to ensure that the overall public interest prevails. He sees public interest as the standard that guides the administrator in executing the law.
In general, it comes out clearly that public interest remains unclear and uncertain. What constitutes public interest depends on the school of thought one belongs. However, save for the abolitionists, public interest is shared and advocated for.
Denhardt, J., & Denhardt, R. (2011). The New Public Service: Serving, Not Steering. New York: M.E. Sharpe.
Shafritz, J., & Hyde, A. (2011). Classics of Public Administration. New York: Wadsworth Publishing Company.