leonard d white and the study of public administration pdf

Leonard D White And The Study Of Public Administration Pdf

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Leonard D. White

Administrative science and public management: a criticism of the primacy of private over public. Public management is strongly influenced by scientific administration, and several models which are applied in the public sphere had their origin in the field of administration. However, that science has been developed in a neoliberal context that reinforced the pursuit of maximum efficiency and profit under a strictly instrumental rationale.

These aspects have led to much criticism, especially concerning the incorporation of thoughts and theoretical models into public management. This theoretical essay aims to weave an analysis of such aspects, considering ideas of various authors who discuss the theme, in order to contribute to discussions and reveal positions to enrich the debate.

The history of administrative science is recent in comparison to others, but its trajectory is not different; from Enlightenment, an almost unanimous view of how things in the world should be analyzed, interpreted, researched and demonstrated was created. Bacon, Newton and other scientists of the period, founded on a positivistic outlook, undeniably developed great advancements in sciences usually called natural.

This "enlightened wave" influenced scientific thought, even social sciences and, in this field, administrative science. Although such advances are admitted, positivism has shown its frailties, as described Capra He argues that, despite all the technological progress afforded by this philosophical basis, such as, for instance, mankind's landing on the moon, our planet still faces elementary problems, such as starvation, misery, deaths from easily treated diseases, environmental deterioration, among others.

From such a perspective, that author explores the idea that other avenues and ways of thought should be brought to light for the development of a more substantial science, which seeks to consider causes in the sphere of a much wider reading than that established by "common science". On the other hand, the influence of public administration is not confined to the positivistic notions that informed the development of administrative science. As we shall see in this theoretical essay, the appearance of neoliberal policies preconized by States was, and still is, an essential element that limits not only topics, but also theoretical formulations in the public administration field.

The origins of scientific administrative thought have two names whose ideas became milestones in history. They are Henry Fayol and Frederick Taylor. Fayol developed an applied theory of administration that had its focus on management principles derived from an executive reading of that art. It valued flexibility and adaptation, since the reality of organizations and their needs should not follow rigid criteria. This thinker idealized five elements or processes for good management, regarding rules for the application of his administrative doctrine: i planning; ii organizing; iii coordinating; iv commanding; and v controlling.

Taylor sought to develop the bases for scientific administration considering employer's and employee's mutual prosperity. He believed that, for an organization's maximum efficiency, time spent in production should reach its maximum performance, and salaries should reward such an effort, thus minimizing tensions and conflicts FELLS, Despite the divergences between those contemporary thinkers' ideas, such as the necessity of observation in order to portray reality Fayol , in contrast to a more mechanistic perception Taylor , both left their marks, for their ideas are as yet points of discussion and divergence among researchers and professionals who work in the administration field, whether in its public or private spheres.

Evidence of this premise is the reading by authors like Hales , Archer , Caroll and Gillen , mentioned by Fells , who tried to correlate models developed by other authors such as Henry Mintzberg, John P. Kotter, and Colin P. Hales with that which was proposed by Fayol, so as to show the interrelations that exist between those models.

Peaucelle in turn started with Taylor's ideas concerning work efficiency and salaries in order to show that new administrative techniques just in time, project reengineering, and management adopted since the s have strong interrelations with those conceived by that scientific administration precursor.

Without approaching in depth the merits of the analyses carried out by the authors previously mentioned, it can be noted that Fells did not care for going deeper into the causes for the proposal of new models alternative to Fayol's, or clarifying the historical moment in which they were built, so as to elucidate the search for new philosophical bases, even when applied to the same principles of administrative elements.

Although Peaucelle , in turn, supposes the existence of a post-Taylorist movement that brings new prerogatives or goals that must be taken into account in administration given the current historical context, which is characterized by an ever-more ferocious and competitive capitalism, he did not endeavor to develop the so-called new perspectives of the combination of capital and labor, characterized, amongst other things, by achievements in the legal sphere.

Accordingly, the relationship between maximum efficiency and salary starts to be seen with certain limits, point at which organizations tend to consider achievements established by employees. In this perspective, both Taylorism and post-Taylorism tend to encounter barriers, yet fragile in some aspects, in order to implement their premises. This introduction aims to exemplify the central elements that constitute this theoretical essay, which seeks to approach the fragility of the premises that inform the administrative doctrine, especially when applied to public management.

According to Farah , the origins of public administration brought scientific administration as a central element which, in turn, represented a whole line of thought that, in this case, focused on the mere education of technicians who should work with the government bureaucracy for the purpose of implementing public policies in an apolitical, unbiased way.

This historical mark is still seen nowadays with regard to the establishment of several theoretical models formulated for public administration and which have their origin or search for their foundation in administrative science.

However, it is important to point out that the premises for the construction of this formal science are associated with the neoliberal thought, thus prioritizing the quest for profit and maximum efficiency.

If the field of administration, in that which concerns public administration, pursues this premise without a coherent maturity that takes into account society's complexity as well as public thinking, there is a risk that a vicious circle begins, in which those management models are not sufficient to overcome hindrances while aiming for a perspective of their own - as Capra proposes, to a certain extent, concerning sciences in general, including the so-called natural and social sciences - with a view to, for instance, the strengthening of democratic practice as well as citizens' and general society's happiness.

Therefore, we start with the assumption that administration science has brought elements of the development of public management, but, at the same time, under strong neoliberal influences, it imprisoned them, thus making it difficult to establish new bases and models, given the primacy of private over public.

As to the study of public administration, Procopiuck points out that modern public administration, which he delimits between and , occurred in the United States. Denhardt , p. However, according to the author, it was with the essay written by Woodrow Wilson , of , that formal studies of the government's administrative operations started.

One of the great legacies left by Wilson , p. Thus, in the author's opinion, "administration does not belong to the proper sphere of politics. One can notice that the onset of the formal study of public administration was derived from business administration, since administrative science itself has its origins in a philosophical perspective of the logical positivism DENHARDT, , p.

Therefore, the study of public administration emerges from that same stream, in which not only a technical view, but also neutrality was sought for. The separation of administration from politics has the Weberian rationality as backing, that is, the legitimacy of bureaucracy was not founded on politics, but consisted, according to Weber , p.

Bureaucratic administration essentially means the exercise of domination based on knowledge. This is the trait that makes it specifically rational.

On the one hand, it consists of technical knowledge which, in itself, is enough to ensure bureaucracy a position of extraordinary power.

An advantage of bureaucracy, mainly for public organizations, was that it represented a model which sought to overcome patrimonialism. This separation of the public sphere from the private sphere is one of the reasons why bureaucracy may be advocated as an important advancement for public organizations.

According to Motta and Bresser-Pereira , the growth of bureaucracy in modern world derives from its ability to provide organizations with efficiency. On the other hand, those authors do not deny the occurrence of bureaucratic malfunctions. It was from such malfunctions that the criticism of the Weberian bureaucratic model emerged.

The influence of the use of management in the public sector slowly spread throughout the 20 th century. Procopiuck highlights that the s was marked by some important characteristics in public administration:.

These characteristics show the expansion of the Wilsonian thought, which gains more and more scientistic managerial outlines. In , Leonard D. White published the work that was to be considered the first effort to systematize public administration studies.

It is, therefore, during the s that, in public administration studies, management starts to be given emphasis, thus drawing this field closer to that of business administration. Procopiuck , p. In the context of public administration, attempts to adapt, at any cost, managerial techniques developed for private businesses ended up giving rise to deep crises due to the incongruence between the means operated and the ends intended by such techniques and the ends pursued by public institutions.

This closeness to private management derives from the necessity to pursue one of the major goals in administration: efficiency. Although the ultimate goal of public administration public welfare is very different from that of private management profit , both spheres look for efficiency. Many scholars from the beginning of the 20 th century advocated this quest: "the goal of public administration is to use, with maximum efficiency, the resources made available to directors and officers" WHITE, apud DENHARDT, , p.

The search for a logical positivism 1 made those scholars believe that efficiency was a neutral quest necessary for the improvement of organizations.

Accordingly, the effort to achieve efficiency in the employment of resources was the predominant outlook in the s and s, and it has been revived in the new public management NPM approach, which has come to consolidate the theory of public administration as chiefly focused on satisfying a neoliberal perspective. If the beginning of the formal studies of public administration was characterized by the dichotomy between administration and politics, the theories that followed were not always able to overcome it.

This can be noticed when, in the mids, the crisis and downfall of the welfare state commences. Trying to overcome the crisis, neoliberal proposals led states to a series of reforms that, according to Arienti , had the purpose of reducing the size of the state bureaucratic apparatus.

Neoliberalism and social democracy came into play in the subsequent decade, proposing a reform of the State and its administration based on the principles that governed private business, which had a decisive influence on the public administration trajectory in Western countries. Efficiency was governments' main goal in view of the shortage of resources available.

In the s, the wave of new public management reached the whole Western world 2 , and countries that faced financial difficulties in their management started to adopt it, including Brazil.

Therefore, it is in the 20 th century, in a complex society, a social and economic State which gets bigger and bigger, that NPM appears as a model that aimed at overcoming the bureaucratic stage, bringing to the public management sphere a new way of managing. Vigota , apud BEVIR, believes that, in bureaucracy, the State was not able to respond, neither was cooperative; on the contrary, it was characterized by the concentration of power and absolute control in the hands of the State.

In this new structure, there are some changes in values and focus. Values are similar to those of companies' - managerial quality, productivity, and efficiency are required - but what is really different from bureaucracy is the greater importance given to results rather than to the process. Therefore, NPM intended to represent "a post-bureaucratic normative model for public administration arrangement and management based on the values of efficiency, effectiveness, and competitiveness" SECCHI, , p.

This managerial movement leads David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, who idealized an "entrepreneurial government", to prescriptively propose, as Secchi points out, ten principles that show the explicit will to draw public management near to concepts used in private business, such as competition, customer service, economic results, etc.

Paes de Paula identifies contributions to the consolidation of the new public management in the "reinventing government" movement. Elements that stand out in this movement are: the criticism of bureaucratic organizations, the dissemination of management culture and "managerial fads", etc. It was inspired by Peter Drucker's criticisms and the new administration "gurus", who argued that bureaucracy was being replaced by a post-bureaucratic organization based on flexibility and participation.

Thus, along with this focus on the managerialist movement appears the entrepreneurialist culture, which engenders a code of values and behaviors to ensure control, efficiency, and competitiveness in organizations.

Moreover, that same movement contributed to the expansion of management culture, which is characterized by the production of artifacts, such as books, magazines, and other consumer goods present in the business world, as well as symbols that permeate organizations and the minds of individuals who associate with them.

And with that appear the administrative tools and practices that supposedly lead to corporate excellence, such as: total quality administration, reengineering, etc.

Nonetheless, by critically analyzing bureaucracy in post-modernity, it is possible to admit that it "has adapted to flexible capitalism by reinventing methods of control in order to ensure productivity and perpetuate domination" PAES DE PAULA, , p.

Therefore, by analyzing bureaucracy as rationality, the logics of organizational action, and a form of domination PAES DE PAULA, , one can see that new organizational arrangements are actually reproductions of "administrative harmonies".

Although there has not been a rupture, it is possible to assert that there has been an adaptation of the rigid bureaucratic model, which Paes de Paula calls "flexible bureaucracy". Thus, it is her understanding that organizations have become more flexible in order to satisfy the requirements of the new social context; however, there has not been a debureaucratization, only an adaptation.

This new social context is exactly the neoliberal advancement toward the matrix of State, market, and society.

The administrative reform of the State in Brazil, in the mids, took place in broad democratic regime with the Master Plan for the Reform of the State Apparatus, After the reform cycle, public governments became more like private governments; many of them instrumentalized themselves; and nowadays they have sophisticated mechanisms to produce public policies.

Although there has been a great movement in favor of the NPM model, serious criticism of its premises has also been made. The most serious one, as is reported by Denhardt , is the introduction in public management not only of techniques, but also of values borrowed from the private sector, such as competitiveness instead of cooperation , and the adoption of market mechanisms for social decisions.

Another criticism comes from Mintzberg , apud Denhardt, , p. These reflections show us, as Madureira points out, that even considering the force of the law of markets and the closeness between private and public administrative sciences, one cannot ignore the set of differences that exist between them.

In view of society's complexity, as well as the complexity of its problems, new public management has not been able to respond to the latter, thus requiring larger and less reductionist public administration concepts.

According to Costa , p. Bevir , p. Paes de Paula also discusses the limits of this management model, and alternatives that indicate routes for building democratic public management. The author defines the foundations of the new public management by examining its background and elements, and showing how the neoconservative movement, neoliberalism, the third way politics, and the managerialist movement have joined in order to bring this management model about. Examining the Brazilian case, the author retrieves the history of national public administration and realizes that the recent reform of the State has been organized around two political orientations: the managerial orientation, which finds its inspiration in the international movement for the reform of the State and implements the managerial public administration; and the societal orientation, which seeks for new forms of organizing and managing the State in order to create a societal public administration.

woodrow wilson public administration pdf

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Leonard Dupee White and public administration

A founder of the field, White worked at the University of Chicago after service in the administrations of Franklin D. Dupee White. He received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth in , followed by his master's in , after which he taught there for a few years. He received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in In he went to Washington to serve on the U.

It was Woodrow Wilson who made one of the first dogmatic distinction between politics and administration. The Study of Administration. Reverend Wilson was the minister of the Staunton Presbyterian Church. Political Science Quarterly, 2 2.

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By Lynton K. White and Floyd W.

Leonard Dupee White

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Leonard Dupee White , born Jan. White graduated from Dartmouth College and received his Ph. D from the University of Chicago in He served on the University of Chicago faculty from to and was chairman of the political science department in —

Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Willoughby's Principles of Public Administration Johns Hopkins Press, , they were based upon premises and concepts about the executive branch and its administrative agencies which had been at least a half century in the making. View PDF. Save to Library. Create Alert.

Premises of Public Administration: Past and Emerging
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