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BPAC-131: Perspectives on Public Administration

BPAC-131: Perspectives on Public Administration

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: BPAC-131 / ASST/TMA/July 2021 & January 2022

Course Code: BPAC-131

Assignment Name: Perspectives On Public Administration

Year: 2021 – 2022 (July 2021 and January 2022 sessions)

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment A

Answer the following in about 500 words each.

Q1. Discuss the meaning, nature and scope of public administration. 20

Ans) Organizing and using personnel and material to achieve a purpose or a goal is what administration entails. Administration brings together groups of people who coordinate and collaborate to achieve the desired outcomes. In other words, we must organise and direct people and material resources in order to attain the intended goals and objectives. It's a universal process that takes place in a variety of institutional settings. Administration is classified into two types based on these factors: public and private administration. The former is administration that operates in a government environment, whereas the latter is administration that operates in a non-government setting, i.e., business enterprises.

Nature of Public Administration

In terms of the nature of public administration, there are two major perspectives:

The Managerial View

In this sense, public administration refers only to administrative activities and excludes non-managerial tasks such as technical, clerical, and manual labour. As a result, according to this viewpoint, administration consists solely of the operations of the highest-ranking officials. According to this viewpoint, administration is the same in all domains because administrative practises are the same in all fields of activity. Administration is concerned with getting things done in order to meet predetermined goals.

The Integral View

According to this viewpoint, public administration covers all operations that are carried out in order to achieve a specific goal. To put it another way, public administration encompasses all managerial, technical, clerical, and manual functions. As a result, administration, in this view, encompasses the activities of everyone from the top to the lowest. According to this viewpoint, administration is dependent on the subject matter of the concerned agency, i.e., it varies from one area to the next.

Scope of Public Administration

There are two points of view on the scope of government administration:


According to Luther Gulick, these seven administrative aspects are as follows:

P — Planning: working out in broad outline the things that need to be done and the methods to be adopted for accomplishing the purpose in hand.

O — Organising: building up the structure of authority through which the entire work to be done, is arranged into well-defined subdivisions and co-ordination.

S — Staffing: appointing suitable persons to the various posts under the organisation, and the whole of personnel management.

D — Directing: making decisions and issuing orders and instructions embodying them for the guidance of the staff.

Co — Coordinating: interrelating the various parts of the work and eliminating overlapping and conflict.

R — Reporting: keeping superiors and subordinates informed of what is going on, and arranging for the collection of such information through inspection, research and records; and

B — Budgeting: all that goes with budgeting in the form of fiscal planning, accounting and control.

The Subject Matter View

Although the POSDCORB vision of the scope of public administration was acceptable for a long time, there was a reaction against it over time. It was subsequently realised that the POSDCORB actions could not possibly encompass the entirety of public administration, much less a major portion of it. This viewpoint asserts that, regardless of the unique nature of the duties they perform, all agencies face the same administrative challenges. As a result, it ignores the fact that different administrative agencies have distinct challenges.

Q2. Describe the various approaches to public policy . 20

Ans) The various approaches to public policy are discussed below:

Lasswell’s Ideas on Public Policy Approach

Perhaps Harold Lasswell is the most important driving force behind the development of a Policy Approach. His public policy publications come from the 1980s, when the Chicago School pushed him to be concerned with problems and take a multidisciplinary approach. In the 1940s, for example, he was involved in establishing the American Policy Commission, an early "think tank" whose objective was to "bridge the gap between knowledge and policy" by encouraging constructive communication between social scientists, businesses, and policymakers.

Simon’s Contribution to Public Policy Approach

Herbert Simon made an exceptional contribution to the Policy Approach. A sequence of rational stages: intellect, design, and choice, is key to his work on Administrative Behaviour. He defines two decision-making tasks. It entails studying the boundaries of human reason in organisational situations, while building the organisational environment so that “the person will approach as close to rationality in his decisions”.

Lindblom on Public Policy Approach

Charles Lindblom’s contribution to the development of the Public Policy Approach is equally important. Heis well-known for his advocacy of an alternative to Simon’s Rational Approach in the form of ‘incrementalism’. His article, “The Science of Muddling Through” still remains an enriched contribution to the formation of a theory of the policy-making process. However, over the years, Lindblom’s thought has evolved beyond his original argument. Lindblom criticised Simon’s Rational Model and also rejected the idea that thinking in terms of stages or functional relationships was of any real value to the study of the policy process.

Easton’s Views on Public Policy Approach

David Easton's contribution to political science was a policy focus. In the 1960s, the nascent study of policy (outcomes) began to conceptualise the link between policymaking, policy outputs, and their larger ‘environment'. The Eastonian model views the policy process in terms of received inputs, in the form of flows from the environment, mediated by input channels (parties, media, interest groups); and demands inside the political system (within puts). The ‘normal science' of policy analysis was formed from Lasswell, Simon and Easton's decision-making models and the political ‘system'.

Vickerian Approach to Public Policy

The American Policy Sciences dominated the development of models for understanding the policy-making process, but there were a few exceptions. Britain's Sir Geoffrey Vickers wrote The Art of Judgment in 1965. His work was valuable but had little impact on the Policy Approach. After all, problems are never solved in the way goal-setting conceptualisations propose. His work emphasises examining the interaction of value and reality judgments.

Dror’s Approach to Public Policy Making

Yehezkel Dror was an Israeli political scientist who enriched policymaking. He disagreed with Lindblom's incrementalism and proposed a modified rationalism. He tried to build a scientific approach to public policy by combining system analysis, policy analysis, and behavioural sciences. His 1968 publication Public Policy Making Re-examined is a significant source of policy perspective, and the 1989 edition benefited greatly from practical experience in the Israeli government. Y.Dror was more sensitive to the restrictions of policy analysis for developing countries than American and European texts.

Assignment B

Answer the following in about 250 words each.

Q3. Describe the views of J.S.Mill and Hegel on bureaucracy. 10

Ans) The views of J.S. Mills

Mill defines bureaucracy as direct government employment, and bureaucrats as genuine governors. Mill defines bureaucracy as “the core and meaning of government work being in the hands of governors or bureaucrats by profession”. Mill prefers competitive recruitment, where individuals' intelligence, education, and future governmental talents are examined. Mill proposes “tests for selecting the best officials, criteria for promotion, adequate provisions for order and convenient transaction of business, good record keeping, and proper measures for responsibility and accountability.”

Mill considered bureaucracy as an institution of experience, talent, and knowledge when examining the link between representative government and bureaucracy. Mill restricts the political executive's ability to direct the public service since they lack knowledge and experience. However, Mill recognised the hazards of bureaucracy, such as power abuse and creative constraints. Administrators who engage in corrupt acts can be replaced by political executives or elected members, according to Mill.

Hegel’s Perspectives on Bureaucracy

Famous intellectuals like G.W. Friedrich Hegel agreed that bureaucracy dominated the modern state. His 1821 Philosophy of Right ponders liberal state organisation and the need for civil service. Hegel calls the civil service a “universal class” to attract broad attention. Features of Hegel's modern bureaucracy include functional authority division, hierarchy, office separation from occupant, merit-based recruitment through competition, set salary, and exercise of authority for the common good. According to Hegel, an egalitarian society's bureaucratic structure based on the above traits would be the most effective in terms of simplification, speed, and efficiency.

Hegel's Philosophy of Right shares formal characteristics with Weber's understanding of bureaucracy, including fixed remuneration, professionalism, main occupation as office, separation of official from office and official, merit-based recruitment, rational hierarchical structure, untied to any vested interest, and centralisation. On the institutional level. Unlike Weber's technocratic and rule-bound conception of bureaucracy, Hegel's approach is grounded in practical philosophy.

Q4. Examine Simon’s concept of Bounded Rationality. 10

Ans) Bounded rationality is the idea that rationality is limited when individuals make decisions. In other words, humans' "preferences are determined by changes in outcomes relative to a certain reference level". Limitations include the difficulty of the problem requiring a decision, the cognitive capability of the mind, and the time available to make the decision. Decision-makers, in this view, act as satisfiers, seeking a satisfactory solution, rather than an optimal solution. Therefore, humans do not undertake a full cost-benefit analysis to determine the optimal decision, but rather, choose an option that fulfils their adequacy criteria.

While discussing the concept of ‘bounded rationality;’ Simon also developed the concept of ‘satisficing’. The term satisficing is derived from the word’s satisfaction and sufficing. Satisficing decision “allows a problem solver to achieve his or her main goals, but the process does not involve a comprehensive analysis of all possibilities and outcomes, nor does it require perfect information”. Since total rationality is inconceivable, the executive ‘satisfices’ with a good enough choice. The decision maker tries to arrive at either optimal or fairly good solutions, without feeling the need to explore all possible alternatives.

The following factors are responsible for bounded rationality leading to satisficing decisions which include:

  1. Dynamic nature of organisational objectives.

  2. Imperfect information as well as limited capacity to process the available information.

  3. Time and cost constraints.

  4. Environmental forces or external factors.

  5. Decision-maker may not be aware of all the possible alternatives available and their consequences.

  6. Personal factors like preconceived notions, habits, etc.; and

  7. Organisational factors like procedures, rules, channels of communication, and so on.

Q5. Discuss the features of Public Choice approach. 10

Ans) PCA aims at giving greater choice to individuals and it encourages the government to provide a plurality of institutional choices or quasi-markets. It promotes competitive market arguing that if the bureaucracy monopolises service delivery, the result will be over-supply and inefficiency.

The characteristic features of PCA can be deduced as:

  1. It is an anti-bureaucratic approach. It sees bureaucracy as an absolute evil, as it seeks its own selfish interests, at the expense of public interests.

  2. It is a critique of the bureaucratic model of administration. It assumes that the self-seeking administrator (bureaucrat) and the vote-maximizing politicians, instead of acting in public interest, produce goods and services for their own benefit. As a result, the collective interest of society suffers.

  3. It encourages institutional pluralism in the provisions of public goods and services.

  4. Plurality of governments and public agencies is supported on the ground of consumer preferences.

  5. It applies economic logic to the problems of public services distribution.

  6. It stands for diverse democratic decision-making centres, decentralisation and popular participation in administration. This is suggested on the ground that it creates opportunity for the promotion of competition among government agencies, and in the process, the individual citizen’s choice increases.

  7. It promotes more competition in the delivery of public services.

  8. It emphasises privatisation or contracting out to reduce wastage.

  9. It encourages dissemination of more information for public benefit about the Public Choice availability of alternatives to public services offered on a competitive basis, and Approach at competitive costs.

PCA thus advocates political approach to public administration by locating public administration within the domain of politics.

Assignment C

Answer the following in about 100 words each.

Q6. What do you mean by Differential Piece Rate System? 6

Ans) Taylor worked on payment schemes with these specifications. He proposed paying workers in increments based on the time and motion study's standards. With higher pay and profits for those who worked hard, the piece rate system was designed to motivate workers. So, both workers and managers had to work together to achieve economic incentives.

A modest piece rate up to the standard was paid, with an additional substantial bonus on top of that. Taylor emphasised that a person who was unable to meet requirements after scientific selection, training, and initiative should not be forced to work.

Q7. Write a short note on Relay Assembly experiments. 6

Ans) These experiments examined the effect of various variables on productivity. A set of four workers was chosen by two ladies as best subjects. Over a five-year period, two groups installed telephone relays in separate rooms. It entailed assembling miniature telephone pieces. The output was counted mechanically by finished relays. They were then taken to an experiment room where they engaged with a supervisor who discussed adjustments and sometimes implemented their suggestions. The researchers examined the effects of payments, breaks, refreshments, and labour time on group and individual productivity. Changing a variable often boosted production.

Q8. Comment on the concepts of Satisfiers and Dissatisfiers. 6

Ans) According to Herzberg, satisfiers and dissatisfiers are two separate human wants that fall under the physiological and psychological demands of humans. Money, a respectable workplace, good interpersonal relations, and job stability can all satisfy physiological demands. Psychological needs include organisational or leader respect, opportunity to accomplish and grow, and job autonomy.

To put it another way, cleanliness variables determine how a worker feels about his employer (external), whereas motivation elements determine how he feels about his job. According to Herzberg, dissatisfiers only bring short-term success because the motivational variables that affect job happiness are intrinsic to the job itself and not external. This Herzberg reasoning thinking explains why a worker may hate his job but stay with a company or enjoy his job but leave a company.

Q9. Explain the normative theory of Public Interest Approach. 6

Ans) According to this Approach, public interest becomes the ethical criterion for judging specific public policies, and this Approach was put forward by scholars such as C.W. Cassinelli, Herbert W. Schneider, and Walter Lippmann, amongst other people. This Approach is founded on the concept of common good, which it considers to be a normative concept, with the general norm being the relevant good of the entire community as its fundamental premise. As a result of this Approach, a policy should be reviewed in light of normative norms in order to determine whether a policy contributes more to the common good than to the private good.

Q10. What do you understand by Organisational Humanism? 6

Ans) According to the philosophy of organisational humanism, intrinsic motivation should be used to increase staff qualities, hence boosting the economic efficiency of a company. This approach emphasises the importance of establishing management objectives that are based on humanistic ideals. For example, the personal growth and well-being of employees are taken into consideration in order to reach the highest possible level of production for the firm. Work routines designed by firms should also provide employees with the ability to participate in decision-making processes. In defining the theory's values, implications, and limitations, several human connection theorists made significant contributions to its development.

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