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BPAC-132: Administrative Thinkers

BPAC-132: Administrative Thinkers

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

If you are looking for BPAC-132 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Administrative Thinkers, you have come to the right place. BPAC-132 solution on this page applies to 2023-24 session students studying in BAG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: ASST/TMA/July 2023 & January 2024

Course Code: BPAC-132

Assignment Name: Administrative Thinkers

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment A


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1) Discuss Gandhi’s views on Trusteeship.

Ans) Mahatma Gandhi's concept of Trusteeship is a socio-economic philosophy that he developed as part of his vision for a just and equitable society. Gandhi outlined this idea in his work "An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth" and further expounded on it in various speeches and writings. Trusteeship was Gandhi's alternative to both capitalism and communism, seeking a middle path that prioritized social welfare and minimized economic disparities.


Tenets of Gandhi's Trusteeship:

a)     Spirit of Service: Gandhi emphasized the spirit of service and trusteeship as the core principles guiding economic relationships. According to him, wealth should be treated as a trust to be used for the benefit of society rather than for personal accumulation.

b)     Voluntary Poverty: Gandhi believed in the idea of voluntary poverty, where individuals would choose to live a simple life and willingly limit their material possessions. This was seen as a means to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

c)     Minimization of Wants: Trusteeship advocated minimizing human wants to prevent excessive accumulation of wealth. Gandhi argued that one should fulfil basic needs and live a life of contentment, avoiding unnecessary desires that lead to economic exploitation.

d)     Non-Violent Redistribution: Trusteeship proposed the non-violent redistribution of wealth. Gandhi envisioned that wealthy individuals would voluntarily share their surplus wealth for the upliftment of the less fortunate. This process was to be based on persuasion rather than coercion.

e)     Common Ownership of Means of Production: While Gandhi did not advocate for complete state ownership of the means of production, he did propose a form of collective or community ownership. This ownership would be exercised by those engaged in the production process, ensuring a decentralized and participatory economic structure.

f)      Decentralization: Trusteeship called for decentralized economic structures, where local communities would have control over their resources. This decentralization aimed to empower individuals and communities, preventing the concentration of economic power in a few hands.



a)     Social Justice: Gandhi's Trusteeship aimed at fostering social justice by narrowing the wealth gap and ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources.

b)     Sustainability: The emphasis on voluntary simplicity and minimizing wants aligns with contemporary concerns about sustainable living and responsible consumption.

c)     Community Empowerment: Decentralization and community ownership resonate with modern discussions on participatory governance and community-based development.



a)     Idealistic: Critics argue that Trusteeship is an idealistic concept and may not be practical in a world where self-interest often prevails.

b)     Lack of Enforcement Mechanism: The reliance on voluntary action raises questions about the enforceability of wealth redistribution without regulatory mechanisms.

c)     Challenges in Implementation: Implementing Trusteeship requires a significant shift in individual and societal values, which may face resistance.



Gandhi's concept of Trusteeship remains influential, inspiring discussions on ethical economics, social responsibility, and sustainable development. While not fully realized in practice, its principles continue to contribute to debates on creating a more just and humane economic order. The idea that wealth should serve the larger good and that economic systems should prioritize human welfare over profit remains a powerful legacy of Gandhi's socio-economic philosophy.


Q2) Describe the theoretical underpinnings of Chris Argyris’ theories.

Ans) Chris Argyris's theories are founded on psychological and organisational frameworks, pulling from a wide range of disciplines in order to provide an explanation for human behaviour within the boundaries of organisational settings.


Cognitive Psychology:

The work of Argyris is consistent with cognitive psychology, which places an emphasis on the role that cognitive processes have in determining behaviour. Specifically, his theories investigate the mental frames of individuals, focusing on how beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions influence the behaviours that individuals take.


Argyris was particularly interested in understanding why individuals and organizations often fail to learn from their experiences. The concept of single-loop and double-loop learning, central to his theories, is rooted in cognitive processes related to problem-solving and adaptation.


Single-Loop and Double-Loop Learning:

Argyris introduced the distinction between single-loop and double-loop learning, building on the ideas of Gregory Bateson. Single-loop learning involves correcting actions to achieve intended outcomes without questioning underlying assumptions.

In contrast, double-loop learning entails examining and challenging the governing variables and assumptions guiding decision-making. This theoretical framework is essential for understanding how individuals and organizations adapt and learn from their experiences.


Humanistic Psychology:

Argyris' emphasis on interpersonal competence and the need for organizations to treat individuals as mature, responsible beings reflects humanistic psychology. This psychological perspective, associated with Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, focuses on human potential, self-actualization, and the importance of positive interpersonal relations. Argyris advocated for organizations to adopt humanistic values that foster personal growth, openness, and collaboration.


Organizational Behaviour:

Argyris' theories are deeply rooted in organizational behaviour, exploring the dynamics between individuals and the structures within which they operate. His Immaturity-Maturity Theory and Improving Interpersonal Competence are responses to observed shortcomings in traditional organizational structures and leadership styles. Argyris sought to integrate psychological principles into the study of organizational behaviour, emphasizing the need for organizations to adapt to changing individual and environmental dynamics.


Action Science:

Argyris, along with Donald Schön, developed the concept of Action Science, which is foundational to their work. Action Science combines rigorous research with practical application, aiming to improve individual and organizational learning. This approach aligns with the broader field of applied psychology, emphasizing the integration of theory and practice to enhance real-world outcomes.


Systems Theory:

Systems theory has been a significant impact on Argyris's theories, which acknowledge the interconnection of individual and organisational components. A central tenet of systems theory is that organisations are intricate systems that are composed of interrelated components. Argyris utilised this viewpoint in order to get an understanding of how modifications to a single component of the system, such as leadership or organisational structure, can have an effect on the functioning of the system as a whole.



The field of cybernetics is the source of the idea of feedback loops, which is fundamental to Argyris' beliefs. In the field of cybernetics, communication and control in systems are investigated, with a particular focus on the role that feedback plays in either preserving stability or causing adaptation. In the process of applying cybernetic concepts to organisational learning, Argyris brought attention to the significance of feedback mechanisms in terms of their ability to either facilitate or inhibit learning environments.


Assignment B

Answer the following in about 250 words each.


Q3) Briefly discuss Kautilya’s perspective on financial administration.

Ans) Kautilya, also known as Chanakya, held a comprehensive perspective on financial administration, emphasizing the pivotal role of a well-managed treasury in the governance and power of the state. His views encompassed various aspects, including tax collection, resource enhancement, budgeting, and accountability.


Central to Kautilya's perspective was the belief that the strength of the state resided in the financial health of its treasury. He argued that a king must devote significant attention to the management and administration of the treasury, considering it the lifeblood of the state. Kautilya asserted that without adequate financial resources, effective administration would be challenging, if not impossible.


Tax collection was a crucial component of Kautilya's financial administration. He advocated for the imposition and collection of taxes that were both due and reasonable. The categorization of taxpayers and tax-exempt entities reflected an organized approach to revenue generation. Kautilya's emphasis on responsible tax practices aimed to ensure that the financial burden on the citizens was fair and just.


Kautilya's insights extended to budgeting, where he conceptualized a detailed account of income and expenditures for the fiscal year. The budgeting process included estimates of revenues from various sources and a breakdown of expenditures across different categories. This approach provided transparency and accountability in financial matters.


Accountability in financial matters was a fundamental principle of the Kautilyan administration. In the event that public personnel committed financial misdeeds such as misappropriation, fraud, or theft, he outlined the appropriate consequences for those actions. The fact that audit and accounts were kept separate brought to light the significance of taking a methodical and disciplined approach to the management of financial resources.


Q4) Examine the changing perspectives of Weber’s bureaucracy.

Ans) Max Weber's concept of bureaucracy has undergone changing perspectives over time, reflecting both critiques and adaptations. Initially presented as an ideal type of organization, Weber's bureaucracy has been subject to various interpretations and modifications.


Ideal Type of Bureaucracy: Weber introduced the concept of bureaucracy as an ideal type characterized by hierarchical organization, division of labour, clearly defined roles, merit-based selection, and impersonal relationships. This conceptualization aimed to enhance efficiency and rationality in administrative tasks.


Critiques of Rigidity: Over time, critiques emerged regarding the potential rigidity and dehumanizing aspects of Weberian bureaucracy. Critics argued that the strict adherence to rules and procedures might stifle innovation and individual creativity. Bureaucracies were accused of becoming overly formalized and resistant to change.


Adaptations and Flexibility: Scholars recognized the need for flexibility and adaptability in modern organizations, leading to adaptations of Weber's bureaucracy. Concepts such as "bureaucratic hybridity" emerged, suggesting that organizations could blend bureaucratic elements with more flexible structures to balance efficiency and innovation.


Focus on Human Relations: The human relations movement, particularly in the mid-20th century, emphasized the importance of interpersonal relationships within organizations. This perspective challenged the strict impersonality advocated by Weber and highlighted the significance of employee satisfaction and motivation.


Post-Bureaucratic Models: Contemporary organizational theories often move away from strict bureaucratic models. Post-bureaucratic approaches emphasize decentralization, employee empowerment, and a more organic structure. These models aim to combine efficiency with a focus on human aspects within the organization.


Digital Transformation: The advent of digital technologies has also influenced the perspective on bureaucracy. Organizations increasingly leverage technology to streamline processes, enhance communication, and facilitate decentralized decision-making, challenging some traditional bureaucratic features.


Q5) Briefly explain Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne experiments.

Ans) The Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Chicago hosted Elton Mayo's 1924–1932 Hawthorne experiments. Research affected organisational behaviour and explained workplace motivation and productivity. It began as a lighting and worker productivity study.


Illumination Studies : The first part explored how lighting affects labour efficiency. Researchers found that lighting did not always affect productivity. This unexpected result showed social and psychological factors were more important.


Relay Assembly Test Room Studies : The experiments turned to women building phone relays. Rest breaks and piecework incentives were implemented. Productivity rose regardless of adjustments, the study revealed. The Hawthorne effect says being watched enhances behaviour.


Interviewing Program : To learn workplace opinions, Mayo's team questioned various workers. This qualitative study indicated that social contacts, communication, and belonging boost employee morale and performance.


From 1924 to 1932, Elton Mayo studied at Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Chicago. Research affected worker motivation and productivity. Starting as a lighting and labour productivity research. However, social, and psychological aspects affected labour performance.

The main Hawthorne experimental phases are:

a)     Illumination Studies : The first part explored how lighting affects labour efficiency. Researchers found that lighting did not always affect productivity. This unexpected result showed social and psychological factors were more important.

b)     Relay Assembly Test Room Studies : The experiments turned to women building phone relays. Rest breaks and piecework incentives were implemented. The study indicated productivity rose regardless of tweaks. The Hawthorne effect says visibility improves behaviour.

c)     Interviewing Program : To collect workplace feedback, Mayo and his team questioned many workers. This qualitative study found that social contacts, communication, and belonging improve employee morale and performance.


Assignment C

Answer the following in about 100 words each.


Q6) What is Shop floor management?

Ans) The term "shop floor management" refers to the methodical approach that is utilised in order to supervise and improve the operations that take place on the production floor of a manufacturing enterprise. As part of this role, you will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day activities, ensuring that resources are utilised effectively, and ensuring that the working environment is both safe and productive.


Production planning, quality control, inventory management, and personnel coordination are some of the responsibilities that fall under the purview of shop floor management. Within the context of the manufacturing process, the objective is to achieve higher levels of productivity, lower levels of waste, and overall improvements in operational efficiency. The efficient management of the shop floor helps to ensure that high-quality items are delivered on time while also making the most of the resources that are available from the beginning.


Q7) What is a gang plank?

Ans) The term "gangplank" refers to a moveable plank or a lightweight, portable board that is utilised to bridge the gap between a ship and a dock, quay, or another ship. This affords individuals the opportunity to embark or disembark in a secure manner. Gangplanks are often constructed out of wood or metal, and they include a hinge at one end that allows them to be lifted or lowered. These temporary walkways allow passengers, crew members, or commodities to move between the vessel and the beach or between two vessels. They transfer watercraft between them too. Any transition or connection between two locations or events might be metaphorically called a "gangplank".


Q8) Write a short note on Follett’s views on leadership.

Ans) Mary Parker Follett, a pioneer in management and leadership theory, emphasized the concept of "power with" rather than "power over." She advocated for a more collaborative and inclusive approach to leadership. Follett believed that effective leaders should work collaboratively with employees to harness collective intelligence and achieve common goals. She introduced the idea of "integration" and stressed the importance of resolving conflicts through integration rather than domination. Follett's views on leadership were ahead of her time, emphasizing cooperation, shared power, and the interconnectedness of individuals within an organization. Modern leadership theories and practises reflect her views.


Q9) What do you mean by Consultative Management?

Ans) Consultative management refers to an approach where leaders seek input, opinions, and feedback from employees before making decisions. In this model, decision-making is not solely top-down but involves collaboration and communication with the workforce. Leaders encourage employees to share their insights, ideas, and concerns, fostering a more inclusive and participatory work environment. Consultative management recognizes the value of diverse perspectives and aims to make more informed decisions by involving those directly affected. By taking into account a wider variety of perspectives during the decision-making process, this strategy improves the level of employee involvement, as well as morale and the general effectiveness of the business.


Q10) Comment on the concept of modern management.

Ans)Modern management is characterized by its dynamic and adaptive nature, emphasizing flexibility, innovation, and efficiency. It incorporates contemporary principles like strategic planning, technology integration, employee empowerment, and a customer-centric focus. Embracing diversity, sustainability, and ethical practices, modern management aims to create agile organizations capable of navigating the complexities of the global business landscape. It leverages data-driven decision-making, fostering continuous improvement and a learning culture. Modern management transcends traditional hierarchies, encouraging collaboration and leveraging technology to enhance productivity. Essentially, it is a reflection of a paradigm that is always growing in order to respond to the problems and opportunities that are presented by the rapidly changing business environment.

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