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MPA-012: Administrative Theory

MPA-012: Administrative Theory

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for MPA-012 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Administrative Theory, you have come to the right place. MPA-012 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in MPA courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MPA-012 / ASST / TMA / 2022-23

Course Code: MPA-012

Assignment Name: Administrative Theory

Year: 2022 -2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


This assignment consists of Sections I and II. There are five questions in each section. You have to answer a total of five questions in about 500 words each. It is necessary to attempt at least two questions from each section. Each question carries 20 marks.




Q 1) Discuss the differences and similarities between Public Administration and Private Administration. 20

Ans) In broad strokes, public administration and private administration can be differentiated from one another on the basis of the characteristics of the institutional setting. The term "public administration" refers to the branch of government administration that focuses on the accomplishment of state goals, which are established by the state. Private administration, on the other hand, is not to be confused with public administration because it focuses on the management of private business organisations rather than government agencies.


Differences between public and private administration


According to Simon, the distinction between public and private administration is primarily based on three factors:

  1. Public administration is bureaucratic whereas private administration is business like.

  2. Public administration is political whereas private administration is non-political; and

  3. Public administration is characterised by red tape whereas private administration is free from it.


The four principles that distinguish public from private administration, according to Sir Josiah Stamp, are:

  1. Principle of Uniformity: Common and uniform laws and regulations mostly regulate public Administration.

  2. Principle of External Financial Control: the representatives of the people through a legislative body control Government revenues and heads of expenditure.

  3. Principle of Ministerial Responsibility: Public administration is accountable to its political masters and through them to the people.

  4. Principle of marginal Return: The main objective of a business venture is profit, however small it may be. However, most of the objectives of public administration can neither be measured in money terms nor checked by accountancy methods.


Similarities between Public and Private Administration


The following similarities exist between public and private administration:

1. Both public and business administration rely on common skills, techniques and procedures.

2. In modern times the principle of profit motive is not peculiar to private administration, because it is now accepted as a laudable objective for public sector enterprises also.

3. In personnel management, the private organisations have been influenced greatly by the practices of public organisations.

4. The private concerns are also subjected to many legal constraints. Government is exercising much control over business firms through regulatory legislation such as taxation, monetary and licensing policies, etc. Consequently, they are not as free as they once used to be.

5. There is a similar type of hierarchy and management systems, both in public and private sectors. Both have same kind of organisation structure, superior – subordinate relationships, etc.

6. Both Public and private administration carries on continuous efforts to improve their internal working and also for efficient delivery of services to people or customers.

7. Public and private administration serves the people, whether being called clients or customers. Both have to maintain close contact with people to inform about their services and also to get feedback about services and product. In both the cases, public relations help them to inform and improve their services to the people.


Both public and private administrations are considered to be "two species of the same genus," but each has its own unique set of core values and operational procedures that contribute to the formation of its own distinct personality.


Q 4) Define Organisation and discuss its types and major characteristics. 20

Ans) Organizations are different creatures to different people, and this is an unavoidable phenomenon. Thus, organisations are defined by the contexts and perspectives of the person who defines them. Thus, an organisation can be defined as a human group that is purposefully and consciously formed in order to achieve specific goals through rational coordination of closely related activities.


Types Of Organisations

Organizations can be classified in a variety of ways. Size-small, medium, large, and giant; ownership-public, private, and mixed; legal form-sole trader, partnership firm, joint stock company, corporation, and co-operative society; and area of operation-local, regional, national, and international Such classifications are relatively simple, but they do not provide an analytical framework for the study of organisations. There are several schemes for categorising organisations based on analytical criteria.


Parsons differentiates four types of organisations based on their functions. These are:

  1. economic organisations,

  2. political organisations,

  3. integrative organisations, and

  4. pattern maintenance organisations.


Hughes provides another classification of organisations in the form of:

  1. voluntary association,

  2. military organisation,

  3. philanthropic organisation,

  4. corporation, and

  5. family business.


Blau and Scott have taken beneficiary of organisations’ output as the basis for classifying organisations.

This puts organisations into four categories:

  1. mutual benefit associations,

  2. business organisations,

  3. services organisations, and

  4. commonweal organisations.


Organisations have the following major characteristics.

1. Identifiable Aggregation of Human Beings: Organization is a human aggregation. Human group isn't just a random collection of people; it's interconnected. Identifiable aggregation doesn't mean all the individuals know each other personally because that's impossible in large organisations. Humans define the organization's boundaries. This boundary separates organisational elements from their environment. Interaction is the organization's boundary's permeability. Both people and information cross the boundary.


2. Deliberate and Conscious Creation: Organization is a deliberate human group. It implies that the organization's members are contractual. They are hired by contract and can be replaced if they are unsatisfactory. Promotion, demotion, and transfer can recombine the workforce. Organizations can last longer than their members. Deliberate and conscious group formation distinguishes mobs from social units.


3. Purposive Creation: All organisations have goals or aims. Group members agree on goals. An organization's goal is a desired state. Organizations bridge needs and satisfaction. An organization's success is measured by its goals.


4. Coordination of Activities: The organisation coordinates member activities. All members contribute to common goals, requiring coordination. Coordination focuses on activities, not individuals, because only some individual activities contribute to a goal. The organisation must outline the activities or roles needed to achieve the goal. How well the organisation operates is more important than who fills this role.


5. Structure: Human activity coordination requires a structure into which people fit. Power centres coordinate and control the organization's efforts to achieve its goals. Coordination among diverse individuals is impossible without a way to control, guide, and time them. Since individuals are hierarchical, there is also a hierarchy of authority, and depending on the size and nature of an organisation, there may be many centres of authority.


6. Rationality: Coordination of actions is rational. Every organisation has specified norms and standards of behaviour, which are set by the individuals and followed by every member. The organization's reward and penalty system binds members' behaviour. Good behaviour is rewarded and bad is punished.




Q 7) ‘Chester Barnard added a new dimension to the study of organisations’ Comment. 20

Ans) Chester Barnard's perspectives on motivation, executive leadership, authority, organisational decision-making, and national planning show a deep understanding of the complexities of organisational processes. His contributions significantly improved organisational theory. He emphasised broader administration issues such as formal and informal organisational units, functional overlay, organisational relation to the external environment, and organisational unit equilibrium.


Organisation as a cooperation system

Barnard sees an organisation as a subordinate system to the larger system of society. "At root, the cause of the instability and limited duration of formal organisations lies in forces outside," he emphasises. These forces both supply the materials used by organisations and limit their ability to act." He considered organisation to be a social system. Except for the state and the church, all organisations, in his opinion, are partial systems because they rely on more comprehensive systems.


Barnard believes in cooperative organisation. He says that cooperation begins when an individual needs to accomplish goals he can't do alone. Organization becomes a group effort. Incentives are important for formal organisation cooperation. Positive advantages over negative disadvantages induce a man to contribute to an organisation. Material and non-material incentives exist. Salary and promotion opportunities are material incentives. Non-material incentives include positional hierarchy, gradation of honours and privileges, and organisation pride, community spirit, etc. Both are necessary. No organisation can exist without both types of incentives, he says.


Concept of authority

Barnard defines authority as "a communication (order) in a formal organisation that a contributor or ‘member' accepts as governing his action" This shows that for Barnard, authority has two aspects: the subjective, personal aspect of accepting communication as authoritative, and the objective, character-based aspect. Bernard argues that if a recipient accepts a directive, its authority is confirmed.


Zone of indifference

Chester Barnard calls the superior's action zone "the zone of indifference." He used the term to describe employees' willingness to follow orders. This zone's size and nature depend on how much the inducements exceed the burden and sacrifices that determine an individual's organisation loyalty. Incentives can expand the zone of indifference. If the incentives are insufficient, the organisations' members will accept fewer orders. The executive should know the zone. Only acceptable orders should be issued.


Informal organisations

Chester Barnard's contribution to the concept of organisation is highlighted by his discussion of informal organisation. He defines informal organisation as "the aggregate of personal contacts and interactions, as well as the associated grouping of people......." Informal organisations are structureless and transitory in nature, involving interactions and relationships that occur for no common purpose and thus are not a part of any formal organisation. According to Barnard, it serves an important function by establishing general understanding, customs, habits, and institutions; it fosters the rise of formal organisation. He believes that formal organisation and informal organisation must coexist.


The Functions of the Executive

According to Barnard, the essential executive functions are first, to provide a communication system; second, to promote the securing of essential efforts; and third, to formulate and define the goals.


The above three functions stem primarily from the need for cooperation among various human beings. Because every organisation is fundamentally a cooperative system, the cooperative effort must be consciously coordinated. The executive must play a role in realising the goals and purposes of a cooperative system in this area of organisational process.


Q 8) Examine the open-systems approach. 20

Ans) Open assumes humans can't be programmed like machines. They must be motivated to achieve company goals. Open-System Approach, or natural-system model. It challenged closed systems. As a natural system, the complex organisation consists of interdependent parts. Each part helps the whole. The whole depends on its environment. The relationship between system parts is determined by evolution to ensure system survival. Dysfunctions are possible, but it's assumed that the offending part will adjust or disengage. If not, the system degrades.


Open-System, a cooperative system, assumes part interaction. Open-System focuses on variables not included in rational models, such as sentiments, cliques, informal norms, etc. Informal or Open-System organisation is a spontaneous entity that allows complex organisations to function by interacting with the environment and making appropriate adaptations. Human Relations inspired the open-systems model.


The Hawthorne Experiment

Two groups of female workers performed the same tasks in Hawthorne's experiments. Two groups worked in rooms with different lighting. The researchers found no difference in output between the two groups despite the different lighting levels. They concluded that workers' awareness of being watched affected both groups. The researchers concluded that treating workers as humans rather than machines would boost productivity.


Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow identifies five basic needs. Physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs. The physiological needs of humans include food, water, and clothing. After physiology, safety and security come next. Then comes ego needs, such as esteem and recognition. Wanting to excel and be recognised drives this need for self-actualization. Once lower-level needs are met, a person can achieve self-actualization and reach their full potential. As needs are met, they stop motivating. After satisfying each "lower" need, men move on to the next.


Humanistic Organisation

Chris Argyris contrasts the bureaucratic-pyramidal values that dominate closed-Systems organisations with the humanistic-democratic value system that underpins Open-Systems organisations. He concluded that, whereas bureaucratic values foster shallow and distrustful relationships, humanistic or democratic values foster inter-group cooperation and organisational effectiveness.


Prismatic-Sala Model

The prismatic-sala model developed by Fred Riggs is based on a series of interconnected concepts. Riggs distinguishes fused or functionally diffuse societies, whose structures perform a large number of functions, from diffracted or functionally specific societies, which have a limited number of functions and a corresponding structure for each function. A prismatic society is a transitional society that exists between the fused and diffracted societies.


Cooperative System

Barnard says a company is part of system-society. The organisation is environmental. Barnard defined authority consensually, based on subordinate acceptability. Central to the cooperative system are open communication channels, which allow the executive to effectively communicate organisational goals and employee needs. Written, verbal, or observed. Again, authority depends on the organization's communication system, as well as employees' cooperation and attitudes.


Participatory management and management-employee interdependence are central to the cooperative model. A company has both formal and informal interactions. One needs the other to survive. An informal organisation evolves into a formal one. Informal groups and structures result from formal organisation.


Q 10) Critically examine the first and second Minnowbrook conference. 20

Ans) The Minnowbrook Conference arose as a result of the late 1960s and early 1970s social unrest. Minnowbrook I, held in 1968, marked the start of the New Public Administration, and Minnowbrook II, held in 1988, reflected on the impact of the New Public Administration.


The First Minnowbrook Conference

Americans were optimistic about public administration's ability to solve technological and social problems in the 1960s. Americans' commitment to family, church, media, work, and government declined. Institutions are cynical to youth. Black Americans weren't allowed to enjoy the 1950s and 1960s. Dwight Waldo of Syracuse University studied issues in 1968. Comparing public administration perspectives from the Great Depression, New Deal, World War II, and the 1960s was the goal. The study examined how different perspectives affect public administration and government.


This conference was held at Minnowbrook by Public Administration students under Dwight Waldo. The goal was to examine ways to make public administration responsive to social concerns and a social reform agent. The New Public Administration arose from this conference.


The Minnowbrook Conference focused on certain important concerns of public administration. These included:

1. The public policy approach to public administration, which has become important as it has a significant effect on the quality of government.

2. In addition to efficiency and economy, in implementation of policies social equity, was considered a key objective.

3. The earlier notion of public administrators being mere implementers of fixed decisions, it was felt, is no longer valid. In addition, values such as ethics, honesty and responsibility in the provision of public service holds good in the practice of public administration.

4. The Minnowbrook perspective argued that, as public needs change, government agencies often outlive their purposes. Hence wherever needed, cut back of government agencies, needs to be resorted to.

5. Responsive government has to manage change, not just growth.

6. Active and participative citizenry, it has been considered, needs to be a part of public administration.

7. The efficacy and usefulness of the concept of hierarchy have been challenged.

8. Implementation has come to occupy a significant place in the decision-making process.

9. Though pluralism is accepted as a useful device for explaining the exercise of public power, it is felt, that it has ceased to be the standard for the practice of public administration


The Second Minnowbrook Conference

Twenty years passed before the second Minnobrook Conference. Sixty-eight public administration scholars and practitioners attended the conference on September 4, 1988. The conference was held amid a changing role of state and government, more privatisation, contracting out, and an increasing role for non-state actors in governance.


Second Minnowbrook compared and corrected public administration epochs. This was done by comparing 1960s and 1980s theoretical and research perspectives on government and public affairs. American Public Administration has changed dramatically since 1968. Due to changes in state, governance, privatisation, and contracting, the American public prefers less government. No new government responsiveness methods exist. Poverty and unemployment have risen, especially in cities.


The conference drew participants from policy sciences, economics, planning, and urban studies to discuss ethics, social equity, human relations, and other topics to ensure intellectual continuity. Due to a changing scenario, leadership, technology policy, legal, and economic perspectives were also discussed. The conference emphasised government's role in strengthening society. In the changing scenario, public administration needed to renew its ability to manage future problems. The need to strengthen and establish links between public administration theory and practise was emphasised.

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