Using Appropriate examples, discuss the Elitist and Pluralist Approach to Governance
In this Essay, our main aim of discussion is to build a general understanding about how organisation sustainability researchers propose evaluating organisation sustainability and how the proposed models and frameworks changed over time. The analysis is carried out from the perspective of several aspects, focusing on the methods, tools and models proposed for organisation sustainability assessment, noting the organisation level of evaluation (the organisation level, a broader industry of value chain level, or a narrower product, service or process level).
Two other aspects of the research were the definition of sustainability in the proposed models with regard to sustainability dimensions, and different empirical studies conducted using the proposed theoretical models. Administration is a long and slightly pompous word with various humble meanings. The word administration was derived from the Latin words ‘ad’ and ‘ministiare’ which means to serve. To administer is to manage, direct or serve. It also means to care for or to look after people or management of affairs. In simple terms, administration is the process of managing affairs.
It is practised by all kinds of organizations from household to the most complex system of the government. For instance; the giving of instructions by the husband to the wife in a home to prepare food, looking after ailing of the children by the mother and preparing tea and all the duties that a husband deems fit in a home all comes to the administration in that particular home. When it comes to the government, the collection of income-taxes by Income-tax Departments, the disbursement of salaries by the Treasury to the officers constitute some instances of administration.
Administration may be defined as the organization and direction of human and material resources to achieve desired ends. Administration is mainly concerned with proper organization of men and material to achieve desired ends. It consists of ‘doing the work’ or ‘getting the work done by others’. The problem of administration arises, whenever and wherever men live together. Man being a social animal, the activities of a man in society are to be properly organized and managed. Without a proper organization and management, it would become difficult for men to live together.
Administration is therefore a necessary activity of every human grouping. It may be called ‘technology of social relationships’. It involves rational organization and management of men and material. Administration comes in two forms namely public and private. Private administration refers to activities of a household, club corporation or company which are private organizations. Public administration is defined in various forms. Public administration can be defined as public policy, management of public affairs or as government in action.
In public administration, we refer to the activities of the State performed by the central, provincial or local government. Public administration can be defined in many various forms. To some thinkers, public administration is termed as the fulfilment or enforcement of public policy as declared by the competent authorities. It deals with the problem and powers, the organization and techniques of management involved in carrying out the laws and policies formulated by the policy making agencies of government. Public administration is law in action as it is the executive side of the government.
In addition, public administration is also an art, science of management as applied to the affairs of State, a science of administration which has to do with government and thus concerns itself primarily with the executive branch were the work of the government is done as earlier stated. From the above definitions, we have noted that public administration in the wider sense includes all the activities of all the three branches of the government namely the legislative, executive or judiciary which make the subject unwieldy and lead to confusion.
In the narrow sense public administration is restricted to the organization and operations or activities of the executive branch only. Public administration is concerned with such questions as how law should be administered with equity, speed and without friction. It is the systematic execution of the will of the people which has been discovered, formulated and expressed in the form of laws by the legislature. The assessment and rating of taxes, for instance, the hanging of criminal, the delivery of mails, the recruitment of army are all acts of public administration.
Thus it may be said that public administration is the non-political machinery of the government carrying on its work for the welfare of the people according to the laws set up by the State. It is the permanent executive as distinguished from the political one. We must at this stage also be clear that public administration has to do with people and not with things. There is a school of thought which holds that in the future the tendency will be from the administration of persons towards the administration of things which does not carry any sense at all.
Things may be arranged but ultimately it is the participation of the human element that matters. Things no doubt, are of great importance to the administrator who arranges them but they cannot be administered by him. Administration has to do with human beings for which it is meant. It is managed by human beings and it serves human beings. It is essentially a matter of social relationships. It must not also be forgotten that the administrator is neither a philosopher nor a politician but the non-political aspect of the executive.
He should administer law as it is. It is none of his business to criticize the acts and policies of the government. He should accept an exile from party politics and devote his attention to the sincere performance of his duties. Public administration has been put to two usages according to day’s modern authorities. It is termed to be an activity and it also refers to the discipline of intellectual inquiry and study. For example; enforcement of law and order is an activity and is part of public administration.
Public administration is also a discipline like political science, sociology, economics and so forth as such is a subject of study. It studies these activities and functions, frames concepts, formulates theories and shapes models. However, there are divergent views that govern the nature of the public administration such as integral view which engulfs public administration as a sum-total of all the activities undertaken in pursuit of and in fulfilment of public policy. These activities include not only managerial and technical but also manual and clerical.
In this view, the definition covers a multitude of particular operations in many fields like the delivery of letters, the sale of public land, the negotiation of a treaty, the award of compensation to an injured workman, the quarantine of a sick child, the removal of litter from a park, manufacturing plutonium and licensing the use of atomic energy. The other view in the nature of public administration is called the managerial view. According to this view, the work of only those persons who are engaged in the performance of managerial functions in an organization constitute administration.
It is these persons who shoulder the responsibility of keeping the enterprise on even keel and to run it most efficiently. Their job is to plan, programme and organize all the activities in an organisation so as to achieve the desired ends. In this view, the term administration is also used in a narrower sense to refer to those patterns behaviours that are common to many kinds of co-operating groups and that do not depend upon either the specific goals towards which they are co-operating or the specific technological methods used to reach these goals.
It is has been said that there is not any marked difference between public administration and private administration as both are conducted according to the same principle. The techniques of management and organization are common to both public and private administration. Accounting, statistics, office procedures, purchases, stocking, disposal are common to both types of administration. For instance an engineer does the same kind of work whether employed in a public under-taking or a private enterprise. The same employees do the same type of work with more or less the same procedures.
Public administration has drawn heavily upon the knowledge and experience of private administration. All undertakings require planning, organization, command, coordination and control and in order to function properly, all must observe the same general principles. However, there are basic differences between public and private administration such as political direction, profit motive, service and cost, nature of functions, public responsibility, uniform treatment, , efficiency, monopolistic, officials remain incognito, psychological difference, financial meticulousness and greater social prestige.
In political direction the great distinction between public and private administration lies in the fact that private is not subjected to political direction save in times of the gravest emergency unlike in public administration. The private administrators have their own ends pursued by the own devices as they are not dependent on political decisions made by the government. The administrator under public administration has to carry out order which he gets from the political executive with no option of his own. The other distinguishing feature is Financial meticulousness.
Public administration has to very care in financial matters as any misuse of a single penny will raise queries and accountability hence a government ruling or people heading sensitive financial ministries and departments may be found wanting. The misuse of public funds may raise a storm in the country and compel the government to resign. The public money is to be spent meticulously and according to the prescribed procedure. The executive does not control finance. We therefore do not find dichotomy between finance and administration in private administration. Profit motive also accelerates dichotomy between public and private administration.
Public administration is conducted with the motive of service to people while the private administration is conducted with a motive of profit making in each and every time of running their business. An example of public administration can be cited as a school for the public. Schools are run by the government and the government offers education to the members of the public not because they should generate income but offering a service to its society for the sake of literacy. With private administration, an investor may establish or build a factory in a particular area as a result of generating profit.
Further, Greater Social Prestige – Public administration carries a greater social prestige than private as the public administration render services to the people than the private hence it commands more respect than private. Service to the community is the basic urge characteristic public administration hence people equipped with ability, mature experience which enables them to promote and safeguard public interest man public administration. This therefore adds flavour to the social status and enhances their prestige. Service and cost.
In the matter of public administration only such amount of money is raised by taxation which is necessary for the rendering of the service. In other words, there is an ultimate relationship between the service rendered and the cost of the service charged from the public. If you take a look at any government budget you will find that it is generally a deficit budget i. e. where the expenditure exceeds income. In private administration income often exceeds expenditure because there is usually an attempt to exact as much money from the public as possible. If this does not happen, private administration opts for a closure.
The nature of functions in public administration is also more comprehensive as it deals with various types of people. For instance, maintenance of the railways to facilitate movement of goods and passengers, provides posts and telegraphs to facilitate communications, maintains hospitals and dispensaries to protect public health. In terms of public responsibility; public administration has a responsibility to the public to face all manner of criticisms from the public, media and various political parties because they are bound hand to foot to public tasks.
The visibility of public administrators is another notable difference between public and private sector. While a manager in a private business may work in relative obscurity, the public manager must operate in the public eye. His or her actions are constantly subjected to public scrutiny. The publicness of the work of the public manager doesn’t end in merely carrying out public policy, the public manager has to respond to the demands of the public. The “inevitable tension” between efficiency and responsiveness, the pressure to manage effectively and to be simultaneously responsive to public concerns.
This pressure often leaves public organizations in a “no-win” situation, trying to serve a public that demands effective government but balks at paying for it (taxes). The public also demands accountability in government, an assurance that those who formulate, implement and administer public programs will act responsibly. Government administration differs from all other administrative work by virtue of its public nature, the way in which it is subject to public scrutiny and outcry.
A private administration would be regarded as quixotic if it allowed any considerations other than that of its own ultimate, if not immediate profit. Thus while public administration is directly responsible to the people to a very great extent, private administration is only responsible to the people indirectly and that too also to secure its own ends and not the welfare of the people. In addition the uniform treatment should be consistent in procedure and uniform in dealings with the public as far as public administration is concerned.
The official has to chalk out settled line of policy and to stick to it. He cannot show favour to some people and disfavour to others. A private administrator need not bother much about uniformity in treatment. It can cater for various special needs and purposes, charging often what the traffic will bear without raising the storm of public protest which in the case of public administration would immediately arise if in government one law were devised for the benefit of the rich and another for the poor.
For instance, a shopkeeper may decide to give some chattels on credit to its regular customer buy may not extend this facility to any casual buyer. Such a feature does not occur in public administration. Further a clerk in the post office cannot sell stamps on credit to persons who are regular customers because the Post office is run privately but public hence no features of favours will be exhibited. Monopolism is also one of the features which distinguish public administration from private administration. The government does not allow private parties to compete with it.
In private administration, several organizations can make the same brand in different forms to improve it for the betterment of the public whereas the government does not allow any private entity to emulate its products. For instance the responsibility of establishing Post and Telegram, Railways or coin currency cannot be given to any other persons or private body to do as they are exclusively fields of the government. As we go on, we discover that there is another difference between the private and public administration such as Officials remaining incognito.
In private administration an entrepreneur does things on his own behalf and is well-known in the business circles and some businesses are even named after their own names whereas in public administration even the most senior officials remain incognito and their identity is not disclosed because whatever they do is done in the name of the government and not in their own name. The element of Efficiency also had a great effect on the public and private administration. It is felt by some thinkers that private administration is conducted on a level of efficiency as compared to public administration.
It is a unanimous feeling that among members of the public that private administration operates in a more efficient manner than the public because of differential wage payments as an incentive to increase production and attract staff of superior ability from rival firms, improving designs and so forth whereas Public administration is marked by red tapism, extravagance, corruption and inefficiency. In a private administration the incentive of more profits impels the individual to devote him/herself wholeheartedly to his business. This incentive is lacks to a great extent in the public administration.
Consequently, the administration of public affairs cannot be made equal to the efficiency of private administration. The other factor that makes the public sector different from the private is decision making. In public administration, the decision must be and should be pluralistic. The founding fathers intentionally created a democratic republic where all key decisions are made in politicized environment. This allows for maximum participation: open debate, multiple veto points – a decision making hierarchy where consensus must be achieved at each level, ideally, an informed decision.
While private administration’s decision-making is much more simple- it’s monopolistic or close to monopolistic. This type of decision-making would avoid any conflicts in interest; hence, the goal is clearly defined. Finally, the quality that makes public sector different from private is in the form of unit analysis. Apart from publicly owned-companies, most public institutions are part of a larger chain of command and control where it is harder to draw a line between the different parts of the system- and where legal frameworks provide little help in this.
For instance: public agencies- like research councils or directorates of health- interact closely with ministries as well as subordinate institution and “users”. The innovation activities in these institutions are heavily influenced by decisions made above and below the chain of commands. The closest parallel to private sector will be large conglomerates or multinational companies. The complex system of organizations with various (and to some extent conflicting) tasks, is one of the reasons for the inefficiency of public administration. In
addition, although political aspect is both apparent in public and private sector, political aspect is more important in the public than in the private sector. Policy decisions normally affect companies directly and indirectly, through laws, regulations and financial support. The public sector is at least formally controlled by elected politicians. The intimate link between this governance dimension and funding of current expenses of the activities implies a very strong link between ownership and control on the one hand and the growth strategies of the subsidiary organizations.
In conclusion, both the public sector and the private sector depend on each other to operate efficiently and to serve the interest of the general populace. They therefore work hand in hand to the good of the society. The distinction between public and private can be seen as one of the “grand dichotomies” of Western thought. It is also a dichotomy that dominates the field of public administration where it is mostly defined as a binary distinction between the realm of the state and the realm of the market. Both sectors are understood to be driven by different sets of competing and incompatible values.
That is why discussions about this version of the public/private dichotomy are preoccupied with questions of how to separate the two domains and the organisations operating within them. This clear-cut distinction between the public and the private sector which originated in economic and liberal thought is now often criticised in public administration for being an oversimplification of reality. Due to various political, social and economic transformation processes, there seems to be a blurring of sectors with the effect that a flotilla of mixed organisational forms has emerged that operates both in the public and the private sector.
They are seen as having various degrees of publicness. Not only are public organisations engaged in activities on the market place, there are also private organisations that engage in activities which used to be seen as exclusively public. And although performing of public tasks ‘used to be’ something done within the borders and boundaries of the nation-states, these ‘public tasks’ or in many ways now ‘internationalizing’ and in some ways even ‘globalizing’: