Public Administration

Public Administration as a discipline was started in the United States. President Woodrow Wilson is the person associated with the discipline most because he taught in the Princeton University the aspects of public administration and law before he became president. He saw the need for the study of public administration on top of studying political science and even wrote an article about it. This was in 1887. The discipline began in that year. According to Wilson, the discipline needed to be separated from the greater political studies discipline. The discipline is however not fully developed when taking into account the different points of view by different scholars. Each scholar sees the public administration issue from a different perspective based on their environment (Evolution of Public Administration, 2011). This makes it difficult to develop a concrete final answer about the definition of public administration. The constitution has for a long time been at the center of controversy because each scholar see it differently. One scholar thinks that the constitution is a creation of a few elites in order to protect their interests while the other scholar feels that the constitution is the basis for public administration. 

The conflicting scholars apply different thoughts on the leadership systems and their effectiveness which is why they discipline is yet to have one uniform definition. The first part of the discipline developed in 1887 is the public administration dichotomy, here the public administration is defined as the application of public policies. There is the second stage which is known as the principles of beliefs. It is an important stage whereby, the discipline is described as a discipline with certain principles that should be put together to ensure the public service is more efficient and reliable. The third development stage was the era of challenge where the scholars rejected the idea of handling public administration as an entity separate from politics. The stage following that was where public administration was considered a managerial discipline. The final development stage of public administration is where the managerial expectations of the discipline were developed and devoted to making public service more efficient.

There is the classical theory of public administration. This theory takes public administration as a science and not an art. The strengths of this theory lies in the fact that it is open to examination and observation regularly just like any other science (Classicla Theory of Public Administration). The development of this theory likened it to the development of engineering as science, where by it was made a science after empirical observation. It is also regarded as a science under this method because they system is structured. It is an important under this theory to maintain structures in order to ensure efficiency at all times. That includes the specialization of people working in the public administration. It is important that when people are assigned tasks, they are given what they can easily handle. The amount of time devoted to developing the theory is indicative of the factors that led to the discipline being viewed as a science. Public administration under this theory has one major weakness, it does not integrate with the politics of the county. Public administration is the basis for public service and the failure to have the link present means that it is not a theory applicable in the study of public administration as part of the government’s way of handling public service.

There is the Postmodern Public Administration theory.  This is a progressive theory that ties all the governments that are in operation at this time to public service. The theory has it that a public service has to have a political standing which is a strength for the theory. It is the theory that ties all political offices to public service indiscriminately. This is the developed idea of Woodrow Wilson who has always been viewed as the founding father of Public Administration. What he had in mind while developing the discipline of public service is crucial because it is still relevant to date. The theory has the blue print on which governments can easily recreate their own public service system effectively. Woodrow was concerned about the well-being of the American taxpayer receiving the right service form the public offices. The weakness of this theory is that there is no mention of public involvement in the creation of public administration policies.

To conclude, public administration is an important discipline in the formation of the public service of any country. It is important that any government takes charge of the public service and at the same time involve the public in deciding what policies should be applied by the public service. The public service should be a body ready to serve any member of the public with transparency and efficiency. For the government, public service is an instrument of fulfilling the obligations to the tax payer. Public policies should be in place to make the lives of the citizens better.


(n.d.). Retrieved from Classicla Theory of Public Administration:

Evolution of Public Administration. (2011, August 27). Retrieved from Public Administartion Ration:

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