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Public Administration. First session Prof. Denise Scheberle. Welcome. First card: write your name, what you hope to learn in this class, something interesting or fun about you, your learning style, and attach a picture

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Public Administration

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public administration

Public Administration

First session

Prof. Denise Scheberle

  • First card: write your name, what you hope to learn in this class, something interesting or fun about you, your learning style, and attach a picture
  • Large card: Fold in half and write your first name; bring it to class next two weeks
nature of the class
Nature of the class
  • Interactive
  • Thoughtful
  • Challenging
  • Open
  • Six discussion teams for case studies
    • Summary, lessons, application
  • Say hello! Assign team leaders and decide how to take attendance.
  • Create a short list of guidelines or ground rules for team and class discussion
  • Turn in extra copy of assignments and list of guidelines to me.
learning styles typology
Learning styles typology
  • Active and reflective learners
  • Sensing and intuitive learners
  • Visual and verbal learners
  • Sequential and global learners
  • Thoughts? Any surprises? Confirmations?
critical thinking
Critical thinking
  • Process of avoiding one’s preconceptions by gathering evidence, contemplating and evaluating alternatives, and coming to a conclusion
  • Thought that is disciplined, comprehensive, based on intellectual standards, and, as a result, is well-reasoned
what is public administration
What is public administration?
  • “PA may be defined as all processes, organizations and individuals associated with carrying out laws and other rules adopted or issued by legislatures, executives and courts.”
    • Inclusive definition: administrators are the foremost, but not the only individuals in PA
    • Gordon/Milakovich (authors)
other definitions of pa
Other definitions of PA
  • “Public administration is detailed and systematic execution of the law”
    • Woodrow Wilson
    • includes only the administrator
    • excludes policy formulation as well as elected officials
still other definitions
still other definitions
  • “Whatever governments do for good or ill. It is public administration’s political context that makes it public--that distinguishes it from private or business administration.”
    • Shafritz and Russell
    • both inclusive and confusing!
what can we conclude about pa
What can we conclude about PA?
  • it is conveys activity
  • concerned with public service (what government can give to people)
  • tends to be concentrated in the executive branch
  • usually connected with implementing the law
pa is also a field of study
PA is also a field of study
  • People take undergraduate and graduate courses to learn how to manage public programs and respond to public needs
  • Also learn how to operate in a public rather than a private environment
how are public and private administration different
How are public and private administration different?
  • goals
  • incentives
  • flexibility
  • performance measures
  • oversight
  • other ways?
tensions faced by public administrators
Tensions faced by public administrators
  • Efficiency v. Effectiveness
    • reaching public goals or measuring activities?
  • Responsiveness v. Accountability
    • responding to public needs or filling out reports?
  • Difference between outputs and outcomes
for thursday
For Thursday
  • what does Wilson mean by “science of administration”?
  • how does Wilson feel about the relationship between politics and administration?
  • what does Wilson mean by the “murderous fellow” sentence?
  • NEW: Are Wilson’s arguments still valid? Why or why not?
public opinion of pa
Public opinion of PA
  • Public support of PA has decreased since 1950s, even though professionalism and accountability have increased.
  • Why?
for tuesday blast case
For Tuesday: Blast case
  • Who bears the blame for the disaster in Centralia?
  • What are the central causes of the tragedy?
  • What are the lessons we can take from this case?
  • What connections do you see to Wilson’s essay?
how to prepare a case write up
How to prepare a case write-up
  • Summary/Overview
  • Lessons
  • Connections
People don’t like government…
  • I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.
  • That’s good enough for government work.
part iii
Part III
  • how does Wilson justify looking to other countries for ideas for public administration?
  • what does Wilson mean by the “murderous fellow” sentence?
  • solving what problem will allow us to “pilot the world”?
  • What do you think of when you think of bureaucracy?
  • Bureaucracy is a way of organizing to achieve work
  • Class example
  • Bureaucracy is intended to maintain control and coordination of large groups
max weber 1864 1920
Max Weber (1864-1920)
  • German economist and social historian
  • wrote essay on bureaucracy in 1911
  • remains the most influential statement of what bureaucracy is, and what problems are
  • three types of authority
    • traditional, charismatic, legal-rational
major elements of a bureaucracy
Major elements of a bureaucracy
  • Fixed authority and official jurisdiction
    • specialization
  • written, formal rules
  • impersonal administration
  • hierarchy of offices
    • chain of command
  • career service with employment based on qualifications
negative consequences
Negative consequences
  • monopolize information
  • hard to destroy
  • ambivalent about democracy
  • dehumanizing of the bureaucrat
  • ability of anyone to control
  • powerful
thinking about bureaucracy
Thinking about bureaucracy
  • Do you agree with all, some or none of Weber’s negative consequences?
  • What examples do you have that support or refute his arguments?
  • Why have bureaucracies come to mean inefficient rather than efficient organizations?