Public Administration Approaches in the US

Topic: Public Administration
Words: 504 Pages: 2
Table of Contents


The strategies for approaching public service have evolved with time and with the expansion and complications of societal structures. The reviewed works look at periods to separate public administration views into separate categories and event-based theories. For example, the administrative class of ancient societies created a foundation for future democratic structures, but it also differed significantly from the modern separation of state powers (Shafritz & Hyde, 2017). In the United States, public administration approaches are divided into several eras, including the Progressive Era, the Era of the New Deal, the Civil Rights Era, and more.


However, contrasting these views, one may see that the foundational ideas of most government structures moved either closer or farther from business-based operations and fluctuated between moral or fact-based judgments. For instance, during the Progressive Era, the appeal of logical decision-making and neutrality toward moral arguments is apparent (Hijal-Moghrabi & Sabharwal, 2018). In contrast, the Civil Rights Era is defined by the societal desire for ethics in public administration and the creation of a value-based system, emphasizing equity and benevolence instead of merit and competition (Plant, 2018). The two views became more or less integrated into politics as a response to contemporary global and countrywide events.

One may separate the historical views into structures that prioritized business-like behavior for public organizations or opposing movements that denounced the entrepreneurial model and called for ethical behavior as the basis of government decision-making. The entrepreneurial strategies are related to the contributions of Woodrow Wilson, while the opposition to these ideas is linked to the supporters of the New Public Administration (Bowman et al., 2001). In recent years, the continuous shifting between these two notions resulted in a mixed view of public administration and a combination of private and public entities in governing policy creation and service delivery (Hijal-Moghrabi & Sabharwal, 2018). Thus, the innovative response to the issue of public administration combines the strengths and weaknesses of the two main movements.

Another approach is suggested by Fischer, who offers a completely different view of public administration and organizational behavior in general. Fischer (2010) bases the system on the Christian worldview and defines the clear and transparent norms and morals that are rooted in Christian values and beliefs. As a result, the idea of the Biblical covenant is closer to the value-based systems introduced in such periods as the Civil War Era than to competition- and merit-based strategies. The concepts of this model include mutual accountability, “hesed” – the wish to perform at the highest possible capacity, and federalism (Fischer, 2010). The three notions led to the creation of a Biblical model of statesmanship, which emphasizes the ideas of empowerment, non-centralization, mutual assistance, and shared responsibility. This approach is relevant to both professional and academic work as it can be used to create an entirely new outlook on the changes necessary to improve public administration.


Other strategies outlined above present a vague understanding of public administration, but the Biblical model of statesmanship delivers a moral structure rooted in clearly-defined views.


Bowman, J. S., Berman, E. M., & West, J. P. (2001). The profession of public administration: An ethics edge in introductory textbooks? Public Administration Review, 61(2), 194-205.

Fischer, K. (2010). A Biblical-Covenantal perspective on organizational behavior & leadership. Liberty University.

Hijal-Moghrabi, I., & Sabharwal, M. (2018). Ethics in American public administration: A response to a changing reality. Public Integrity, 20(5), 459-477.

Plant, J. F. (2018). Responsibility in public administration ethics. Public Integrity, 20(sup1), S33-S45.

Shafritz, J. M., & Hyde, A. C. (2017). Classics of public administration (8th ed.). Cengage Learning.

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