Public organizations across the country function in various areas and are essential for society. Consequently, the members and clients of such entities differ greatly, although all the establishments have some fundamental similarities. In particular, public organizations have a common purpose, present certain requirements for their associates, and are affiliated with the paradox of politics and administration. Public organizations are complex entities, and their administration is correlated with the matters of business management and science.
Above all, public organizations are meant to provide service to the nation. By definition, such institutions are supposed to be dedicated to the pursuit of publicly described societal values (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). As a result, members of public organizations must be attentive to the values that give the establishments their unique character (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). Public organizations facilitate the development of a democratic society, and their associates have to always behave according to democratic norms (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). Entities that serve people should advance the country, and members of such institutions should act as role models.
Furthermore, public organizations are interconnected with the dichotomy of politics and administration. The initial two reasons for the continuing influence of politics-administration are due to the definition of public administration as being involved only with the functions of the administrative branch (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). Firstly, one can assume that administration can be explored apart from the political process (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). Secondly, such a definition indicates that administrative studies are interested solely in highly structured organizations (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). Finally, the third reason the dichotomy remains is due to the interdependence of policy and administration (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). The connections between politics and public administration impact public organizations because of persisting uncertainty of those relations.
Notably, public administration is linked to business management and certain scientific principles. For instance, Frederick Taylor proposed that “the best management is a true science” that is based on distinct laws and rules (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015, p. 58). Taylor suggested that such science should concentrate on studying employee behavior to analyze efficiency but should also apply scientific principles to all aspects of productive activity (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). At the technical level, Taylor stated that throughout history, the finest craftspersons knew the most efficient ways to perform tasks due to their wisdom and experience (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). Therefore, Taylor declared the need for a thorough and scientific investigation of different components of work to share the results with all employees to apply the practices of preceding professionals (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). Consequently, one can argue that public administration could be more efficient by finding the single best way of completing each task.
The study of public administration in relation to science was significantly influenced by Herbert Simon. In 1946, he published an article with a critique of four principles of previous theories, including specialization, span of control, unity of command, and organization by purpose, place, process, and clientele (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). Simon stated that the listed ideas were perceived as inviolable and often contradicted one another (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). In summarizing his position, Simon suggested that administrative description lacked realism and concentrated on speaking of the four principles rather than trying to understand them (Denhardt & Catlaw, 2015). Scientific approaches to public administration require comprehensive analysis, as some practices may become counterproductive.
To conclude, public organizations represent complex establishments that are meant to serve the nation, and the members of such institutions are expected to act in accordance with their positions. The study of public organizations involves the politics-administration dichotomy and indicates the intricacy of public administration. The latter has been examined for a long time and signifies certain issues in its operations, especially concerning scientific approaches to management.
Denhardt, R. & Catlaw, T. (2015). Theories of public organization (7th ed.). Cengage Learning.