Difference between Development Administration & Traditional Public Administration

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In the concept of development administration and traditional public administration; it has already been said earlier that public administration is employed for translating governmental programs into execution. Before its conceptual development, it was prevalent since the growth of government. As a process of operations in human activities and relationships, it can scarcely be reduced to any common principle except at relatively high levels of generality that are quite worthless for analytical or comparative purposes. So it is difficult to chalk out any usable principle on the basis of which development administration and traditional public administration can be distinguished.

Difference between Development Administration and Traditional Public Administration:


However, the differences between development administration and traditional public administration can be viewed from the following standpoints:

  1. Ecology
  2. Objective
  3. Scope
  4. Nature
  5. Structure and
  6. Process

Link: Difference between Participatory and Bureaucratic Management

1. Ecology:


In the difference between development administration and traditional public administration of ecological perspective. The concept of development administration gets momentum in such a situation where nation states exist in the ecology. When people are in the backward states in all respects in an independent nation them development administration emerges. Development of science and technology often accentuates it the main ground of development administration lies in the social instability and higher demand.

The main field of traditional public administration is a colonial society where the colonial government has little role in the betterment of the people. In fact, all the earlier administrative systems were also traditional. For the absence of economic complexity minimum scientific can technological growth and due to the very nature of agrarian society – traditional administration then existed with its tradition. In the ultimate analysis, the societal condition and the more or less simple international relationship confirm the existence of traditional public administration. This is the difference between development administration and traditional public administration.

2. Objectives:


On the basis of the ecological differences of development administration and traditional public administration differ from each other in their objectives. The objective of development administration is the total change of the system in a very planned way for giving up the socioeconomic and political condition of the country. The terminal condition of development administration is the image of a good society which is multidimensional in nature.

Traditional public administration, on the other hand, has only the objective of keeping the system going on as it is at present. Its main focus is to uphold the status quo. It is almost clear to say that the traditional bureaucratic system existed mainly for upkeep law and order, justice and collection of revenue whether done on behalf of a monarch or a colonial power.

3. Scope:


The objectives of the two administrative systems (development administration and traditional public administration) determine their scopes. For very natural reasons the scope of traditional public administration is very limited. On the other hand, for the multiplicity of the nature of development, the scope of development administration is very wide. It deals with the different dimensions of the society like political, economic administration etc. different sectoral developments are equal by emphasized in development administration what is lacked by the traditional public administration.

4. Nature:


In the context of the nature of these two types of development administration and traditional public administration there is a number of differences which are as follows:

  • Development administration is innovative in nature. It is involved in experimental and creative ideas. But tradition public administration parochial in nature and lacks positive thinking.
  • A prominent characteristic of traditional public administration is its upper-class orientation. Development administration is dealt with all class.
  • In the difference between development administration and traditional public administration, the traditional public administration is desk oriented and confined within an office. Development administration is field oriented. That is why development administration maintains close contact with people. There is theoretically, less gap between the administrator and the mass.
  • Traditional public administration is executive type and development administration is the managerial type. In traditional public administration, the role of bureaucrats is confined to the application of the law and they have a sense of superiority. On the other hand, development administrators are concerned with mobilizing man and resources for the realization of goals and objectives of socio-politico and economic development.
  • One of the main differences between development administration and traditional public administration is that the later is static and the former is dynamic. The traditional public administration is concerned with the maintenance of stability in the society. But development is highly concerned with the changing ecology and thus it is to maintain dynamics even through risk and problem.
  • Policy administration dichotomy is prevalent in the traditional public administration. Development administration denies this dichotic concept of politics and administration. It recognizes smooth co-operation between these two systems.
  • The concept of accountability draws much attention in development administration. In the traditional public administration accountability not necessarily goes to the people. But the civil servants in development administration are always accountable to the people as it is employed for people.

5. Structure:


The structure is the anatomical framework of the system. It designates who is where and how of the organization. In respect of structure, development administration and traditional public administration differ from each other to a great extent. Among others the basic ones are discussed below:

  • Due to its involvement in limited functions, the structure of the traditional public administration is very simple and it displays few differentiations. Development administration possesses a complex structure having greater differentiation. These complexities have resulted from the increased activities of the government. Subunits of development administration extend up to the grass root level and formulate a complex network, of units this sort of network, is absent in the traditional public administration.
  • In the difference between development administration and traditional public administration, the traditional public administration is generally conducted by the departmental form of management. This pattern of administration is strict on formalities. Whereas development administration is less dependent upon the departmental form. It assumes most frequently public corporation, joint stock company etc. types of organization. All these have special features quite different from the traditional administrative setup.
  • Development administration requires local government units closely linked with the governmental administrative system for ensuring people’s participation. Local government units cannot be isolated from the structure of development administration. Traditional public administration pays little attention to this arena of administration.

Link: POSDCORB of Public Administration

6. Process:


There are some significant differences between development administration and traditional public administration respect of the various process. Such as: –

  • Leadership: In traditional public administration leadership is authoritative. But in development administration, democratic leadership exercised for having legitimacy and cooperation from the people.
  • Decision Making: Decision making is centralized in traditional public administration almost there is no access of the people to decision making. In development administration, participative decision making is preferred. Here, there is demand for regional planning and thereby there is a decentralizing bias in development administration.
  • Communication: Development administration requires multi-dimensional communication due to its very nature. Communication goes up and downward and lateral ways in development administration. But traditional public administration adheres to unidimensional communicational thus naturally development administration observes very complex network whereas the traditional public administration has the opposite.
  • Co-Ordination: In the difference between development administration and traditional public administration, due to its complex structure, huge numbers of field office working different levels and multi-dimensional objectives development administration requires a well-developed co-ordination system. In any development administrative system, co-ordination not within the governmental units but also with the local government units and international trends. On the other hand, the traditional public administration is not acquainted with so serious coordination problem.
  • Motivation: The methods of motivation in development administration are indirect and in traditional public administration, it is direct. Civil servants in traditional public administration try to motivate people through the fear of peace or of punishment. But in development administration, it is achieved through the confidence of the people. Civil servants in development administration motivate the people not by imposing anything upon them by inducing and stimulating them.
  • Budget: In the difference between development administration and traditional public administration, traditional public administration generally formulates accounting type of budget. Deficit financing is hardly grasped by it. Development administration formulates two types budgets as like revenue budget and development budget with sectoral allocations, plans programs, the traditional public administration lacks it.
Topics Development Administration Traditional Public Administration
Ecology Nation states exist Colonial government
Objective The total change of the system To uphold the status quo
Scope Very limited Very wide
Nature Innovative in nature, field oriented, managerial type, dynamics, denied dichotomy and attention on accountability Lack of positive thinking, upper-class orientation, desk oriented, executive type, static, created dichotomy and unnecessary accountability
Structure Complex structure, lightly used the departmental form of management and required local government units closely linking Simple structure, highly used the departmental form of management and not required local government units closely linking
Process Legitimacy leadership, multi-dimensional communication, acquainted with coordination, indirect motivation and formulated two types budgets as like revenue budget and development budget Authoritative leadership, unidimensional communication, not acquainted with coordination, direct motivation and formulated accounting type of budget
Table: Difference between Development Administration and Traditional Public Administration
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