Historical Evolution of Public Administration – 5 Phases

Before discussing the historical evolution of public administration, it is important to know what a public establishment is. Because this article will be entirely discussed according to the government’s perspective. The relationship between the government and the public establishment is very direct.

The public establishment refers to a structure, craft, or vehicle that is leased, owned, or operated by a political subdivision of the state or the state. It is specially focused on government benefits. The practices and studies of public establishment refer to public administration. It includes the management of public agencies which bears public policies to accomplish state objectives in the public interest. Public administration focuses predominantly on the organizing, planning, directing, controlling, and coordinating of governmental operations.

Historical Evolution of Public Administration


Although the topic of the public establishment was mentioned at the beginning, it will not be discussed directly here. However, the historical evolution of public administration from the governmental perspective has five stages. Such as:-

  1. Politics Administration Dichotomy (1887-1926)
  2. Principles of Administration (1927-1937)
  3. The Era of Challenge (1938-1947)
  4. Crises of Identity (1948-1970)
  5. Public Policy Perspective (1971 onwards)
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Historical Evolution of Public Administration

1. Politics Administration Dichotomy (1887-1926)


This is the initial stage of the historical evolution of public administration. It was a sign of Woodrow Wilson’s opinion of the political administration dichotomy. This ran to a squirt in the curiosity of its educations in numerous American as well as universities around the world. Restructurings were made in government. Specialists were concerned with public administration with new strength.

2. Principles of Administration (1927-1937)


The historical evolution of public administration’s second stage is principles of administration. The administrative theory was manifested by the similar service of underpinning the Wilsonian opinion of Public administration dichotomy and developing a value of impartial or rather worth free science of management. It was alleged that there are sure principles of administration that are communal to all organizations and will work for all conveying our finest competence. This was the established Industrial; advancement passé and all which countries were fretful with was growing creation at any price with the intention of earning large. Also, the Industrial revolution’s fast extension of industries ran to new hitches in management that were unexpected and so problematic to resolve. That’s when Fredrik Wilson Taylor and Henri Fayol trod in and produced their principles of administration or management. They were fruitful administrators in their own correct and thus their opinions held a lot of water and were willingly acknowledged by the industries world over. Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henri Fayol supported accepting engineering-founded scientific approaches in the arena of industrial work procedure with the aim of increasing competence and economy. These schools of belief are gathered under the classical theory of administration.

Meanwhile, we are speaking about the classical theorists of administration we have to brand a very significant reference to Max Weber. His theoretical outline of bureaucracy earns superior mention as it transported about a paradigm shift in the theory of public administration. He was the chief to deliver the castigation with a dense theoretical post. He watched bureaucracy as the national guidelines-based dominant scheme that controlled the organization’s construction and procedure accordingly to technical information and supreme competence. He was troubled about the development of up-to-date society with bureaucracies. All the 3 theoreticians cited above-laid weight on the physiological and mechanistic facets of public administration which is why this school of supposed on top of being named the classical school of assumed is also known as the Machine-driven theory of organization or administration.

3. Era of Challenge (1938-1947)


The evolution of public administration’s third stage is the era of challenge. It emphasized the human facets of administration that skipped from the Hawthorne experiments tested by Elton Mayo. The chief focus of study in this attitude was to study the social and psychological hitches of the manufacturing employees. In accordance with Simon if administrative behavior in an organizational setting has to be analyzed then that can only be done by learning the verdicts taken by the administrators.

4. Crises of Identity (1948-1970)


The crisis of identity is set in the late twenty-seventh century when numerous portions of the globe were just out of battles and colonization named the developing states. Here discussed the arrival of beliefs in Public administration and also cross-cultural as well as cross-national learning of administration. Therefore, raised a necessity to reinvent public administration and lead to a query as to whether public administration what had been recognized as it is till then was related to any further extent.

5. Public Policy Perspective (1971 onwards)


The public policy perspective or final stage of the historical evolution of public administration is fetched on the client orientation, democratic humanism, and also the scientific standpoint in NPM (New Public Administration). Public policy is an effort by a government to discourse on a public matter by instituting laws, decisions, regulations, actions, or decisions appropriate to the problem at the finger. It is a procedure that is prepared for the well-being of the persons and their growth. In a field, a public policy standpoint is the reading of government. At this juncture, it has come nearer to political science all over again and also has merged various management doctrines to assist public administration handle with the changing aspects of its conduct and discipline.

Recent Trends in Public Administration


The growth of science and technology has spurred the development of public administration as both an art (administration as it is practiced) and a science (researched, and studied by students and scholars).

Public Privat Partnership

The differences between public and private administration must not be forgotten, because both can collaborate to bring about the best of both worlds. Public administration brings in its expertise on social issues and policies, while private administration brings in its specialization in management and efficiency.

Public Administration in Policy Making

Public administration cannot be separated from policy formulation. The civil services engage in policy formulation through their analytical and interpretative roles, while they are engaged in the administration of policies through the choices they make and the judgments they exercise. Economists have developed new methods of analyzing the costs and benefits of government programs; administrators increasingly choose to base public administration on economics rather than political science.

New Emerging Goals of Public Administration

Efficiency and effectiveness are the ultimate goals of public administration. The agencies in the field are complementary to those at headquarters; they do not work against each other. Public administrators focus more on formal structure and hierarchy than on sensitivity to human needs. This has changed, partially because of new management techniques which have entered public administration, such as Total Quality Management or the Balanced Scorecard. These techniques focus on human goals like life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness instead of traditional notions like growth and profit. They also stress social equity, sensitivity to human suffering, and social needs.

Last Words

This was a brief discussion of the historical evolution of public administration. Attempts have been made to give a preliminary idea of what the evolution is, how many steps have been taken and how it has been accomplished. So that a learner can use his own talent to create an opportunity to think more about evolution.

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