Public Administration Meaning & Definition (Learn Best Way)

The procedure of running an organization, business, etc. is the definition of administration or administration definition and administration meaning. In the 20th century, public administration (PA) started existence as a youth branch under political science. The importance of it is rising day by day in new activities of the state. Many scholars believe that it is the heart of modern civilization. Its contribution is demandable in social balance, peace, solidarity, sustainability, etc. However, let’s start discussing the administration meaning, administration definition or definition of administration, and PA with meaning and definition.

What does Public Administration Meaning?

In public, administrators disagree on the meaning and definition of it. For this reason, it is challenging to provide a proper sense or introducing this phrase. So, what does public administration meaning? Answering is impossible without a detailed description and required conditions. At first, we will know the origin of the public word and the origin of the administration word. Such as:-

Origin of  PUBLIC Word:

PUBLIC is an English word. It originated with the Latin word POPULUS (people). Then this word transformed into POPLICUS (of the people) and PUBES (adult). After a long time of transforming, this word presented PUBLICUS as an Old French word. Finally, the PUBLIC was established from the late Middle English word.

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ADMINISTRATION is an Egnlish word. At first, it originated as an Old Latin word ADMINISTRARE. Then this word changed into ADMINISTRATION. It came in Egnlish as ADMINISTER. Finally, It has occupied its own position as an ADMINISTRATION word in the Middle English period.

The phrase of PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (short form is PA) constitutes two words, for example, one PUBLIC and another ADMINISTRATION. The meaning of PUBLIC is “people in general.” In political science, the public means overall people instead of a single body. Additionally, the meaning of ADMINISTRATION is “rule or service of the state.” So, both together means “rule of the state for people.”.

What is Public Administration Definition?

From a visual perspective, some scholars try to implement PA in a broad sense. In this sense, the work of the various departments of the government does under PA. This doctrine’s name is the Integral Approach. Among such pioneers, Leonard Dupee White, William Franklin Willoughby, Woodrow Wilson, Marshall Edward Dimock, etc. are notable.

On the other hand, some scholars try to implement PA in a narrow sense. This doctrine’s name is the Managerial Approach. Among such pioneers, Luther Halsey Gulick, Henri Fayol, etc. are notable.

PA consists of all those operations having for their purpose the fulfillment or enforcement of public policy as declared by the competent authority.

[Ref: Leonard D. White, “Instruction to the study of Public Administration, 1926” page No- 01]

A system of PA is the composite of all the laws, regulations, practice, relationships, codes and customs that prevail at any time in any jurisdiction for the fulfillment or execution of public policy.

[Ref: Salam, Lokman & Nazrul, “Introduction to PA” in 2012 Page No-07]

PA is a detailed and systematic application of the law. Every particular application of the law is an act of administration.

[Ref: Woodrow Wilson, “The Study of Administration, Political Quarterly” in 1941 Page No- 481-566]

The administration is concerned with the ‘What’ and ‘How’ of government. The ‘what’ is the subject matter, the technical knowledge of a field that enables the administrator to perform his tasks. The ‘how’ is the technique of management, the principles according to which co-operative programs are carried to success.

[Ref: Ali Ashraf, “The Study of Administration” in 1937 Page No-31-32]

The administration is comprised of planning, including research and for casting, organization, command, coordination, and control.

[Ref: Salam, Lokman & Nazrul, “Introduction to PA” in 2012 Page No-07]

Administration has to do with getting things done; with the accomplishment of defined objectives. (POSDCORB)

[Ref: Luther Gullick, “Papers on the Science of Administration” in 1937 Page No- 191]

Fundamental Concept of Public Administration:

In a good modern state, the government represents all the population. So, the state’s administration is also an artificial institute what peoples have created their own needs. In this viewpoint, state and administration have been created in early civilization. Although it was straightforward in the first stage, it complicates day-by-day through the increasing population and their necessity. As a result, the state has taken such initiatives, establishing the administration and administrator. So, we can say that politics and PA are part and parcel.

Inspired by the Greek philosopher Socrates’ ideal, Plato thought the ideal state to establish proper justice for all. Additionally, Plato’s disciple Aristotle emphasizes the rational structure of the state. In his opinion, people need a sensibly moderated state due to healthy living. Here, the tool of management will be PA. See the following infographic to understand. Such as:-

What is public administration definition, administration meaning, definition of administration, what is pa
Meaning and Definitions of PA

What are the Four Pillars of Public Administration?

The Board of Directors of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) has adopted four pillars of public administration. It is mentioned another way, for example, social equity and 3Es. However, these four pillars are very important to achieve the goal. The four pillars are included below. Such as:

  1. Economy
  2. Efficiency
  3. Effectiveness
  4. Social Equity


In the context of the above administration meaning, administration definition or definition of administration and public administration definition, we can say that PA is the work of the various departments of the government with a view to public welfare and a combination of managerial techniques for performing them as well as the planned and integrated use of these. As the executive division executes all state activities, the action of the executive division is the PA.

We try to give your basic knowledge on this topic. Remember that this discussion is not enough to understand this topic properly. If you want to get more knowledge, you have to read more and get enrich yourself perfectly. However, there are some important references or books that are very helpful for your studies and research.

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