Management in the Public Service: The Quest for Effective Performance

Management in the Public Service: The Quest for Effective Performance

Management in the Public Service: The Quest for Effective Performance

Management in the Public Service: The Quest for Effective Performance

Excerpt

This volume has been planned as part of a two-volume sequence. It has long seemed to me that the subject matter of public administration as a component part of the broader subject of government needed a more systematic or conceptual base. In my own teaching and administrative experience I have found it helpful to think of the common problems of government administrative agencies as essentially of two kinds. The first I would label the "politics of public administration." Here it seems to me the student and the practitioner are concerned with the constitutional basis or framework of administration in our form of government, and then with the relations of administrative agencies to the three great branches of legislature, executive, and judiciary.

I recognize, of course, that such a formulation of the politics of public administration focuses primarily upon the institutions of political decision in our society rather than upon the dynamics of political parties and pressure groups. But since both these latter must eventually assert their power and influence through the formal structure of government, it has seemed preferable to me for the student of public administration to concentrate his attention upon the institutions of governmental power.

I have long been unhappy with the disposition of some political scientists to look upon the chief executive in our scheme of government is a chief administrator. Others I am sure have shared this same dissatisfaction. For reasons of constitutional status and administrative convenience, legislatures have seen fit to recognize chief executives managers-in-chief of administrative work. But chief executives are far more important figures than mere administrators. Hence I prefer to regard the chief executive as one of a triumvirate of institutions possessing governmental power whose duties include, among others, oversight of the work done by administrative agencies.

Are administrative agencies then to be regarded as a "fourth branch" of government? I believe that they have no such exalted status. Rather, they are a kind of subordinate echelon of government subject in our . . .

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