Research in Public Administration: Part I. Report of the Committee on Public Administration of the Social Science Research Council, 1934-1945


To the Social Science Research Council:

This is a report primarily of the Committee on Public Administration to the Social Science Research Council, but in so far as the work of the Council is made up of the work of its committees it is also a report of the Council.

A Council committee in this field was first appointed in November, 1928, and undertook a survey of the research situation in public administration. The resulting report by John Gaus was mimeographed and distributed in 1930. Among the undertakings developed successfully by the committee was the establishment of regional centers for the preservation of public documents and a plan for a governmental information exchange. The committee was without regular staff. In 1933-34 the committee was reorganized. Through the Council and under a special program adopted in this field by the Rockefeller Foundation, the committee was provided with funds permitting staff assistance, research planning, and specific studies.

The present report is concerned with the activities of the committee during this period of liberal financing of its activities. Most of the specific tasks that the committee set out to do when it was reorganized in 1933-34 have been accomplished; its funds have all been spent or encumbered for early expenditure. This report, and especially the recommendations in Section 8, may serve to illustrate what needs to be done.

Along with this report should be read the Report and Recommendations of the Committee on Government, issued by the Council in 1945. The two committees have worked closely together under the same chairman, and an effort has been made to make the two reports supplement each other. Public administration is so large a part of the field of government that some overlapping of the recommendations of the two committees has been unavoidable.

Members of the Committee on Public Administration are fully aware that not everything which was undertaken has been completed, and that where work has been completed not everything has been an outstanding success. These partial failures cannot in all cases be ascribed to the war or other adverse conditions, to the difficulties of materials, or to the immensity of the field. There have been a number of human failures of which committee members are entirely cognizant—failures, in some . . .

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • William Anderson
  • John M. Gaus
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Chicago
Publication year:
  • 1945


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