Public Administration and Theories

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 10 May 2016

Public Administration and Theories

In the United States of America President Woodrow Wilson is considered to be the father of public administration. He was the first president to hire social scientists in government and as a result as other presidents came along such as Freanklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson public administration evolved to what it is today (Henry, 2013, p. 342). President Lyndon Johnson is the one that implemented the idea of policy analysis in the federal government in the 1950’s at the same time that this idea of public administration/policy analsysis was evolving in the government it was also emerging in academia. There was various theories and models emerging as public administration evolved throughout history. Two models that came to be is the organized anarchy and elite/mass model.

The organized anarchy model according to Nicholas Henry (2013) is, “The Basics to the model is the presence of three streams, problems, politics, and policies” ( p.345). The problems stream is where the public and policymakers focusing on a particular problem, defining the problem, and figuring out whether the problem can be solved by implementing new policy or just letting the problem go away. The second stream is politics where it involves the government agenda where issues are listed and discussed by various individuals in government such as elected appointees, members of Congress and interest paties. The last stream in this model is policies where there’s a list of policies that may resolve whatever the issue is. The organized anarchy model is also known as the “garbage can” model. According to William Newman (2013), “The Garbage Can model of decision is used to illustrate how the foreign policy process is an organized anarchy; decision making is the intersection of four streams–choice opportunities, problems, solutions, and participants. The model helps identify both institutional and persuasion-bargaining variables and highlights their interactions as streams are connected to produce policy”. The main weakness of this policy is there is a lot of ambiguity where there’s not set goals defined and at times because of the ambiguity not all issues are resolved and/or discussed.

Another model that came out of the evolution of public administration is the elite/mass model. In the elite/mass model policy is developed and implemented by the elitethen flows downward to the masses (Henry, 2013, p. 343). Society is split into two sectors where those who have power are considered to be the elite and those that have no power are the masses. The public policies that are implemented consists of values of the elite, which as a result the elite shape how those of the masses think. Public officials and administrators implement all the policies that has been decided by the elite and people of the masses have no choice but to accept these policies which in turn shape what their values are to be. The weakness of this model is that policies are implemented based off of a small gropu of people (elites) that is not representative of the masses as a whole.

This model creates a separation of two sectors where the only individuals that are valued are those that have money, they are the ones that are in control and have power to shape the environment that everyone lives in that includes the masses who’s voices are never heard or taken into consideration. According to Ali Farazmand (1999), “ The linking elites and the operational elites within organizations have a primary task of assuring stability, compliance with organizational rules, and cohesion and control among members of their organizations. They are the agents of the strategic elites located at the apex of modern organizations in government, corporations, nonprofit institutions, and political parties”. This idea that there’s various levels of elites within the group as a whole and as result of these vaious levels of elite there’s cohesion because they control the masses.

Henry, N. (2013). Public Administration and Public Affairs 12th edition. Pearson Education Inc. Persuasion-Bargaining and Institutions in an Organized Anarchy: Clinton Administration Decisions on China, 1993-1994, American Review of Public Administration 43, Issue 3 (May 2013): p. 347 – 367. The Elite Question Toward A Normative Elite Theory of
Organization. Administration and Society, Vol. 31 No. 3, July 1999 p. 321-360. Sage Publications Inc.


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 10 May 2016

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