What is PA? What is the role PA in modern society?
Virtually every activity in the modern society has an element of initiation from the ruling
authorities in it. Admittedly, it will be right to assume that every facet of non-private life is
greatly influenced by management actions of the governing authorities. The ruling authority-the
government in most cases-organizes and runs the actions of the public sector using bureaucratic
channels. These channels administer and implement governmental policies to the citizens and
other stakeholders in the country. This form of managing public resources and interests through
bureaucratic governmental channels is known as public administration (Kettl & Fessler, 2009).
Therefore, public administration can be defined as the examination of public bodies and
their impacts on society and the entire world. In addition, it examines the manner in which public
entities are managed; how government programs are designed and implemented and how these
bodies relate with each other. Notably, all bodies seek to serve public interests and policy issues
pertaining to the government. Effective management of government programs and public
resources is usually given highest priority.
Role of Public Administration in modern society
PA usually entails good governance in society and aims at equipping public servants and
other authoritative figures with the skills on public matters such as public policy subjects and
evaluation of state projects (Kettl & Fessler, 2009). It improves effectiveness in delivery of
public service by upholding efficiency in operations. Furthermore, PA aims to address matters of
public interests in the cheapest way possible. Effective governance is achieved by streamlining
state activities, collaborating with the private sector and delegating significant powers to
subordinate levels of the ruling authority. In addition, it trains public leaders on ways to
undertake effective management of public programs.
What is public administration and how is it different from business administration
Public administration is the management of governmental businesses with business-like
techniques. Politics associated with the public sector are eliminated from the administration of
public operations to increase efficiency. Public administration is the business aspect of the
government the only difference being that it lacks the profit aspect associated with many
Public administration concerns itself with service delivery to public bodies that are nonprofit oriented while business administration is business (profit) oriented in nature. From a
subjective point of view, public administration trains public administrators the skills and
knowledge necessary to administer public policies and manage public programs in an efficient
and cost effective manner. On the other hand, business administration equips learners with
techniques necessary for profit generation in business entities.
Another major difference is seen from the objective perspective-PA is essentially meant
for effective service delivery to the public whereas BA is profit oriented in its activities and it
targets customers. In terms of accountability, public administration is accountable to the public
particularly the citizens it serves as compared to business administration that is only accountable
to a particular business body that governs it (Kettl & Fessler, 2009).
Evaluation criteria are another aspect that differentiates public administration from
business administration. Public administration is not evaluated from an economic perspective but
rather from the nature of service delivery. Business administration is measured against certain set
economic standards that must be met and usually these standards are dependent on the levels of
profit realized from business activities.
Can politics and administration be separated? How?
Public administration-in most circumstances- is the exercise of democracy in service
delivery among different government organizations (Kettl& Fessler, 2009). Management of
public utilities is aimed at eliminating the political aspects from administration of governmental
activities. Separation of politics and administration has been a subject of debate in the recent
past. Although a possibility, the criteria of separation usually raise an element of conflicting
New public management has made it possible to separate politics from administration. A
number of ways have been incorporated into tackling this issue in public administration. This
includes incorporation of business-like practices and operations into public activities. For
instance, efficiency is maintained during service delivery. Public organizations have been
divided into smaller organizations that are easy to manage.
The most efficient method of separating politics and administration is the incorporation
of five pillars to administer public resources. This entails the division of bureaucracies into
different independent departments. Public budgeting aims at ensuring efficiency in the use of
public resources and elimination of embezzlement of public funds. Governmental structures are
also organized in such a manner that different bodies and government structures are
differentiated from each other.
Decision making in many public organizations is not an easy process and usually
involves many politics. To overcome this issue, policy analysis is used to facilitate the decision
making process. Issues are approached from an empirical point of view and hence supportive
evidence is used to provide solutions to problems. In addition, emulation of ethical values from
the private sector is employed using a normative approach during situations where decisions
have to be made.
Finally, public administration seeks to serve the people by ensuring that excellent service
is delivered. PA upholds a sound administrative system from top governmental levels to the
bottom and there must be competencies on the part of human resources employed. Business
administration has business entities in mind in all its operations and it undertaken with a profit