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Old Friday, April 25, 2008
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Thumbs up Some Stuff about Public Administration


• The meaning of PA
• The practice of public administration (PA)
• Public administration as a subject of study
• Definition of Public administration
• Public administration, democracy and rights of citizens
The Meaning

The word ‘administration’ has been derived from Latin words ‘ad’ = to and ‘ministiare’ = serve and
‘Public’ =people or citizens
Thus the word administration means to execute the policy of government to serve public.

Management is also defined as Cooperative human endeavour to achieve given goals. Traditionally
management is also defined as Management = POSDCORB which stands for Planning, Organizing,
Staffing, Directing, Coordination, Reporting, Budgeting.

In general administration and management are used interchangeably.

Public Administration

A public administration as a practice is as old as the human civilization. When human beings started
living in society in an organized way they started the practice of administration, because they started to live
cooperatively in society. It is said that when a man tried to left a stone and was unable to do so alone and
was helped by another man, the practice of ‘management/administration began.

Egyptian Pyramids (1491 BC)

You must have seen Egyptian pyramids and must have thought how
such huge structure was built. The construction of Egyptian pyramids in 1491
is an example of practice of administration, as it involved cooperative effort
of thousands of people.

Mohenjodaro and Harrapa

In Pakistan Mohenjodaro and Harrapa civilizations are a magnificent example of practice of
administration. The two cities had well planned roads, granary, wells and walls around the city to protect it.
Such planning of city shows that the rulers managed the city well.

So we can say that public administration as a practice is old as civilization But Public
Administration as a discipline to be taught in formal educational institution, started after World War I
(1914), in USA and then in Europe. The emergence of public administration as discipline in USA and
Europe was due to the changing role of government. The Great Depression in USA and Europe brought
large scale unemployment and low wages, and falling demand for goods. It was felt that in these
circumstances the government should invest to provide jobs. Thus, the role of government was seen as
prime mover in economy.

Why Public Administration Received Impetus as A Subject?

Following were the reasons for the emergence of public administration as a subject:-

Expanding welfare role (distributive) of the government
The emergence of private sector and regulatory role, of government
The need for increased efficiency in the Organization
Development of Science and Technology
Better management of public matters through training in USA
Definition of Public Administration

Now we will look at various definitions of public administration to better comprehend the concept:
“Public administration…. is the action part of government, the means by which the purposes and
goals of government are realized”.
‘Public administration as a field is mainly concerned with the means for implementing political

“The process of public administration consists of the actions involved in effecting the intent or
desire of a government. It is thus the continuously active, ‘business’ part of government, concerned
with carrying out the law, as made by legislative bodies (or other authoritative agents) and
interpreted by the courts, through the processes of organization and management.”

It is a cooperative group effort in a public setting;
It covers all the three branches --- executive, legislative, and judicial -- and
their interrelationships;

All these definitions explain us different dimension of the subjects. These definitions might confuse
us and we might say that there is really no such subject as “public administration,” but rather that public
administration means different things to different observers and lacks a significant common theoretical or
applied meaning, or we might say that public administration is everywhere:-

But two things definitely emerge from the above definition. These are:-

The study of public administration overlaps a number of other disciplines, including political
science, sociology, economics, psychology, and business administration. and
Public administration is the use of managerial, political, and legal theories and processes to
fulfill the goals of government (welfare of public).

Now before we further proceed to understand public administration we need to understand certain
concepts like and state and government. The diagram shows that citizens of any country are user of services
and provider of services.

Institutions of State

The institutions of state are as follows:
Legislature: Parliament (National and Provincial Assemblies) makes laws for the organization
Judiciary: (Supreme Court & Provincial Courts) - and Session Courts) interpret laws
Executive ( National, Provincial) implements laws

The Ministries, Division, Departments /Directorates are the organizations that function under the
executive to implement law. For example the police department has the responsibility to maintain peace &


Government is process of governing. It is the use of power derived from the law that is
made/approve by the legislature. It is means, methods, manner, or system of governing society and

The government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan derives its systems and methods from the
Constitution (1973). Article 90-99 of the Constitution gives provision for Rules of Business. The Rules of
Business 1973 provide. The roles, responsibilities and function of government organizations (ministries,
departments etc)

What is Democracy

When we talk of state and government it is important to mention that what form of government
Pakistan has. Pakistan is a parliamentary Democracy. The word democracy is a Greek word where “demos”
mean people and “Krates” means authority.

Values of Democracy

Democracies have certain values and these are:-


Individualism means that the dignity and integrity of individual is of supreme importance. It
suggests that achieving the fullest potential of each individual is the best measure of the success of political
system and government


All normal individuals are equal in their talents but also each individual has an equal claim to life,
liberty and the pursuit to happiness


Citizens should have the right to the maximum opportunity to select own purpose in life and
choose means to accomplish these. The citizen should be facilitated rather than hindered in their pursuit to
a meaningful life.


The students must understand the following concepts:
. . .
The structure and framework created to perform certain
functions to achieve goals.
Cooperative human effort to achieve goals
a systematic mechanism to complete an activity

Efficiency: Efficiency = Output: Efficiency relates to maximization of goals
Input example: 10 . output = 2 = efficient
4 . input
10 = 1.66 = less efficient.

A government is the process of governing, it comprise
organization, system, rules etc.

As State has territorial jurisdiction, it has people and institutions.

Democracy is a form of government in which people has
authority and right to elect their representative.

Democratic values:
Democratic values are life, liberty & individualism.

Be Prayingggggg

Obaid Khan
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