Monday, November 16, 2015

Classical Principles of Public Administration are an Illusion or Reality

Classical principles have been criticized by many for just showing the way but actually not telling how that task will be accomplished -

(a) Classical principles claim universal validity which is an impossibility in today’s culturally and politically divided world.

(b) These principles advocates division of work and specialization but they do not brief how the work will be done. Hence they are mere guidelines.

(c) Sometimes these principles are displayed as self contradictory in approach. For eg. Henry Fayol gave 2 principles -

(a) short chain of command 
(b) short span of control. 

The first says that a senior will have many subordinate junior whereas the second just says the opposite.

(d) Gullick a classical theorist has propounded the concept of departmentalization on many basis all of which have their own disadvantages. So a final concrete plan is absent.

(e) It says that boards and commissions should not be used for administrative work which may not be a good thing to do in many conditions.

(f) Fayol goes against participative decision making whereas Gullick supports it. Gullick also supports singleness in purpose and clarity of purpose. Participative decision making and singleness of purpose may not go hand in hand in many situations.

(g) The ever changing dynamic nature of administration and the ever changing setting has not been  given attention to by the classical theorists.

(h) Organization behavior and program evaluation have not been looked at properly.

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