Current Public Administration Magazine (April - 2017) - New Public Administration

Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine

Introduction to Public Administration

New Public Administration

In 1960s and early 1970s were periods of turbulence, instability and confusion in the west, particular in the United States. Like other social sciences such as psychology, sociology and political science, public administration was shaken by this revolutionary period. The earlier dogmas of public administration, economy and efficiency were found inadequate and incomplete objectives of administrative activity. It began to be said that efficiency is not the whole of public administration. Man is the centre-stage of all administrative activity who cannot be subjected to the mechanical test of efficiency. The impact of administration on human character is more important than its efficiency and economy. The term new public administration was used to described this new trend in the field of public administration. Two books, titled, towards a new public administration. The Minnowbrook
perspective, edited by Frank Marini and published in 1971 and public administration in a time of turbulence, edited by Dright Waldo and published simultaneously, gave currency to the concept of New Public Administration. These two books edited the ideas of an academic get together of younger-age-group on public administration called the “Minnowbrook Conference” held in 1968. This conference expressed dissatisfaction with the state of the discipline of public administration and sought to give it a new image by discarding traditional concepts and making it alive to the problems presented by the turbulent times.

Evaluation: The critics of the doctrine of New Public Administration hold that the New Public Administration possessed only a kind of difference by definition. For example, Campbell argued that it differs from the old public administration only in its response to a different set of societal problems from those of other periods.

Robert T. Golembiewski holds that new public administration must be counted as a partial success at best and perhaps only a cruel reminder of the gap in the field between aspiration and performance. The critics also feared that the advocates of new public administration are trying to arrogate to themselves what falls within the domain of political institutions, further; the concept of social equity is vague. What it means, what it requires in public programmes and opinions vary greatly. The New public administration has not yet developed a theory of its own. It was the product of the social ferment of the 1960s and early 1970s in the America. The Minnowbrook Conference was a youth conference which felt that old public administration had failed to solve the current social problems.

According to James C. Charles Worth, “Public administration theory has not caught up with emerging problems. The huge military industrial complex, riots, labour unions and strikes, public school conflicts, still slum the impingement of sciences and developing countries”.

However, the New Public Administration continues to endure as witnessed. The books published in 1980 by H. George Frederickson, Negro and Negro, are of the view that the new public administration has certainly broken fresh ground and seriously jolted the traditional concepts. It has imparted new substance and a large perspective to the discipline of administration. Since the new public administration emerged, question of
values and ethics have remained the major items in public administration.

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