Pub Ad – V

Delhi Law Academy

New Public Administration

New Public Administration is an anti-positivist, anti-technical, and anti-hierarchical reaction against traditional public administration.


New Public Administration traces its origins to the first Minnowbrook Conference held in 1968 under the patronage of Dwight Waldo.

The 1960s in the USA was a time of unusual social and political turbulence and upheaval. In this context, Waldo concluded that neither the revise nor the practice of public administration was responding suitably to the escalating turmoil and the complications that arose from those circumstances.

The new public management (NPM) did not offer public servants an alternative model to help them resolve emerging conflicts and tensions.

Concepts of citizenship, democracy, or public interest have evolved over time and they are continuing to evolve.

Consequently, the role of government and the role of the public service are being transformed in ways that push beyond the constraints of the Classic model.

New Public Administration theory necessity is dealing with the following issues:

Democratic citizenship

Public interest and Public policy

Services to citizens

First, a new theory should start with the ideal of democratic citizenship. The public service derives its true meaning from its mandate to serve citizens to advance the public good.

This is the raison d‘être of the institution, the source of motivation and pride of all those who choose to create it their life, whether for a season or for a whole career.


NPA has advocated 3 anti-goals and its literature is described ‘anti-positivist‘. These are-

Rejecting a definition of Public administration, as value-free i.e. Public Administration should be value oriented since not all the inclinations to the values are bad and hence are desirable at some moments of time.

Rejecting a rationalist and perhaps deterministic view of human type since human-behaviour is quite unpredictable. Public administration studies should hence focus on what administration should “become” instead of focusing on what administration should “be”.

Rejecting “Politics-administration dichotomy” since administrators today is involved in policy formulation and policy implementation at all the stages.



Traditional public administration has too little interest in modern troubles and issues.

Social realities necessity is taken into consideration i.e. people should see changes as relevant meaning thereby that changes should be specific to the needs of the area and the need of the people.

Earlier approaches to NPA measured that rationality of the people was neglected.

NPA suggests the inclusion of rationality of the people too in the procedure of policy formulation.


Value-neutrality in public administration is an impossibility. The values being served through administrative action necessity are transparent.

Social Equity:

Realization of social equity should be a chief goal of public administration.


Scepticism toward the deeply rooted powers invested in permanent institutions and the status quo. Operational flexibility and organizational adaptability to meet the environmental changes should be in-built in the administrative system.

Client Focus:

Positive, proactive, and responsive administrators rather than inaccessible and authoritarian “ivory tower” bureaucrats.

Management-Worker relations.

There should be equal emphasis both on efficiency and humane thoughts. The new approach has to satisfy both the efficiency and the human relations criterion in order to achieve success.

Development administration

The administration of policies, programmes and projects to serve development purposes


  • Change-orientation: bringing about socio-economic change rather than maintaining status quo
  • Goal-orientation: achieving social, economic, political and cultural goals
  • Client-orientation: meeting needs of specific target groups like farmers, etc.
  • Citizen participative-orientation: enlisting popular support and involvement in formulation and implementation of development programs
Development administrationTraditional administration
Change orientedStatus-quo oriented
Dynamic and flexibleHierarchical and rigid
Emphasis on goal achievementEmphasis on economy and efficiency
Client orientedGeneralist
Citizen participative and democraticAuthoritative and directive

New Public Management

  • It represents a synthesis of public administration and private administration
  • It takes ‘what’ and ‘why’ from public administration and ‘how’ from private administration
  • It involves a shift from direct provision of services by government to indirect methods like policy making and facilitating
  • Government should change from a doer of public activities to a distributor of public benefits
  • Aims of NPM:
  • Economy: eradication of waste
  • Efficiency: streamlining of services
  • Effectiveness: specification of objectives to ensure resources are targeted on problems
  • Central theme of NPM:

‘We don’t need more government, we need better government’ (Osbourne & Gaebler)

  • 4 Ds of NPM:
  • Degovernmentalization
  • Decentralization
  • Debureaucratization
  • Disinvestment

Theories of administration

  1. Scientific Management Theory of Administration        by FW Taylor

It is concerned with application of scientific methods to managerial practices and production processed in industrial organizations


•            Science not Rule of Thumb: Development of a true scientific approach to management replacing the old rule of thumb method, which would enable managers, among other things, to determine the best method of performing each task

•            Harmony, Not Discord: Scientific selection and placement of workers so that each worker could be assigned the task for which he is best suited

•            Cooperation, Not Individualism: Close co-operation between management and labour to ensure that work is carried out in accordance with the scientific principles which are developed.

•            Development of Each and Every Person to His or Her Greatest Efficiency and Prosperity: Scientific training and development of workers so as to achieve the highest level of efficiency.


Functional foremanship: a worker is guided and supervised by 8 functional foremen; 4 are responsible for planning and 4 for execution

Motion study: the standardization of work methods

Time study: determination of standard time for completion of work

Differential piece rate plan: payment by piece rates o the basis of standards set by motion and time studies

Payment at a low piece rate upto a standard, a large bonus at the standard and higher price above the standard

  1. Classical Theory of Administration             

by Fayol, Guellick and Urwick

Concerned with formal organizational structure

Characteristic features: specialization (division of work), hierarchy, impersonality, structure, economy and efficiency

This theory is a top-down theory and is focussed on improving overall administration by observing certain principles

Administration consists of 7 elements (functions):

Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Co-ordinating, Reporting and Budgeting (POSDCORB)

The 14 principles given by him are:

1.           Division of Work: Work is divided into small tasks, such that a trained specialist is required to perform each job. Thus, division of work leads to specialization.

2.           Authority and Responsibility: There should be a balance between authority and responsibility. An organisation should build safeguards against abuse of managerial power. At the same time a manager should have necessary authority to carry out his responsibility.

3.           Discipline: According to Fayol, discipline requires good superiors at all levels, clear and fair agreements and judicious application of penalties.

4.           Unity of Command: According to Fayol there should be one and only one boss for every individual employee. If an employee gets orders from two superiors at the same time the principle of unity of command is violated and this results in undermining of authority, lack of discipline and instability.

5.           Unity of Direction: All the units of an organisation should be moving towards the same objectives through coordinated and focused efforts.

6.           Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest: Every worker has some individual interest for working in a company. However, in all the situations the interests of the organization should supersede the interest of any one individual.

7.           Remuneration of Employees: The overall pay and compensation should be fair to both employees and the organization.

8.           Centralization and Decentralization: There is a need to balance subordinate involvement through decentralisation with managers and retention of final authority through centralization.

9.           Scalar Chain: Organisations should have a chain of authority and communication that runs from top to bottom and should be followed by managers and the subordinates

10.        Order: People and materials must be in suitable places at appropriate time for maximum efficiency. In other words ‘A place for everything (everyone) and everything (everyone) in its (her/his) place’.

11.        Equity: There should be kindliness and justice in the behavior of managers towards workers. All employees should be treated fairly.

12.        Stability of Tenure of Personnel: Personnel should be selected and appointed after due and rigorous procedure. Plowever, once selected should be provided a minimum fixed tenure. In other words, Employee turnover should be minimised to maintain organisational efficiency.

13.        Initiative: Workers should be encouraged to develop and carry out their plans for improvements

14.        Team Spirit (Esprit de Corps): Management should promote a team spirit of unity and harmony among employees.

Comparison of Taylor’s and Fayol’s Theories:

Concentrates on operative and shop-floor levelAnalyses a manager’s activities
Bottom-up theoryTop-down theory
Focusses on increasing productivityFocusses on improving overall administration
Based on scientific experiments and measurementsBased on personal experiences
Stresses on technical side of workStresses on administrative side of work
Studies micro aspects: management of tasksStudies macro aspects: management of total administration
Advocates ‘functional foremanship’Advocates ‘unity of command’
  1.  Bureaucratic theory of Administration              

by Max Weber

Based on ‘legal-rational authority’ where obedience is owed to a legally established impersonal order which is rational in character

Bureaucracy forms the kernel of this administrative system

Characteristics of ‘ideal type of bureaucracy’:

Organized in a clearly defined hierarchy of offices

Each office has clearly defined sphere of competence

Officials are selected on their merit and qualifications; on a free, contractual relationship and are remunerated by fixed salaries and pensions

Constitutes a career with promotions based on seniority or achievements

Officials are subject to authority and strict discipline but only in their official capacities and are personally free.


•            The literal meaning of hierarchy is the rule of control of the higher over the lower.

•            Hierarchy means a graded organisation of several successive levels in which one of the lower level is immediately subordinate to the next higher one and through it to the other higher steps right up to the top.

•            The shape of the administrative structure is that of a pyramid.

•            In organisation it means the grading of duties not according to different functions, but according to degrees of authority and corresponding responsibility.

The basic features of the hierarchical structure are:

a.           A person will have only one immediate superior from whom he will receive orders.

b.           A person will not receive orders from lower status.

c.           No intermediate level shall be skipped over in the dealing of the people at the top with those lower level or vice versa.

d.           A person who is given responsibility for a task will have authority commensurate with this responsibility.

•            From the above features it is clear that in the scalar system authority command and control descend from the top to the bottom step by step.

•            The secretary of department will deal with the joint secretary who in turn shall deal with the deputy secretary who further shall deal with the under secretary. The under secretary shall further deal with the section officer who in turn deal with assistants, clerks etc.

•            Similarly, the upward communication shall also be exactly the same when a section officer deals with higher officers.

•            The two basic principles of unity of command and span of control are centrally indispensable to the study of organizational theory and practice in particular, and in general terms, to successful, efficient and smooth public administration practice in both developed and developing societies.


•            The principle of span of control means the number of subordinates or the units of work that an officer can personally direct, control, and supervise. It is also known as span of supervision or span of management.

•            The span of control is the number and range of direct, habitual communication contacts between the chief executive of an enterprise and his principal fellow officers.

•            Span of control is meant that one of the earlier principles of administration which states that there is an upper limit to the number of subordinates any administrator can directly supervise and advises administrators to eliminate any violations of this principle by reducing the number of officials reporting to them by either emerging certain offices or stretching out the scalar chain.

•            There is a close relationship between hierarchy and span of control. That is, the number of levels in a hierarchical (scalar) organisation depends upon the span of control of a superior officer.

•            Narrow (smaller) span of control increases the number of levels in the organisation and thereby creates tall structure.

•            On the other hand, wide (larger) span of control decreases their number and thereby results in a flat structure.

•            The principle of span of control in public administration is related to the concept of span of attention described in psychology by V Graicunus, the French management consultant. This concept says that there is a limit to the number of things one can attend to at the same time.

•            In other words, the span of attention of a human being is limited as there are limits to the range of human capacity and attention.

•            Thus, it follows that there is a limit to the span of control which is nothing but the span of attention applied to the job of supervision of subordinates by the superior.


•            Unity of command means that an employee should receive orders from one superior only.

•            In other words, it means that no employee should be subjected to the order of more than one superior.

•            Thus, it stands for single boss for each person or mono-command.

•            Unity of command means organizational principle that each person within the line of authority should be responsible to only other person.

•            An employee who is responsible to various persons in authority will presumably be confused, ineffective and irresponsible, while an employee receiving commands from one supervisor is presumably methodical, efficient and responsible.