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Should Efficiency Be the Ultimate Goal of Public Administration?

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The program places specific emphasis on government, nonprofit, and public and nonprofit health administration at the local, state, and regional levels. This focus is achieved through a general degree program, and through three curricular options that prepare students to specialize in public governance in community development administration, community health administration and environmental health administration. To accomplish our teaching mission, the program establishes student learning objectives tied to specific professional competencies, regularly assesses students’ mastery of the competencies, and uses assessment to improve teaching and learning.

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In this the public administrators were the individuals possessing and relied on their own expertise and neutrality. The action taken by such administrators was relied on the scientific and neutral principles. Cooper emphasized on that responsible public administrator knows how to decide an ethical choice in which one might be involved in right action versus wrong action and even sometimes right action versus right action. The individual must build up the skills of moral imagination which involves the capability to create a “movie in our minds” which must consider the dynamics of the environment in which ethical choice must be taken care. The goal for the responsible public administrator is to bring up the ethical situation of the public servant and develop creative reflection of this situation while not only laying down the public service values. This emphasized on how the public servants are responsible to act ethically and not to take advantage of their powers. Also, public administrators must behave ethically during their public service and do the value-based decisions during while performing their duties. The responsible public administrator must know how to act in a situation where the right action versus the wrong action and in some cases, right action against the right action. The decisions for such actions must be ethical no matter what environment is and also according to values of the government business. Cooper’s framework provides a solid base for all aspects of public administration involved in decision making and make sure that the public administrator must balance the professional, personal, and organizational values. This framework enables the public servants while they are performing their duties to take decisions neutrally and ethically. Their decisions must be according to the rules and regulations of the government and must not violate any political and governmental rules. The framework not only literate the public administrators about ethics, in fact it demands the actions ethically and practically neutral. In conclusion, the responsible public administrators are important for the democratic government and citizens of the country because these administrators take decisions on all public and national matters neutrally and ethically and also take care of their actions must be according to the law. The democratic government must be successful if they have responsible public servants because there are the people who act upon the government decisions. The democratic government only succeeds by fair play and the public administrators are one of key players of this fair play. These administrators take decisions based upon actions which are right and valuable for community and the country rather than just decision making.

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Hence, several scholars have associated bureaucracy with efficient organizations (Denhardt, 2000). In contrast, the other school of scholars sees public organizations as pursuing multiple value-based goals in a democratic system. This multiplicity of goals and the political frameworks may well provide a basis for public organizations to be facing “a lack of efficiency”. Quoting Metcalfe’s argument, the public factories have at least dual goals of being efficient as well as work within the parameters of legislative accountability even at the expense of productivity. Therefore, efficiency in public administration is more than a technical relationship between resources and output; it has another dimension that incorporates outputs in relation to values and accountability as an inherent quality of democratic governance. Over the decades, scholars have also pointed to the position of efficiency as to whether it is a goal in itself or merely a means in the achievement of some other objectives. This situation arises when efficiency is studied as a vehicle in the achievement of other goals for public organizations such as education, security, health care, or transportation. It is “goal attainment with least possible effort” and, at the same time, points to the pursuance of some other associated desired outcomes (Frederickson, H. G., 1994). Scientific management as propagated by Fredrick Winslow Taylor on one hand placed emphasis on quantity of output with time and motion study, and finding one best way of doing the job

On the other hand, it also called for dividing the responsibilities between management and workers. Hence, Rutgers and van der Meer regard scientific management as “paradigmatic call for efficiency,” further emphasizing its impact on public administration in the form of “New Public Management (NPM) as Neo-Taylorism.”

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In the end, note that administrators must implement existing social equity rules as well as all other requirements. An administrator can’t decide to increase output by ignoring the Americans for Disability Act or the Equal Opportunity laws

Social equity rules are “baked in” to the long list of requirements that administrators must follow. Likewise, an administrator can’t ignore computer security requirements, workplace safety requirements, wage and hour requirements, ethical requirements or any other legal obligation. Efficiency is something that administrative study, to use Wilson’s terminology, can do something about.

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Bentham, J. (1843). Manual of political economy. In the works of Jeremy Bentham. Edinburgh, UK: William Tait.

Denhardt, R. B. (1999). The future of public administration. Public Administration and Management, 4(2), 279-292.

Denhardt, R. B. (2000). Theories of public organization. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace..

Frederickson, H. G. (1994). Can public officials correctly be said to have obligations to future generations? Public Administration Review, 54, 457-464.

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