Public Administration Model

  1. Classic Bureaucratic Model

The Classic Bureaucratic model has two major components:

  1. a structure or a design of the organization

  2. the ways by which people and work are managed within the organizational design

The structure of this model draws heavily from Max Weber’s perception of bureaucracy with five components:

  1. a hierarchical arrangement of units and positions in a pyramidal structure

  2. duties and powers exercised based on the principle of division of labor

  3. uniformly applied written rules for carrying out specific tasks assigned

  4. impersonalness of relations among the members of the organization subject to formally established norms of conduct

  5. choice of personnel based on technical competence

An organizational chart is a chart which represents the structure of an organization in terms of rank. The chart usually shows the managers and sub-workers who make up an organization. The chart also shows relationships between staff in the organization.

The model sees organization chart as:

  1. indispensable for fitting men in the slots and positions in the hierarchy

  2. the duties and positions are described

  3. personnel are classified

  4. a compensation plan with corresponding pay scales is constructed

Managerial features:

This model derived from the scientific management theory of Frederick Taylor

  1. emphasizes work processes at the rank and file level

  2. advocates scientific study and design of work flow

  3. procedures creates an ethos which recognizes mutuality of organization and employee interest

The organization provides for the sociological, psychological and economic needs of employees

  1. Neo-Bureaucratic Model

Emerged during a time when the behavioral persuasion was beginning to influence the social sciences

The value orientation was not different from the classical bureaucratic model

The basic criteria for management performance

  1. Efficiency

  2. Effectiveness

  3. Economy

Accepted classic administrative principles, control mechanisms and structural framework of organization

Considered most important was analysis of policy decisions and justification for the use of certain processes in decision making

*Note: This model relaxes the structural constraints which the classic model imposes.

The classical bureaucratic and the neo-bureaucratic models are part of the same group of organizational and administrative thought. The rigidity and inflexibility of classic organization theory and its expectation that administrators subscribes to its principles and implementing norms and structured organization pattern prescribed the need to bring about a sense of order both in public and private organization aimed at providing a formula for administrative activities.

PODSCORB (Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick 1937)

-It is a comprehensive formulation of theory taken as the bible of classical theory.

-It was designed to streamline structure and processes, do away with function overlaps by defining who performs what, to minimize waste material and human resources.

General and Industrial Management (Henri Fayol)

-Although management oriented illustrates the classical approach to organizing

-It suggest that managers perform five action and set there as principles of management.

a) planning

b) organizing

c) commanding

d) coordinating and controlling

Good thing about the classical theory:

  1. Division of work (Fayol) led to specialization of functions which reduced the number of concerns the employee had to worry about.

  2. Unity of command implied that orders emanate from one direct supervisor thus providing direction since activities sharing a common objective are managed by only one person.

  3. While advocating centralization, it accepted variances as situations dictated, range from centralization to decentralization was left open. The issue was more a matter of proportion and degree depending upon the capability of administrative leaders and the willingness and the preparedness of the lower members to self-operate.

  4. Suggested clear lines of authority (scalar chain) for effective coordination, but allowed departures from the scalar chain in special cases.


“Men are not cog wheel to be treated as spare parts and to be automated by the boss towering on top of the pyramid of power.”

A major challenge to this theory is the article “Proverbs of Administration” (Herbert Simon 1946) pointed out the inconsistencies and tautologies, the lack of sophistication and promanagement bias of the classical school. Likened the classical principles of administration to proverbs which go by pairs, maintaining that for every principle there is an equally plausible but acceptable contradictory principle which leads to an antithetical organization track. The span of control principle with six as the ideal number of subordinates that a supervisor can effectively supervise would not be practicable for large organizations which necessitate putting up additional hierarchical levels. Urwicks unity of command finds the contradiction to Taylor’s functional foremanship. Effective span of control over six may be increased depending upon the ability of the foreman to manage his unit of operation. Departmentalization purposed maybe opposed by departmentalization process under certain conditions.

Classical theory is further faulted for its failure to consider the psychology of the human being as formulator and implementer of policy-decisions. Critics indict its failure to provide contingency plan for resolving conflicts which are bound to arise within an organization, it has failed to visualize the felt need for updating organizational purposes and keeping itself abreast to changing social needs.

  1. Institutional Model
  1. the organization structure of government

  2. It describes the relations among different hierarchical levels

  3. It studies what is being done at each level

It is most concerned with constitutional, legal, and administrative rule as bases for administering the affairs of the state.

Attempted to look into and understand the workings of the bureaucracy especially in the area of decision making.

Use of “informal co-optation” as a strategy of officially bringing administrators into policy determining mechanisms of an organization especially in situations where the administrators need support of certain interest group. (Philip Selznick)

View that policy is the product of incremental steps, it starts with a comparison of possible alternative policies, and that which has the most value is finally chosen.

In Third world countries this model provides clues to solving problems arising from the analysis of policy making process and restructuring of the bureaucracy is frequently done.

Incrementalism is one feature, is not always desirable since policies may require departure fro the past arrangement as to suggest innovation and not incremental change.

Mixed scanning as a solution to this problem (Amitai Etzioni), this incorporates rationalism and incrementalism. Two levels of scanning are suggested:

  1. The high coverage type, when applied to society, is an overview monitoring to pinpoint the indices of the problem.

  2. The truncated type makes a follow up focusing on the specific details of the problem, identifying the causes and prescribing solution.

  1. Human Relations Model

Conceptualizing an organization as a pattern of relations arising out of the interaction of individuals in a work environment makes a “complementary organization”, the informal component complementing the formal component. The informal cannot be reflected in a symmetrically draw organization chart.

Organization is people, it is flesh and blood and “what count most is individuals who fill the positions and not the positions with the description of the functions to be performed”.

The organization values of this model include:

  1. employee and client participation in the making of decisions

  2. self actualization and realization

  3. workers satisfaction, less pronounced differentiation of work

A new Organization theory as social system and a social structure in here human beings relate to one another through a network of sentimental feelings.

The model suggests that efforts be made to achieve internal equilibrium by harmonizing personal and emotional factors of the organizational equation.

Management is therefore tasked with the responsibility of developing diagnostic skills and capability to perceive the dynamics of in formal groups and employee feelings.

Modified Versions of the Human Relations Model

  1. Mark Parker Follet, working on the human factor premise, sees relationships in an organization more in terms of conflict resolution. Three solutions to conflict are offered:

  2. Domination theory- this is more associated with the pyramid structure where the chief or top manager orders subordinates to act in accordance with the wishes of the superior. This arrangement typifies a classic authoritarian model of organization.

  3. Balance of power theory- there is the presumed absence of a dominant leader making decisions. The subordinates who know and understand the problem at hand exercises de facto power. Decisions become a product of bargaining and compromise. There could still be antagonism and resentments develop intrigues,

  4. Integration theory- conflict resolution considers the inputs of participant members, based primarily on “the law of the situation” rather than personalities and relative positions in the organization.

B) Organizational equilibrium theory (Herbert Simon & Chester Barnard)

Regarded organization as a cooperative enterprise characterized by a balance between employee input in the form of skills and expertise, loyalty and commitment to the organization and the output of the organization in terms of reward, recognition and job security and reasonable compensation for the employee.

This requires supervision upgrading which includes

  1. Individuation of contacts and motivation by leadership instead of the use of sanctions.

  2. The command-centered approach of the classicists is replaced by supervisor guidance.

  3. Recommends developmental management of human resources to enable employees to acquire skills and competencies which ultimately benefit the organization.

  4. The centered bias is hoped to be transformed into people centered policy.

  5. The consent model authority is a consequent by product of organization equilibrium. With authority as a function of the value frame of the social system. It implies that authority becomes effective only when subordinates are willing to accept its legitimacy and submit themselves to it. Otherwise known as the permissive concept of authority it lightens the impact of the autocratic chief.

C) Theory of Motivation (Abraham Maslow)

It established an orderly hierarchy of needs made of five levels:

  1. Physiological –food, clothing, shelter, sex, among others. Satisfaction of these needs is self motivated.

  2. Safety and security- which includes job security and fair treatment, satisfaction of which comes from the forces outside of the individual.

  3. Sense of affection and belonging- that one is part of a group and therefore counts in the total enterprise but requires that he cooperates with others in the organization to merit affection.

  4. Esteem and status- which implies self-respect and respect for others.

  5. Self-fulfillment and realization- which means approximating expectations of one’s potentials and capacities.

D) Organizational Humanism (John Dewey)

Do not believe that satisfaction of need is a cure all for the problems of management.

Contend that efficacy of organizations depends upon the multiplicity of factors and situational variables.

Power in an organization should be shared by the rank and file rather than a monopoly of top and middle management managers.

Organization should therefore be open and willing to accept not only suggestion, but also petitions from groups and individual .This kind of arrangement that makes for participatory democratic management and collegiality in decision-making.

This interfacing of employees and managers can go a long way to satisfy socio-psychological needs.


The human relations model and its modified versions aim at building a positive environment for employees. It is a new organization theory which (Talcott Parsons) sees roles played within culture complex modern as it seems to be, with its new orientation distinguishing it from the attributes of the classical model, it still finds the traditional and the classical useful. The two versions are reconcilable provided commonalities, instead of differences, are sought for and their complementary nature is recognized and more importantly linkages for collaboration established. Once the requisites are secured, a cross breed of PODSCORB-minded and modern organization.

  1. Public Choice Model

It emphasizes provisioning of goods and services by decision makers at different levels.

Decisions must be politically feasible products of the collective will of different entities whose activities are performed and coordinated through institutional networking.

*Authority should be delegated and assigned to different levels

*That function overlaps be allowed to enable the organization to respond to environmental stresses and equip it coping mechanisms to achieve and maintain a stable political order.

Paradigm of Democratic Administration (Vincent Ostrom)

Illustrated the parallelism between economics, where a decision of policy is influenced by the mechanism of supply and demand, and public administration policy which is influenced by the expectation of what it will be able to do for society. Logic of public choice was answer to the Wilsonian integrated and centralized model and doubt about the efficacy of public opinion and popular sovereignty.

Proponents of the public choice model supports the view that authority be allocated to all organizational levels, and negates Wilson’s “dominant center of power” ideal which lessen the need to compromise compound differences, trim plans and suppress principles.

Exponents of public choice, just like the authoritarian-oriented Wilsonians, see the need to man the bureaucracy with civil service professionals.

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