Definition of Public Administration: Nature, Scope, Function, Purpose, and Theory

Definition of Public Administration – What does Sinaumed know about public administration? Public administration is a social science that examines a country’s constitutional system and everything related to the public, including public organizations, public policy, public management, and public services.

Public administration is the same as other administrations running for shared interests. Thus, in public administration, some definitions are pretty diverse and from various kinds of experts.

For example, some academics argue that all government-related jobs fall under the public administration category. In contrast, others prefer that only the executive aspect of government functions comprises public administration.

In this modern era, public administration is often considered responsible for determining government policies and programs. Specifically, it is the planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling of government operations. Public administration is practiced in a country at the central, middle, and local levels.

Of course, the relationship between the various levels of government within a country is a growing matter of public administration. To clarify Sinaumed’s’ understanding of the notion of public administration, this article will review how the notion of public administration, its nature and scope, theory, functions, and objectives of public administration.

What Is Public Administration?

Public administration is one of the social sciences that examines the state management system about policy, organization, management, and services. Public administration is always associated with the Legislature, Judiciary, and Executive.

In addition, public administration is closely related to various regulations and policies related to the public, state objectives, development administration, and ethics that govern the administration of the state properly.

If viewed grammatically, public administration has two constituent words: administration and public. Thus, administration can be interpreted as an activity or cooperation of a group of people who aim to achieve predetermined goals. While the word masses is defined as the state and citizens or society

That way, we can interpret public administration as making decisions or policies for the benefit of the state, citizens, or society. We all need to know that public administration, like other administrations, is carried out to serve the public interest.

Marx defines administration as administration determined by the actions taken to achieve goals that have been realized. This is a systematic arrangement of affairs and the calculated use of resources to understand what a person/organization desires.

The following opinion came from Frederic Lane, who defined administration as organizing and maintaining human and fiscal resources to achieve the goals of a group. However, a complete definition of public administration is difficult to achieve because of the many tasks involved in this public administration.

Meanwhile, according to LD White, public administration consists of all operations to fulfill or enforce public policies. On the other hand, according to Woodrow Wilson, public administration is a detailed and systematic application of the law. It can also be said that public administration is nothing but policies, practices, rules and regulations, and so on.

Currently, can public administration be separated from social and political systems? The answer is, of course, no. Because of this, another definition is given by FA Nigro, who argues that public administration is essentially a cooperative group effort in a public setting.

Second, it covers the three branches of the three main branches of government, namely the executive, legislative, and judiciary. Furthermore, it was explained that because public administration plays a vital role in formulating policies, it is, therefore, part of the political process, for example, Bills and Laws.

In addition, Nigro also revealed that public administration is different from private administration in many ways. Furthermore, public administration interacts with various private groups and individuals in providing services to the public.

What is the Nature of Public Administration?

Of course, on the nature of public administration, two views are popular with us: an integral view and a managerial one.

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The integral view includes all and consists of the total of all managerial, administrative, technical, and manual activities and employees at all levels. LD White and Dimock later supported this view. This may vary from one institution to another depending on the field of work involved.

On the other hand, according to the managerial view, as the name implies, public administration only involves administrative activities. This view was then supported by several figures, including SSeveral figures, including Simon, Smithburg, Thompson, and Luther Gulick then supported this viewd can vary in meaning and definition from one organization to another openly.

Thus, if you want to understand it from the context and set of an organization, it can be roughly explained that the top leadership or the board decides on the vision, mission, and goals, both short-term and long-term, and the head of the business unit then makes an action plan and creates or reforms the process. Distribute responsibilities, direct planning, invite people to join, and start working to achieve the goals set by the specified guidelines.

In essence, administrators can be government leaders and business units, and their teams can be public administrators who are the executors and the people who run the show.

What is the Nature and Scope of Public Administration?

Public administration is the most critical aspect of bureaucracy worldwide, be it a country with democratic, socialist, or even capitalist characteristics. Moreover, in a socialist country, because all aspects of citizens’ lives are influenced and determined by the government, the role of government is very, very strong.

However, there was a significant change in how public administration was implemented from ancient and medieval times when initiatives were little more than sporadic administrative functions such as maintaining law and order and collecting income with little or no activity to promote prosperity.

The kings choose the people who carry out these public administration activities and are no better than their servants. Along with the times, the goals of public administration also changed, and in the nineteenth century, an organized approach to civil service and public administration was adopted.

This approach is based on a complete legal framework replacing patriarchal and hereditary functions with a deeply entrenched bureaucracy. The existence of a new system of public administration occurs for several reasons. One of the primary and most important reasons is the industrial revolution.

With the industrial revolution, the government in a country entered into trade, followed by isms, namely imperialism, nationalism, and internationalism which increased the expansion of the duties and responsibilities of a government.

In this day and age, it is a far cry from what it was a century ago. In addition, the scope of public administration has also experienced a shift, including the difficulty in deciding whether it is a paradigm or not.

However, as people in developed countries increase awareness, especially in developing countries, and acquire knowledge about rights, privileges, and laws among people in developed countries (for example, the debate on the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act 2010) ) has created new challenges for public administrators and policymakers/ makers in a government.

The demand for unified national services, the conflict of interests between different parts of the economy in a society, and global migration and globalization, protection of the interests of multi-ethnic groups of society has led to busy public administrators.

This administration is essential because it is insufficient to make policies and laws on white paper alone. Interpretation, translating policies and regulations into action, and implementation is not easy.

Therefore, public administrators must play an essential role in running the government as a running machine. The existence of a bureaucracy may often be ridiculed by society, but when administrative work is stopped, nothing happens.

In almost all countries of the world, the number of people employed in public administration work is huge; for example, in the United States of America, the figure is approximately 2,036,000 civilians, excluding employees of Congress and Federal courts. In addition to the United States, in England, the figure reaches several thousand, and in India, there is also an exam to become a civil servant.

Of the various vital roles played by the state administration, the most important is implementing laws and policies properly, optimally, and complying and acting as an adjudicator.

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What is the Function of Public Administration?

There are several functions of public administration, including:

1. Traditional Functions

The traditional function is the primary function in public administration. This function includes general welfare, taxation, foreign relations, domestic order, defense and security, public works, etc.

2. The Function of Nation Development

The second function is nation-building which aims to foster a sense of love for the homeland and the nation of Indonesia amid a very heterogeneous Indonesian society and unstoppable globalization.

3. Economic Management Function

Another function is public administration as a regulator for economic management.

4. Social Welfare Function

The fourth function is the social welfare function which is directly related to the welfare service system for citizens. The government is obliged to intervene in improving social welfare by providing services to citizens or the community, such as public housing, health services, and social security for social welfare by the constitution’s mandate.

5. Environmental Control Function

The environmental control function aims to prevent environmental damage due to human greed in exploiting nature. Therefore, control of the domain is carried out by research and development, conservation, urban planning, and so on,, which aims to protect the environment.

6. Function of Human Rights

The last function is the function of human rights which guarantees democracy for citizens so that the government can adequately serve and protect the public. One of these rights’ functions is the protection of Human Rights.

What is the Purpose of Public Administration?

When viewed in general, public administration has several objectives, namely:

  1. Ensuring public safety properly
  2. Ensuring public welfare equally
  3. Ensuring justice for all citizens regardless of anything

So, to achieve this goal, good cooperation is needed between government agencies and citizens or the community.

It is undeniable that the primary goal of public administration is to achieve state goals by the wishes of the public. Some of these public desires are security, welfare, and and justice.

To be able to achieve the goals of public administration, the following things are needed:

1. Social participation

Social participation is community participation in the implementation of public administration so that it is carried out properly

2. Social responsibility

Social responsibility is the accountability carried out by executors of public administration to the community or citizens.

3. Social support

This social support is the support provided by the public for the implementation of public administration

4. Social control

This social control is control or supervision by the people on public administration activities carried out by the government.

From this, we understand that public administration can participate in determining what development goals are and determining how to achieve these goals—moreover, those related to public or public services for all Indonesian citizens.

Public administration can develop according to the needs of a country and its conditions. With increasingly complex problems in a country, new ways will also emerge as solutions to these problems. That is why the science of public administration develops dynamically according to the times, people, and country.

What are Public Administration Theories?

Public Administration Theory is an amalgamation of history, organizational theory, social theory, political theory, and related studies focusing on the meaning, structure, and function of public service in all its forms.

The theory of public administration often explains the main historical underpinnings for the study of bureaucracy and the epistemological issues closely related to public service as a profession and as an academic field. There are several groups of theories regarding public administration, including:

1. Explanative descriptive theory

Descriptive theory is a theory that gives an abstract explanation of the reality of state administration. An example is the theory that explains administrative incompetence.

2. Normative Theory

Normative theory aims to explain a situation in the future, ideally from a condition. An example is the theory of ideal leadership about the future.

3. Assumptive Theory

Assumptive theory emphasizes preconditions, the assumption that there is a social reality behind a theory or a proposition. An example is McGregor’s X and Y theory which states that humans have good (Y) and not good (X) abilities.

4. Instrumental Theory

Instrumental theories focus on “how and when,” more on the application or application of the theory. For example, namely, the theory of policy, how the policy is implemented, and when the policy is implemented.