The Fundamentals of Public Administration.



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Fundamentals of Public Administration


Institution of Affiliation




Public administration deals with mainly the role of an administrator in government agencies. In private management, the focus is on organizational objectives and processes and is less exposed to the public. The existing differences between the above two have various implications on the role of the administrator in the areas of decision making, human resource management, and classical organizational theory, as explained in this research paper. When referring to private management, decisions are often arrived at by the Chief Executive Officer. In the public sector, the implications of the Human Resource include, for instance, the focus of the managers on collective maximization of the values of the respective agencies. It is in contrast to the private sector, where the objective is usually the maximization of the demands of the shareholders. However, in the public sector, it is different because where the employees get satisfaction or value on tasks that are being done. In the public sector, the implications refer to the whole decision-making process that ought to be followed to amend given legislation or pass any rules. It implies that the differences play a role in public administration, especially regarding the role of the public administrator in the three areas stated above.



Fundamentals of Public Administration


Public administration can be defined as a field that deals with the coverage of administrative policies required to create and strengthen a given society and its stakeholders by implementing various government policies. Additionally, public administration deals with the preparation of civil service employees in their various duties in the public service.  On the other hand, private management refers to the activities involved often in non-government-owned firms. It entails the management of narrowed types of needs of persons or groups, which is usually internal and has less exposure to the public. In the above two, several significant differences have got various implications in areas such as decision-making and human resource management. This paper seeks to research such differences and explain their implications on decision-making, human resource management, and classical organizational theory.


Background of the Issue

The differences between private management and public administration Play a role in the public administrator’s services in decision-making, human resource management, and classical organization theory.  Public administration deals with government policies while private management is less exposed to the public and deals with private firms’ issues. It implies that the differences impact the nature and processes or activities that a public administrator undertakes on the former. It, therefore, explains the need to understand the existing differences and their exact impact on public administration.


Issue and Solutions

Public administration has got significant differences when compared to private management. The existing differences impact the areas of decision making, human resource management, and classical organization theory.  In public administration, there are several processes of formal nature and which involve red tape. According to Eller et al. (2018), red tape is defined as a set of rules or procedures put in place and which have got a compliance element for a given organization but don’t have rules regarding functional objectivity.

According to Roberts (2020), red tape can be attributed to the existing three moving parts entailed in public administration. The writer notes that a division of authority is created to prevent any possible abuse of power and to ensure transparency in an organization. The extent of processes or formularization surpasses one of the private sectors in public administration. Additionally, there exists a significant difference in the mission or objective of various organizations.

In public administration, there is an emphasis on improving the welfare of the society or the population, whereas, in the private sector, profit is the focus. Decision-making is also quite an area that has got significant differences when comparing the two above. In the public sector, the implications refer to the whole decision-making process that ought to be followed to amend given legislation or pass any rules. Decision-making in organizations entails choice-making to change the prevailing set of conditions or choose an action course according to the existing alternatives. Additionally, it can also involve the expenditure of various assets of a firm or even resources to implement any given decision (Cropf & Wagner, 2017).

When referring to private management, decisions are often arrived at by the Chief Executive Officer. In the public sector, the Human Resource implications include the focus of the managers on collective maximization of the values of the respective agencies. It is in contrast to the private sector, where the objective is usually the maximization of the demands of the shareholders. In the private sector, the value of the employee is pegged on the various types of economic rewards they get for undertaking a given task effectively. However, in the public sector, it is different because where the employees get satisfaction or value on tasks that are being done. Comprehending the existing differences between the two, i.e., public administration and private management, are essential to enabling the transfer of the various practices regarding management between the two, as argued by (Feyzi & Rezaei, 2017).

The classical organizational theory emphasizes the anatomy of the firms that are of formal nature, and the theory views employees as machines and the other employees as parts of a given machine.  The theory also believes that to enhance the firm’s efficiency, all the employees in the organization need to be efficient. In public administration, the employees’ welfare is taken care of by the policies that are drafted by the government and which are implemented by a given organization’s human resource department. In contrast, in private management, the welfare of the employees is taken care of by the regulations set by the organizing itself. It implies that the government policies and directions regarding the various processes in public administration play a significant role in the impact on employees compared to private management. The organization’s rules and regulations impact the same (Desmarchelier, Djellal & Gallouj, 2019). It, therefore, explains the implication of the differences in the classical organizational theory.


Table 1.1: Differences between public administration and private management

  Public administration Private management
1. Deals with needs and interest of a “whole,” e.g., nation Deals with the needs of an individual or particular group
2. Setting objectives is abstract and relatively undefined Objective setting is quite straightforward and objectives well defined accruing to losses or profits
3. Government policies and rules have a significant impact on almost every process. The organization’s rules have a more significant impact on the processes.
4. More checks and balances with more transparency where the government is obligated to share the information with the public Operates with very minimal checks and balances with less public scrutiny






Table 1.2: Classical Organizational theory explanation

  Component of the Classical Organizational theory Explanation
1. Scientific management approach Pegged on the plan of work to attain efficiency, quality, or high standard and specialization in work. Main principles include science and scientific workers selection.
2. Weber bureaucratic approach An organization is considered as part of the wider society. The main principles include democracy and structure.
3. Administrative theory Was advanced by Henry Fayol. Its main principles include planning and commanding functions.






  • There is a need to emphasize how to improve the efficiency of the roles of the managers in the improvement of the value of the various agencies.
  • There is a need to clearly understand the differences and their impact on the public administrator’s role in public administration, emphasizing the improvement of the output of the public administration sector.
  • It is equally important to research and implement the best possible policies to guide public administration human resource management.




Cropf, R. A., & Wagner, J. L. (2017). American public administration: public service for the twenty-first century. Routledge.

Desmarchelier, B., Djellal, F., & Gallouj, F. (2019). Innovation in public services in the light of public administration paradigms and service innovation perspectives. European Review of Service Economics and Management, (8), 91-120.

Eller, W. S., Gerber, B. J., Robinson, S. E., Gerber, B. J., & Robinson, S. E. (2018). Public administration research methods. New York, NY: Routledge.

Feyzi, T., & Rezaei, S. (2017). The Fundamentals of Public Administration.

Roberts, A. (2020). Strategies for governing: Reinventing public administration for a dangerous century. Cornell University Press.





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