Importance of Comparative Public Administration [CPA]
Study of public administration on a comparative basis.
Explain factors responsible for cross-national or cultural differences in bureaucratic behavior.
Study of public administration by making rigorous cross-cultural comparisons of the structures and processes involved in the activity of administering public affairs.
Study of public administration applied to diverse cultures and national settings.
Learn distinctive features of a system or a group of systems.
Examine the success or failures of particular administrative features in particular ecological settings.
Understand strategies for administrative reforms.
Factors and trends in CPA:
Revisionist movement in comparative politics due to dissatisfaction with traditional approaches.
Traditional public administration was culture-bound.
Post World War II, US scholars were exposed to third-world countries.
Rise of the behavioral approach.
Trends in public administration:
The shift from normative i.e. “What public administration ought to be” to empirical i.e. “What public administration is?”.
Ideographic i.e. suitable for a particular setting to nomothetic i.e. universal.
Non-ecological i.e. administration isolated from the environment to ecological i.e. administration as related to the external environment.
The focus of Comparative public administration is to study:
The environment of the administrative system.
Whole administrative system
Formal, informal structures of administrative systems.
Performance of administrative systems.
Roles of individuals.
Interaction between personalities of individuals in the organization.
Policy and decision systems.
Conceptual approaches in CPA:
Bureaucratic: Focus is on rationality and efficiency. Weber’s model of hierarchy, specialization, and role specificity.
Behavioral: Analyses human behavior in an administrative setting.
General systems: Analyses interaction between administrative systems and their environment.
Ecological: Impact of political, social, economic, and cultural subsystems on the administrative subsystem.
Structural functional: Prismatic society has a growing degree of structural differentiation but is not matched by an equal degree of integration.