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IGNOU MPA-12 ADMINISTRATIVE THEORY FREE SOLVED ASSIGNMENT

ASSIGNMENT REFERENCE MATERIAL (2017-18) FREE
SECTION – I

Q1) Examine the nature, scope and importance of public administration.

Ans:- Public Administration, therefore, refers to that part of administration, which pertains to the administrative activities of the government. Here are some definitions of Administration and Public Administration by some renowned personalities:

Woodrow Wilson:- “Public administration is the detailed and systematic application of law. Every particular application of law is an act of administration.”

L.D. White:- “Public administration consists of all those operations having for their purpose the fulfillment covers a multitude of particular operations in many fields the delivery of a letter, the sale of public land, the negotiation of a treaty, the award of compensation to an injured workman, the quarantine* of a sick child, the removal of litter from a park, manufacturing uranium 235, and licensing the use of atomic energy. It includes military as well as civil affairs, much of the work of courts, and all the special fields of government activity—police, education, health, construction of public works, conservation, social security, and many others. The conduct of public affairs in advanced civilizations requires the employment of almost every profession and skill-engineering, law, medicine, the teaching; the crafts, the technical specialties, the office skills, and many others.”

Percy Me Queen:- “Public administration is related to the operations of government whether local or central.”

Luther Gulicki:- “Public administration is that part of the science of administration, which has to do with the government; it concerns itself primarily with the executive branch where the work of the government is done; though there are obviously problems also in connection with the legislative and judicial branches.”

H.A. Simon, D.W. Smithburg and V.A. Thompson:- “Public Administration, in common usage is meant the activities of the executive branches of national, state and local governments, government corporations and certain other agencies of a specialized character. Specifically excluded are judicial and legislative agencies within the government and non-governmental administration.”

Nature and scope of public administration:- All societies have their political systems and economic systems, so also they have their Public Administration Systems. In contemporary societies, Public Administration has proved to be indispensable. Its scope is very wide; it includes all the activities undertaken by the government in public interest. There are two views regarding the Nature of Public Administration, that is, Integral and Managerial. According to the integral view, ‘administration’ is the sum total of all the activities manual, clerical, managerial, etc. which are undertaken to realize the objectives of the organization. In this view, all the acts of officials of the Government from the Attendant to the Secretaries to the government and Head of the State constitute Public Administration. Henri Fayol and L.D. White are the supporters of this view. According to the managerial view of administration, the managerial activities of people who are involved in planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling constitute Public Administration. This view regards administration as getting things done and not doing things. Luther Gullick, Herbert Simon, Smithburg and Thompson are the supporters of this view. The managerial view excludes Public Administration from non-managerial activities such as manual, clerical and technical activities.

Scope of Public Administration: Broadly speaking, Public Administration embraces all the activities of the government. Hence, as an activity the scope of public administration is no less than the scope of state activity. In the modern welfare state, people expect many things a wide variety of services and protection from the government. In this context, public administration provides a number of welfare and social security services to the people. Besides, it has to manage government owned industries and regulate private industries. Public administration covers every area and activity within the ambit* public policy. Thus, the scope of public administration is very wide in modern state.

Scope of Public Administration as a Discipline: The scope of public administration as a discipline, that is subject of studies, comprises of the following:

POSDCORB View: Several writers have defined the scope of public administration in varying terms. Gullick sums up the scope of the subject by the letters of the word POSDCORB which denote: Planning, Organization, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating reporting the Budgeting. Planning means the working out in broad outline the things to be done, the methods to be adopted to accomplish the purpose. Organization means the establishment of the formal structure of authority through which the work is sub-divided, arranged, defined and coordinated. Staffing means the recruitment and training of the personnel and their conditions of work. Directing means making decisions and issuing orders and instructions. Coordinating means inter-relating the work of various divisions, sections and other parts of the organization. Reporting means informing the superiors within the agency to whom the executive is responsible about what is going on. Budgeting means fiscal planning, control and accounting. According to Gullick the POSDCORB activities are common to all organizations.

Q2) Describe the characteristics of formal and informal organisations.

Ans. The Characteristics of Formal Organization:

  • It has a clearly defined structure of activities which is predetermined by the top management.
  • A formal organization is relatively stable.
  • A formal organization grows and expands.
  • The organization structure is based on division of labour and specialization.
  • The structure is based on the jobs to be performed and not according to individuals who are to perform jobs.
  • The organization does not take into consideration emotional aspect. It is deliberately impersonal.
  • The authority and responsibility relationships created by the organization structure are to be honored by everyone.
  • Organizational charts are usually drawn. All the positions from General Manager down to lower levels appear on the formal chart of the organization.

Informal Organization is the interlocking social structure that governs how people work together in practice. It is the aggregate of behaviors, interactions, norms, personal and professional connections through which work gets done and relationships are built among people who share a common organizational affiliation or cluster of affiliations. It consists of a dynamic set of personal relationships, social networks, communities of common interest, and emotional sources of motivation. The informal organization evolves organically and spontaneously in response to changes in the work environment, the flux of people through its porous boundaries, and the complex social dynamics of its members.

Tended effectively, the informal organization complements the more explicit structures, plans, and processes of the formal organization: it can accelerate and enhance responses to unanticipated events, foster innovation, enable people to solve problems that require collaboration across boundaries, and create footpaths showing where the formal organization may someday need to pave a way.

The Characteristics of Informal Organization: An informal organization has its own characteristics:

  • Generally a society evolves its own unwritten laws, beliefs and controls’ regarding what is desirable behavior and what is undesirable. This is what an informal organization also does.
  • People think and act alike in groups and this continuous cooperation gives rise to common values and common codes of behavior.
  • It forces the members of the group to observe the common rules. It is a very effective organization to impose penalties on or punish those who violate these rules.
  • The leadership in it is also informal.
  • There is stratification also within an informal organization, which is based on several factors.

Q3) Explain the basic principles and concerns of Scientific Management Approach of F.W Taylor.

Ans. Scientific management was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labour productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management. According to Taylor the decisions based upon tradition and rules of thumb should be replaced by precise procedures developed after careful study of an individual at work. Its application is contingent on a high level of managerial control over employee work practices. Taylorism is a variation on the theme of efficiency; it is a late-19th and early-20th century instance of the larger recurring theme in human life of increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and using empirical methods to decide what matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-existing ideas of what matters. Further we’ll explain the folk wisdom of thrift, time and motion study, Fordism, and lean manufacturing. It overlapped considerably with the Efficiency Movement, which was the broader cultural echo of scientific management’s impact on business managers specifically. In management literature today, the greatest use of the concept of Taylorism is as a contrast to a new, improved way of doing business.

Development of a True Science of Work: Taylor believed that there is a need to develop science of work. He further believed that there is one ‘best way’ of doing every job. This can be achieved by systematic study of any work and replacing the old thumb-rule method by developing a scientific method. This requires gathering mass of traditional knowledge, recording it, tabulating it and in many cases finally reducing it to laws rules and even to mathematical formulae. And later these laws and rules are to be applied to the everyday work of all workmen of the organization. The scientific method of work saves worker from unnecessary criticism of the boss and the management to get maximum work from worker. It also results in establishing a ‘large daily task’ to be done by the qualified workers under the optimum conditions.

Scientific Selection and Progressive Development of Workmen: To ensure effective performance of the scientifically developed work there is a need to select the workers on scientific basis. It is the duty of the management to study the character, the nature and the performance of each worker with a view to find out his limitations and possibilities for his development. Taylor believed that every worker has potentialities for development. Every worker must be systematically and thoroughly trained. Scientific selection involves selecting a right person for a right job. It is also necessary to ensure that the employee accepts the new methods, tools and conditions willingly and enthusiastically. There should be opportunities for advancement to do the job to the fullest realization of his normal capabilities.

Taylor also expressed the concern for the following in the scientific management method. They are:

  • Work Study and Work Measurement
  • Standardisation of Tools
  • Selection and Training of Workers
  • Task Prescription
  • Incentive Schemes
  • Work as an Individual Activity
  • Trade Unions
  • Development of Management Thinking
  • Mental Revolution
  • Functional Foremanship
  • Division of Work

Q4) Bring out the features of Weberian Bureaucratic Paradigm.

Ans:- Max Weber’s contribution to the study of bureaucracy is unparallel in the history. He studied bureaucracy in a systematic manner. He explained the features of legal-rational bureaucracy and the features of the officials that form very important component of the bureaucracy. Considering his contribution to the study of bureaucracy and the criticism it attracted from the cross section of the scholars is briefly explained here.

Max Weber’s Ideas: In spite of the fact that there was a considerable amount of discussion on bureaucracy by the early writers, Weber’s contribution to the theory of bureaucracy is more systematic and organized. Weber provided a framework for understanding of bureaucracy. He considered it as the legal-rational model of authority, which is based on impersonality, rule of law, strict hierarchy, written documentation and separation of public office from the private. He viewed bureaucracy as the most positive instrument. He considered the bureaucracy as the most efficient form of organization. Precision, continuity, discipline, reliability are the important characteristics of Weberian bureaucracy. These characteristics made it technically the most superior and satisfactory form of organization.

Irrespective of type of organization, this kind of bureaucracy is essential for their efficient functioning. Weber considered that the society once ruled by bureaucracy can never think of any alternative. Weber was also conscious that the monocratic bureaucracy has the inherent tendency of accumulating power because of its specialized knowledge of the administrative office. Hence, Weber considered certain mechanisms to limit the authority of the bureaucracy. They are: collegiality, separation of powers, amateur administration, direct democracy and representation.

Critics of Weberian Bureaucracy: While questioning the Weber’s rational bureaucracy, Robert Marten expressed the view that too much emphasis on precision, reliability and rules may be self-defeating. Graded career structure may encourage the bureaucrats to develop a group solidarity, which may oppose any structural changes and reforms in the bureaucracy. This may lead to the development of vested interest by the bureaucracy contrary to the objectives or interest of the organization.

In this connection, it is not out of context to know what Philip Selznick stated about the functioning of the sub-units of the organization or administration. He felt that the purpose or objectives of the organization get defeated if the sub-units set up individual goals for themselves and function contrary to the goals of the broader organizational or administrative structure. He suggests the remedy for this is better coordination not setting up of new departments. These aspects are not given due importance in the Weberian concept of bureaucracy.

Peter Blau examined issue of how formal regulations were implemented by the rational bureaucracy in achieving the objectives of the organization in the United States of America. He examined two departments. He found that a group of officials who cooperated and consulted each other have achieved the organizational objectives better than those who followed the rules and regulations. Blau felt that bureaucratic efficiency cannot be achieved by the official by strictly adhering to the rigid rules. It means the bureaucrats need to identify with the objectives of the organization as a whole and adopt his behavior to the changing circumstances to facilitate the efficient administration, which can achieve the objectives of the organization.

Non-suitability of Weberian model of administration to different circumstances of non-western societies has been brought to limelight by many thinkers. It is also to be kept in mind that the demands of poor and vulnerable and sick need a proactive bureaucracy not the rational bureaucracy of Weber. R. V. Presthus noted that the implicit assumptions about the human motivation of which Weber has imagined may not be found in the non-western societies. It means the Weberian bureaucracy is not valid in the context of developing countries. This type of opinion was expressed by other social scientists also.

Q5) What do you understand by Rational Decision Making in administrative process?

Ans. Simon’s decision-making formula assumes that the rational administrator has perfect knowledge of the possible courses of action and their consequences and has equal access to the relevant information on all or any of them. But, this is rarely the case in the real world because administrators operate in the face of numerous limitations in decision-making activities. The various limitations, which stem from the decision-maker’s deficiencies in knowledge about various things and the structural arrangement of the organizations, are as follows:

  • The decision-maker rarely knows the full range of possible solutions to the defined problem.
  • He knowledge of the consequences of each possible alternative strategy is limited.
  • His information is inadequate.
  • Lack of sufficient time to examine fully each possibility and its consequences.
  • Lack of knowledge about the future events in which the decision will be operating.
  • Decision-maker’s habits, personal beliefs, and intellectual capacity.
  • The influence, conventions, and behavioral norms of informal groups.
  • Organizational factors such as the rules and procedures of formal organization, its channels of communication, etc.
  • External pressures.

Looking at the above, we note that in the simpler situations analyzing the sequence is easier and, therefore, a better and rational decision is possible. In complex situations, which involve a large network of decisions in different phases, rationality in the decision-making is bound to suffer. But Simon emphasizes that all decision-making should be based on rational choices. He defines rationality as one “concerned with the relation of a preferred behavior alternative in terms of some system of values whereby the consequences of behavior can be evaluated”. This requires that the decision-maker should have knowledge about all available alternatives. The decision-maker should also be able to anticipate the consequences of each of the alternatives.

Simon explains that there are six different types of rationality, viz. objective, subjective, conscious, deliberate, organizational and personal. Simon differentiates between these different types of rationality. A decision is:

  • objectively rational where it is correct behavior for maximizing given values in a given situation;
  • subjectively rational if the decision maximizes attainment relative to knowledge of the subject;
  • consciously rational where adjustment of means to ends is a conscious process;
  • deliberately rational to the degree that the adjustment of means to ends has been deliberately sought;
  • organizationally rational to the extent that it is aimed at the organization’s goals; and
  • personally rational if the decision is directed to the individual’s goals.

Further, we can elaborate that individuals in an organization make decisions based on two or more alternative choices. The need to choose, and the decision between the two that is eventually derived, is based on the decision-maker’s perception of what is the best decision. Furthermore, successful decision-making requires the three components of creativity. There include, ‘expertise, creativity skills and task motivation’.

SECTION – II

Q6) Describe the features of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory.

Ans:- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity. Maslow studied what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that “the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy.” Maslow also studied the healthiest one per cent of the college student population. In his book, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature, Maslow writes, “By ordinary standards of this kind of laboratory research… this simply was not research at all. My generalizations grew out of my selection of certain kinds of people. Obviously, other judges are needed.

Physiological Needs: For the most part, physiological needs are obvious – they are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met with the exception of clothing, (shelter) and sex, the human body simply cannot continue to function.

Physiological needs include:

  • Breathing
  • Homeostasis
  • Water
  • Sleep
  • Food
  • Sex
  • Clothing
  • Shelter

Safety Needs: With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual’s safety needs take over and dominate their behavior. These needs have to do with people’s yearning for a predictable, orderly world in which injustice and inconsistency are under control, the familiar frequent and the unfamiliar rare. In the world of work, these safeties needs manifest themselves in such things as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, and the like.

Social Needs: After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs is social. This psychological aspect of Maslow’s hierarchy involves emotionally-based relationships in general, such as:

  • Friendship
  • Intimacy
  • Having a supportive and communicative family

Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs (safety in numbers), or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, may ignore the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging.

Esteem Need: All humans have a need to be respected, to have self-esteem, self-respect. Also known as the belonging need, esteem presents the normal human desire to be accepted and valued by others. People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem or an inferiority complex. People with low self-esteem need respect from others. They may seek fame or glory, which again depends on others. It may be noted, however, that many people with low self-esteem will not be able to improve their view of themselves simply by receiving fame, respect, and glory externally, but must first accept themselves internally.

Q7) ‘Victor Vroom propagated an Expectancy Theory of Motivation’ Elaborate.

Ans. Victor Vroom studied the motivational and decision-making processes and developed what has come to be known as Expectancy Theory. This approach attempts to measure the degree of desire to perform a behavior rather than the need to perform a behavior. Motivation strength is calculated by multiplying the perceived value of the result of performing a behavior by the perceived probability that the result will materialize. The idea that workers are driven by complex internal processes of motivation is sometimes known as expectancy theory.

Expectancy Theory: Vroom’s theory assumes that behavior results from conscious choices among alternatives whose purpose is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. The key elements to this theory are referred to as Expectancy (E), Instrumentality (I), and Valence (V). Critical to the understanding of the theory is the understanding that each of these factors represents a belief. The Expectancy Theory of Victor Vroom deals with motivation and management. Vroom’s theory assumes that behavior results from conscious choices among alternatives whose purpose it is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Together with Edward Lawler and Lyman Porter, Vroom suggested that the relationship between people’s behavior at work and their goals was not as simple as was first imagined by other scientists. Vroom realized that an employee’s performance is based on individual factors such as personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities. The expectancy theory says that individuals have different sets of goals and can be motivated if they believe that:

  • There is a positive correlation between efforts and performance,
  • Favorable performance will result in a desirable reward,
  • The reward will satisfy an important need,
  • The desire to satisfy the need is strong enough to make the effort worthwhile.

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory is based upon the following three beliefs:

(1)        Valence [Valence refers to the emotional orientations people hold with respect to outcomes (rewards). The depth of the want of an employee for extrinsic (money, promotion, time-off, benefits) or intrinsic (satisfaction) rewards]. Management must discover what employees value.

(2)        Expectancy (Employees have different expectations and levels of confidence about what they are capable of doing). Management must discover what resources, training, or supervision employees need.

(3)        Instrumentality (The perception of employees whether they will actually get what they desire even if it has been promised by a manager). Management must ensure that promises of rewards are fulfilled and that employees are aware of that.

Q8) Discuss the views of Chester Barnard on Organisational System.

Ans:- Organization as a Cooperation System: Barnard regards an organization as a system that is subordinate to the longer system society. He emphasizes “At root, the cause of the instability and limited duration of formal organizations lie in the forces outside. These forces both furnish the materials which are used by organizations and limit their action”. He viewed organization as a social system. For him all organizations with the exception of the State and the Church are partial systems since they are dependent upon more comprehensive systems.

Chester Barnard defines an organization as a “System of consciously coordinated activities or forces of two or more persons”. He says that organization comes into being when:

(a)        There are persons able to communicate with each other;

(b)        Who are willing to contribute action; and

(c)        To accomplish a common purpose.

Concept of Authority: Barnard defines authority as “the character of a communication (order) in a formal organization by virtue of which it is accepted by a contributor or ‘member’ of the organization as governing the action he contributes”. This indicates that for Barnard authority consists of two aspects; first, the subjective aspect, the personal aspect, the accepting of communication as authoritative and second, the objective aspect – the character in the communication by virtue of which it is accepted.

Bernard further argues that if a directive communication is accepted by one to whom it is addressed; its authority for him is confirmed or established. A person can and will accept a communication as authoritative only when four conditions simultaneously obtain:

(a)        he can and does understand the communication;

(b)        at the time of his decision he believes that it is not inconsistent with the purpose of the organization;

(c)        at the time of his decision, he believes it to be compatible with his personal interest as a whole.

Zone of Indifference: Authority is surrounded by a ‘Zone of indifference”. Chester Barnard calls the zone of action in which the superior is free to act “the zone of indifference”. He used the term to refer to employees’ disposition to accede to authority within a sphere of action. The size and nature of this zone will be wider or narrower depending upon the degree to which the inducements exceed the burden and sacrifices that determine the individual’s adhesion to the organization. The zone of indifference can be expanded depending on the effectiveness of greater inducements.

Q9) Explain the concept of Learning Organisations.

Ans. A Learning Organization is the term given to a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. Learning organizations develop as a result of the pressures facing modern organizations and enables them to remain competitive in the business environment. A Learning Organization has five main features; systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision and team learning.

Many authors have tried to define and describe the learning organization, as if the idea was homogeneous. However, no one seems to have succeeded with that task. Authors point out that confusion still exists about the concept. The terms ‘organizational learning’ and ‘learning organization’ are used interchangeably. Many authors emphasize the difficulty, or even the impossibility of describing what a complete learning organization looks like. They argue that learning organizations change continually or that each learning organization must be different in order to fit the specific organization. Furthermore many authors present some definitions of ‘the learning organization’ and make a synthesis. However, most synthesis and definitions have more differences than similarities. For instance, Watkins and Marsick define ‘the learning organization’ as one that learns continuously and transforms itself’, while, according to Senge, it is ‘an organization that is continually expanding its capacity to create process can be more easily solved with explicit knowledge, whereas un-analysable problems require a non-routine search process that draws much more on tactic knowledge. Practitioners are of four distinct types – ‘organizational learning’, learning at work learning climate and learning structure, use in the literature and the term learning organization.

The organization portrayed as a learning system is not new. In fact, at the turn of the century Frederick W. Taylor’s learning on scientific management were said to be transferable to workers to make the organization more efficient. However, the beginning of today’s use of the term “learning organization” is usually attributed to the work of Chris Argyris and his colleagues, who made the distinction between “single-loop”, and “double-loop”, learning.

Single-loop learning involves improving the organization’s capacity to achieve known objectives. It is associated with routine and behavioral learning. Under single-loop, the organization is learning without significant change in its basic assumptions.

Q10) Write a note on Methodological Individualism, Rationality and Economic Analysis of Politics.

Ans. Methodological Individualism and Rationality: Methodological individualism is a philosophical orientation towards explaining broad society-wide developments as the accumulation of decisions by individuals. The methodology of Public Choice consists of two related elements. The first is methodological individualism. Methodological individualism rejects viewing the society as an organizm, and considers a holistic approach misleading. Public Choice theorists argue that even when studying collective entities and groups, the individual should be the unit of analysis, both as the basic unit of decision-making as well as the unit for whom the decision is made. Groups, organizations, or even societies, are nothing more than the (sum of the) individuals comprising them. While many other approaches talk of group decision-making, the Public Choice approach denies the legitimacy of decision-making at the group level. This approach contends that an organic view of society is not accurate, it is indeed misleading.

The second element of economic methodology, closely related to the first, is rational choice. Rational choice is merely the modern application of the attribute of “measuring the pleasure-pain calculus” that according to classical philosophers people follow. It takes but one aspect of human behavior, namely decision-making in specific environments. The fundamental idea is that people try to do the best they can, given the constraints that they face. People are assumed to be able to rank alternatives in order of preference, and choose the most preferred alternative and also be consistent in their choices. It does not imply that people are selfish or that they are negligent of other people. This is true in all areas of human endeavour, whether economic, political or social. Applied to politics, the basic implication that Public Choice theorists make is that politics should not be analyzed from a ‘public interest’ perspective, but from an ‘individual gain-maximizing’ one. All participants in the political arena politicians, bureaucrats, voters, and stakeholders act to maximize their own gains.

Economic Analysis of Politics: Public Choice theory is the application of economics to the study of political processes and institutions. This is not so much the assertion that economic events or forces or processes influence political events and activities, but the application of the methodology and tools of economics to the study of political science. Public Choice is an approach and a methodology. It does not have its own separate topics. Its topics are the same as those of political science. Public Choice studies processes by which people indicate preferences and choices in the political sphere. It urges that social scientists who study political and bureaucratic activities should not that politicians and bureaucrats act out of benevolence or that they have the ‘public interest’ in mind. Rather, politicians and bureaucrats have self-interest uppermost in their minds when they undertake actions. Politicians may think of taking actions that would help them to get re-elected or win an election ticket. Similarly, a bureaucrat may have career promotions or increase in status and power in mind when undertaking actions. Public choice suggests that we abandon and romantic notion of motivations of politicians and bureaucrats and take a realistic view.

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