Six paradigms of public administration

Six paradigms of public administration

Q : 7. According to Henry, there are six paradigms of public administration. Describe and trace the development of the discipline from the politics-administration dichotomy through the politics-administration continuum.
The six paradigms
The first paradigm is that of politics and administration dichotomy that tend to differentiate political and administrative issues by distinguishing the roles. The politicians are involved in making the policies important in governance while administrators ensure that the policies made are followed. The paradigm of the principles of public administration adds on to the previous paradigm as they ensure that the two roles of government are separable in all institutions so as to bring about neutrality. This paradigm was however faced by so many challenges that led to diminish of the first paradigm. As a result, the public administrators were confused over their expected roles and led to development of the third paradigm. Public administration as political science was a great relieve to most administrators and was based on mergence of the administrators with politicians. The paradigm held that politicians and administrators could not be separated and there was no need of administration principles.
The fourth paradigm is that of public administration as management was developed at the same time as the third paradigm. The paradigm incorporated those administrators who differed with the third paradigm. Other disciplines like economics and history were well linked with this paradigm and was very integrated. The fifth paradigm is that of public administration as public administration that symbolizes the end of dependence and the beginning of freedom. Public administration was separated from other issues and was independent. This led to the last paradigm that of governance in present that is a happy one as there are reduced issues of corruption and increased unity due to better comprehension of public administration (Henry, 40).
Politics administration dichotomy
Politics administration dichotomy was a development whose aim was to solve the existing political imbalance in the society. Prior to this paradigm, there was a problem in governance of different states. Although there were policies that had been set, the problem was in ensuring that they were followed to the letter. As a result, despite the very comprehensive policies set, the nature of running things was corrupt that negatively influenced the government. This paradigm unravels two different roles of government, that of setting policies to be followed and that of ensuring that the policies are followed to the letter (Henry, 37). Politicians are concerned with setting policies while administration ensures that the policies are followed.
The existing dilemma is the confusion that comes with this role as different people feel that the issues should not be separated at all. Critics would observe that the people who set the policies must obey them with no supervision at all. This point of view renders dichotomy useless and a mere mask to shield social and political decadence. The public administrators are prone to manipulation of the politicians and their role is directly influenced by power (Henry, 38). The principle of dichotomy therefore is a solution to the social and political inequality that would be characterized by abuse of power and personality. Consequently, there are incidences of interdependence where administrators are involved in policymaking and politicians being involved in administrative positions. There have been disputes over the informal mingling of the two roles of government where the politicians would fail to acknowledge administrators in the world of politics and vice versa (Henry, 38). However, the separation of the issues preserves the professions of the involved people as the different roles are well defined.
Politics Administration Continuum
The many critiques that face political dichotomy have made it to be discredited by most paradigms. This is especially so because the two differentiated roles are seen as a responsibility of a sole party either directly or indirectly. Politics continuum intensifies on the politics dichotomy and shows that the two roles need to be differentiated for the integrity of the society. Setting of the policies alone cannot be adequate to ensure proper governance. On the other hand, administration will ensure that policies that are set will be followed and the desired goal will be met due to great efficiency. If the two roles of the government were to be allocated to a sole party, the results would not be very desirable due to utter control and manipulation (Henry, 41).
In fact, the only reason why dichotomy received no credit from some people was due to the vulnerability of manipulation from other parties outside. Political continuum would reduce the vulnerability of manipulation and the set objectives would be met. If the role of the politician was to be assigned to public administrators, the goals would not be met effectively owing to the fact that administrators are not politicians. Similarly, administrators would not be successful in the world of politicians. This therefore means that the two roles must surely be separated for them to be effective in their operation (Henry, 44). The more the rate of vulnerability is reduced, the higher the rate of efficiency in governance is increased.
As a solution of the dilemma that exists between politics and administration, the government is seen as an institution involving different things that are seen in a more practical manner. The role of politics is to ensure that the government offices are filled with personnel that are open and influenced by power. Continuum on the other hand ensures that the government offices are occupied personnel who are appointed on competitive and fair grounds. This therefore means that while politics uphold power, personality, pluralism and loyalty, continuum advocates for fairness, impersonality and elitism (Henry, 45). Politics continuum is an advancement of the dichotomy, has solved most of the dilemmas, and enhanced the content that is useful. Most of the paradigms disregard the essence of dichotomy but since the emergence of continuum, there has been a resurrection.
Conclusion
The differentiated roles between politicians and administrators have been very helpful and should be supported at all costs. The public administrators are aware that they are expected to ensure that the policies that are set by the politicians are well followed. Consequently, justice and fairness that ensures social integrity as opposed to power abuse have been reinforced. This further ensures the individual professions are respected as the boundary between the two issues is well spelt out. As a result, the workload of the public administrators has been reduced leading to increased job performance that is proportional to the ultimate goal of governance

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