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Theories In Frederickson’s Book,: The Public Administration Theory Primer

1983 words - 8 pages

As explained in Frederickson’s book, “The Public Administration Theory Primer” there is so many types of organizational theory in public administration. We are going to explore only three of these theories and their applications to public and non-profit administrations in the 21st century.
The first theory we are going to analyze is the theories of Political Control of Bureaucracy. This theory focuses on the question of bureaucracy compliance with the law and the preferences of the lawmakers. There is much distrust of American philosophy in the power of government in public administration. Theories of political control of bureaucracy have a basic objective to explain and ensure how administration can be accountable and subordinate to the formally designated institutions of democratic decision-making. The key challenge of this is the separation administration from politics. The explanatory orientation and the underlying logic in theories of political control require a conceptual distinction between politics and administration. It is this distinction that provides these frameworks with their strengths and weaknesses. A pro of this theory is the imposition of the dichotomy that provides considerable parsimony and elegance. This is done through the conceptualization administration in technical terms and not worrying about political implications. If the dichotomy remains, the theories have high explanatory capacity, providing a comprehensive, well-ordered explanation of administration that serves as a solid guide for action. Due to the lack of support of assumption of the dichotomy, this theory lacks support. Frederickson states, “The inaccurate portrayal of the real world represented by the dichotomy lessens the replicative, descriptive, and predictive capacities of the theory (Frederickson, Smith, Larimer, & Licari, 2012).”
Scholars acknowledge the working relationship between administration and politics, but try to demonstrate that the decisionmaking areas are dominated by their own entities. This mixed relationship is determined by the organizational structure of roles and responsibilities imparted on administrative actors.
Under the theories of political control of bureaucracy include framework theories such as capture theory, theory of client responsiveness, and agency theory. Capture theory has never had much empirical support and explains the political role of the bureaucracy by suggesting that public agencies “go native” and become advocates of those they regulate. Theory of client responsiveness explains how structure determines bureaucracy’s role as it is split into functional specializations becoming advocates of each of its clientele. Agency theory is seen as the most promising framework that links and distinguishes the administrative and political elements of government. This theory is based on economics and describes the contractual relationship between elected and appointed government actors. Elected officials are the principles...

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