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Ecology of Public Administration

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“Public administration is the machinery as well as the integral processes, through which the goverment performs its functions” nnoli(1986;165).The term public administration which is composed of two words namely: public and administration.Where the word public refers to all the issues to with the nation and its citizens of that particular country.Where as administration according to Rowart who cited Gullick(1937) defined it as it “has to do with getting things done;with the accomplishment of defined objectives. According to Hughes(2003;9) argued to say that public administration which is just the same to say the public sector.He also continued to say that the public is simply too large:which makes it to consume too many resources.Resources as stated by many economists to say that they are scarce for instance resources like land,labour,capital and intepreneurial skills.In this regard the public administrator is exposed to such an intense pressure one can ever imagine.So as to say he is made responsible to manage and control all these these scarce resources just to make sure that the government is not using up much of the resources which are already scarce for that matter.

He also stating that the scope of the public sector is very wide in as far as its daily activities and programmes are concerned.Besides that its daily activities and programmes are diverse and complex making the performance of the public administrator not to be simple. In attempt to deal with all these issues public administration is exposed to different internal and external environmental(ecological) factors which in turn affects its day to day performance and behaviour.After reading this essay one will understand how these affect the performance and behaviour of public administration negatively and positively.In this essay,the internal and external environmental factors have been explained to a greater detail such that one will understand how this transpires. In the first place technological environment affects public administration externally in the sense that it can affect its performance and behaviour positively and negatively.

According to Hughes(2003;14) technology can affect public administration positively which can be seen as he is pointing out to issues of the adoption of the E-government in today`s world especially in developed countries.Inaddition to the E-government, the use of Information and communication technologies have also been mentioned(ICTs).Information Communication Technologies like distributed computer systems,internet linkages,new data bases and other technologically advanced materials.All these make the work of public administrators easy,Just to elaborate more on that public administrators in a government institution collectively form what we call bureaucratic structures. This collection of public administrators in a government institution is referred to as the bureaucracy.In this regard,the electronic government can affect the governments positively in the sense that the work which is supposed to be done by a public administrator or a mere civil servant is being worked out by the Information sophisticated materials for instance computers and the like.

As a result there is an increase in the outputs,this is because less effort is being made upon the work at a public administrator`s disporsal.In this case, the public sector can be able to tackle all issues needing its attention. One can also argue that technological factors can not only have a positive impact but also it also have the dark side in other ways the negative side.Usually manufacturing industries of the world when manufacturing goods do emit poisonous gases in the atmosphere.According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency(2010;1) it is said that some industries produce products which have poisonous substances in them in as far as environmental issues are concerned.For instance cosmetics produce a substance which is referred to as the aerosol substance which has a great impact on the earth`s atmosphere in as far scientific knowledge is concerned.

The Agency is referring to the substance as a climate enforcer in other what it is trying to say is that they bring out a negative impact on the earth`s atmosphere.The Agency continues to articulate to say that these climate enforcers absorb energy and this leads to climate warming in other ways climate change. Furthermore economic factors also affect the behaviour and perfomance of the public sector extenally.As Hughes(2003;10) cited Pusey(1991) to say that economic theories,for example the neoclassical theory sometimes called economic rationalism which states that the harder edged form of economics became prominent in the economics proffession.These theories like the neoclassical economics will always affect public administration because as times become harder and harder public administration will always be much concerned with these theories and in turn appliying them to the issues at hand.Secondly,limited economic resources also plays a very big role.

The economic resources being referred to here are land,labour,capital and administrator`s intepreneurial skills.”For insance few human resource in public administration will negatively affect the machinery and co-ordination of the resources needed by public administration which are so diffuse and dispersed that this really is a serious problem.”nnolli(1986;173) For public agencies,political issues are uniquely important.Politics is very much important in as far as the issues of framework and machinery of country`s administration are concerned.As According toWilson(1941) who was cited by Rowart(1961) said that this is where the debate of politics-administration dichotomy stems from which states that administrators need not to be concerned with political issues.In practice this is a blue lie because as stated by Nnolli(1986) that Public administration operates in an intense and pervasive political atmosphere.this is natural since public administration is part and parcel of the political process.Scholars of public administration have long recognized that public administration agreed that it originates from the realm or sphere of political decisions that is to say,it can never be separated from politics. The next item to be discussed is about sociological factors.

Sociological factors like culture,race and ethnicity,civil servant and moral attributes affect the performance and practice of public administration. Culture and ethinicity,civil servants or public administrators are affected by culture and ethinic grouping from which they are coming from.For example the practice of fisi where a male individual is introduced to girls on puberty stage where he has sex to each of the girls.Administration is affected in terms of how some issues like early pregnancies,school drop out and the problems relating to these issues.The government of Malawi has been affected by these cultural forms not only the ones mentioned above but they are also some cultural practices like kulowa kufa and hlazi.Incontrast they are also some cultural practices which affect public administration positively like Jando( male circumcision).One can argue that this provide protection in contraction of HIV/AIDS. Race and ethinicity,issues to do with race and ethinity are very critical in as far as the performance of public administration is concerned.

Racism can hinder participation of the public for instance,in United States this was prevalent in the sense that blacks were prohibited to some public services while whites were privileged to those kind of services.According to Nnolli(1986) stated that in African public administration issues to do with ethinocentricism are very common just because people are only struggling for their personal advantages and also the ethinic factor often intrudes and is cleverly manipulated.In the end staff in African public administration will often employ individuals according to which ethinic group he or she comes from. Moral attribute such as honesty,being devoted to ones own social duty and principles,responsibility for one`s words and action are very important,morality as a basis for personnel management and the moral features of civil servants are of special value. Besides the external factors they are also internal factors which affects the machinery of a country`s public administration.

Legislature system which deals with the making of the laws of a country also affects the performance of a country.Government as influenced by external factor,technology is pushing the public sector to move into an electronic information dissemination (Mckinnon 2005)she continues to give an example of the US government to say the federal government in 1996 ammended the Freedom of Information Act just to establish a cite where the request of citizens can be handled.And also to reduce the number of request needed to be handled as well as to conform to paper elimination targets.The establishment of an information management structure in which these electronic records can be captured,managed and screened for personal or sensitive information is critical to ensuring appropriate compliance.In such cases like the one of the US will facilitate the performance of it’s daily activities.Therefore the laws of a country can indeed play a part in issues of public administration.

“Public administration takes place in the full glare of the public eye.It is in a sense everyone`s business and what is more,some are ever ready to profer suggestions on how to perform better, to call for more action to criticize and identify weaknesses and failures and to make political capital out of such failures.Thus,public administration is under public pressure;his attension is divided,he is distracted,under such conditions efficiency suffers.But this is a necessary sacrifice for the values of freedom and democracy.It is unthinkable that public administration should be a secret affairs of the civil servants”.(Nnolli,1986;174) Courts in some political systems of a country interpret and apply constitutional statutory and common law.In issuing authoritative interpretations and enforcing them through judicial orders courts can exert significant influence over agencies at all levels of government as stated by barton(1985). Furthermore judicial interaction with administrative agencies does not occur on frequent and regular basis as does legislative or executive involvement.

They are also not political in their works.So we say courts lack the means to take the initiative.They wait for a suitable case to be presented by an individual or organization with an actual grievance. In all the examples the judicial system is bringing issues which need to be sorted out there by, having an impact on the performance and behaviour of public administration. The ecology of public administration is a topic which is very broad in nature.This is because public administration encompasses a lot of works in terms of education,agriculture,foreign affairs,sports activities and all the disciplines which are there just for the welfare of a country`s citizens.So by dealing with all these issues it makes itself to be exposed to all sorts of environment factors so they can be a lot more factors that can be added.


Barton,R & Chappell,W(1985). Public Administration:The work of Government. Scott Foresman & Company: Gleinview.

Hughes,O.(2003).Public Management and Administration. New York: Palgrave.

Mc Kinnon,M.(2005). Challenges Facing The Public Sector. Retrieved at http://www.mimage.hummingbird.com/alt_content/…

Micheal,P.(1991). Economic Rationalism in Canberra: A Nation building State Changes Its Mind.Melbourne:Cambridge

Nnolli,O.(1986). Introduction to Politics. Lagos:Longman.

Rowart,D.C.(Ed.) (1961). Basic Issues in Public Administration. New York: The Macmillan company .

Wilson,W.(1941). “The study of Administration”,Political Science Quarterly, P.493-96

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