Management

Public management

Public management is a term that considers that government and non-profit administration resembles private-sector management in some important ways. As such, there are management tools appropriate in public and in private domains, tools that maximize efficiency and effectiveness. This contrasts with the study of public administration, which emphasizes the social and cultural drivers of government that many contend (e.g. Graham T. Allison and Charles Goodsell) make it different from the private sector. Studying and teaching about public management are widely practiced in developed nations. Such credentials as the Master of Public Administration degree offer training in decision making relevant to the public good using public infrastructure. The public manager will deal with critical infrastructure that directly and obviously affects quality of life. Trust in public managers, and the large sums spent at their behest, make them subject to many more conflict of interest and ethics guidelines in most nations. Public administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal... is to advance management and policies so that government can function." Some of the various definitions which have been offered for the term are: "the management of public programs"; the "translation of polit

cs into the reality that citizens see every day"; and "the study of government decision making, the analysis of the policies themselves, the various inputs that have produced them, and the inputs necessary to produce alternative policies." Public administration is "centrally concerned with the organization of government policies and programmes as well as the behavior of officials (usually non-elected) formally responsible for their conduct" Many unelected public servants can be considered to be public administrators, including heads of city, county, regional, state and federal departments such as municipal budget directors, human resources (H.R.) administrators, city managers, census managers, state [mental health] directors, and cabinet secretaries. Public administrators are public servants working in public departments and agencies, at all levels of government. In the US, civil servants and academics such as Woodrow Wilson promoted American civil service reform in the 1880s, moving public administration into academia. However, "until the mid-20th century and the dissemination of the German sociologist Max Weber's theory of bureaucracy" there was not "much interest in a theory of public administration." The field is multidisciplinary in character; one of the various proposals for public administration's sub-fields sets out six pillars, including human resources, organizational theory, policy analysis and statistics, budgeting, and ethics.