Example of article review on public administration

Frederick W. Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management, 1912

Thesis: According to Fredrick, the principles of scientific management when applied and given sufficient time can be very effective and produce far larger and better results for both employer and employees. The management of “ initiatives and incentive” in which those on the management’s side deliberately provide a huge motivation to workmen who work for them and as return the group of workmen responds by putting efforts to their very best ability all the times in the interest of their employers.
“ The first advantage which scientific management has over initiatives and incentive management initiative of workmen is obtained practically with absolute regularity in the older case it is spasmodically.”(Page 37)
“ The duties and burdens voluntarily assumed under scientific management, have been divided and classified in four different groups and these four types of new duties assumed by the management (rightly or wrongly) known as principles of scientific management.”(Page 37)
“ Of course I do not wish to be understood that there are never any quarrels under scientific management. There are some, but they are very great exception, not the rule.” (Page 39)
“ There is one illustration of the application of the principles of scientific management with which all of us are familiar and with which most of us have been familiar with since we were small boys, and I think this instance represents one of the best illustrations of the application of the principles of scientific management. I refer to the management of a first-class American baseball team. In such a team you will find almost all of the elements of scientific management” (Page 39)
The first of the four groups of duties is the duty of gathering to collect customary knowledge and to record, tabulate and make laws/rules and regulations, and formulate mathematical quanta by the scientific managers. The second group of duties is scientific selection and progressive development of workmen. The third principle of scientific management brings science and the scientifically selected and trained workmen together. The fourth principle of scientific management is an almost equal division of the actual work of the organisation between the workmen and the management.
This results in higher productivity per worker with increased quality, enabling higher wages and facilitating larger profit. It is the duty of managers to find the required development for their subordinates and prepare plans to train them. These tasks are very difficult. It needs to be done with absolute clarity and mutual understanding to avoid mis-interruption in organizational activities. The top management must play a major role too.

Mary Parker Follett, The Giving of Orders, 1926

Thesis: Giving an order is a scientific art with complete understanding in between the two parties and mutual behavioral activities. For many people giving orders seems very simple affair, they expect to issue their orders and have them obeyed without questions.
“ Yet, on the other hand the shrewd common sense of many business executives has shown that the issuing of orders is surrounded by many difficulties.”(Page58)
“ Psychology, as well as our own observation, shows us not only that you cannot get people to do things most satisfactorily by ordering them or exhorting them; but also that even reasoning with them, even convincing them intellectually, may not be enough. Therefore it will do little good merely to get intellectual agreement, unless you change the habit pattern of people.”(Page 58)
“ One of my trade union friends told me that he remembered when he was a quite a small boy hearing his father, who worked in a shoe shop, railing daily against his boss. So he grew up believing that the workman should be against his employer.” (Page 58)

“ It has been hard for many old-fashioned employers to understand that orders will not take the place of training.”(Page 59)

“ There is much more that we could learn from psychology about the forming of habits and the preparation for giving orders that I can even hint at now.”(Page 60)
Analysis shows that we have to do three things, building up of certain attitudes, providing for release of these attitudes and augmentation of released response to such attitudes as it is being carried out. Integration and circular behavior applies directly to the anticipation of response in giving orders. In psychology there are two terms known as linear and circular behavior. Tat times there are bifurcated ideologies of individuals, if the administrator is capable enough to grasp these, he or she can, at times, forestall a Freudian conflict and provide the right type of integration before the onset of an acute stage.
If the articles claims are applied to subject of orders and obedience, people may be expected to obey an order only if previous habits are vouched for or new habits created. When an employer considers an order, he should also thinking of the ways to form the habits which will ensure that it is being carried out.

Luther Gulick, Notes on the Theory of Organisation, 1937

Thesis: Every large-scale or complicated enterprise requires many men to operate efficiently. Where ever many men are working together, the most favorable outcomes are acquired when there are clear divisions of duty. The theory of organization therefore has to do with the structure of synchronization enforced upon work division units of an organization. So it is not possible to point out exactly how an activity needs to be organized correctly, and concurrently consider how the work under scrutiny must be sub-divided. Dividing work properly is the foundation of an organization.
“ Why divide Work: Because men differ in nature, capacity and skill, and gain greatly in dexterity by specialization. The same man cannot be at two places at the same time. The range of knowledge and skill is so great that a man cannot within his life span know more than a small fraction of it. So it is a question of human nature, time and space.”(Page 81)
“ We know from common sense and experience that there are two great things in theory of organization: first, it makes possible the better utilization of varying skills and aptitudes of different workmen and encourages the development of specialization; second: It eliminates the time that is lost while the workmen change their activity during any process.”(Page 81)
“ The introduction of machinery accentuates the division of work. Even such a simple thing as a saw, a typewriter, or a transit requires increased specialization, and serves to divide workers into those who can and those who cannot use the particular instrument effectively” (Page 81)
Division of work on the basis of tools and machines used in work lies, without a doubt, in part upon the aptitude, but also upon the development and upkeep of favored skills through continued manipulation.
It is learnt from this article that co-ordination may be achieved in two ways: inter relating subdivisions of work through allotment of structure of authority for better co-ordinated work in order and secondly by domination of ideas i. e. development of intelligentsia singleness minds and wills of the working group, so that all workers choice fits their task with skill and enthusiasm.

Chester I. Bernard, Information Organization and their Relation to Formal Organization, 1968

Thesis: Bernard, in this article, comprehensively defines formal and informal organizations and how they are inter-related with each other. He explains in a series of steps as to how either of them can give rise to the other and how these organizations, though different in behavior, must work together for the right kind of impact.
“ By informal organization I mean the aggregate of the personal contacts and interactions and the associated groupings of people that I have just described. Though common and joint purposes are excluded by definition, common or joint results of important character nevertheless come from such organization” (Page 95)
“ The simplest form of doing something together is, of course, conversation, but is evident that any particular form of activity for one reason or another is exhausted usually in a short time and that alternative methods of activity are on the whole not easy to devise either by individuals or groups” (Page 96)

“ Social activities cannot be action at a distance” (Page 97)

“ formal organizations arise out of and are necessary to informal organization; but when formal organizations come into operation, they create and require informal organizations” (Page 98)
“ It seems not easily to be recognized without long and close observation that an important often and indispensable part of a formal system of cooperation is informal.” (Page 98)
The article goes into an in-depth discussion of informal organizations, how and why they are created and what impacts they have on the society and people as a whole. The article also discusses about how informal organization is a part of formal organization as well as the reason for creation of formal organization.
The language of this article is very rich yet very simple. The information is conveyed in a very comprehend-able manner and the author manages very well to explain the concept of informal organizations.

Herbert A. Simon, The Proverbs of Administration, 1946

Thesis: Simon speculates in this paper the influence of proverbial exemplification in Administrative Principles. However, how the proverb is put to use is a serious matter altogether. If used in the wrong manner, proverbs may produce an effect altogether inappropriate. Simon in his paper puts forward theories for solutions to administrative dilemmas
“ This is both convenience and a serious defect-depending on the use to which one wishes to put the proverbs in question. If it is a matter of rationalizing behavior that has already been decided upon, proverbs are ideal” (Page 127)
“ The real problem of administration, then, is not to ‘ specialize’, but to specialize in that particular manner and along those particular lines which will lead to administrative efficiency.” (Page 128)
“ A scientific theory should tell what is true but also what is false. If Newton had announced to the world that practices of matter exert either an attraction or repulsion on each other, he would not have added much to scientific knowledge.”(Page 136)
“ It may be objected that administration cannot aspire to be a ‘ science’; that by nature of its subject it cannot be more than an art.”(Page 139)
Administrative efficiency can be increased through specialization of the work group, arrangement of members in a proper hierarchy and limiting span of control according to process, clientele, place or purpose.
The paper has a comprehensive approach to Administrational language and conduct, and must be followed in organizations everywhere. The author does a great job in explaining the essentials in this domain.

Philip Selznik, The Cooptive Mechanism, 1949

Thesis: Selznik defines cooptation in this paper as the process of absorption of new elements into leadership or a policy that determines structure of an organizations means of averting threats to stability or survival. He further goes on to explain both the formal and informal aspects of cooptation and the effects cooptation has on leadership, structure and organizational policies.
“ When there is a need for the organization to publicly absorb new elements, we shall speak of formal cooptation. This involves the establishment of openly avowed and formally ordered relationships.”(Page 146)
“ Cooptation may be, however, a response to the pressure of specific centers of power within the community. This is not primarily a matter of the sense of legitimacy or of a general and diffuse lack of confidence.”(Page 147)

“ The tendency for participation to become equivalent to involvement has a strong rationale.”(Page 148)

“ The problems of officialdom were primary, and logically so, for their responsibilities had to do with the efficient execution of statutory programs-not the creation of new culture patterns.”(Page 150)
The topic is highly informative and has stark validity in the present day, and may prove true in most of democratic systems. The paper is comprehendible and written with examples that can be understood very easily.

Deniel Katz and Robert L. Kahn, Organisation and the System Concept, 1956

Thesis: According to Katz and Kahn, the aim of social science with respect to human organizations is similar to those of any other sciences with respect to events and phenomena of their sphere. A social scientist tries to understand human organizations so that he or she is able to describe the essentials in their perspective, aspects and functions. The authors try to explain cycles of growth and decline to predict their effects and effectiveness. Perhaps he wishes as well to test and apply this understanding by purposefully introducing changes to organizations.

“ The first problem in understanding an organization or a social system is its location and identification.” (Page 186)

“ How we know that we are dealing with an organization? What are its boundaries? What behavior belongs to the organization and what behavior lies outside it? Who are the individuals whose actions are to be studied and what segments of their behavior are to be included?”(Page 186)

“ All social systems, including organizations, consist of the patterned activities of a number of individuals.”(Page 187)

“ A society of bird watchers can wander into the hills and engage in the rewarding activities of identifying birds for their mutual edification and enjoyment.”(Page 188)
“ The major misconception is the failure to recognize fully that the organization is continually dependent upon inputs from the environment and that the inflow of materials and human energy is not a constant.”(Page 193)
Apart from formal protocol, the primary mission of an organization as perceived by its leaders provides a very detailed set of evidences for researchers searching for studying organizational functioning.
This article is an enrichment to know how as organizational function is a crucial subject in the present day. The information in the article is highly knowledgeable and applicable in most cases in the present day.

J. Steven Ott, Understanding Organizational Culture (re-printed)

Thesis: Ott’s approach on the organizational culture perspective signifies a counterculture existing with in organizational theory. Ott’s assumption, theories, and methodologies are very different from those that have been used dominantly in structural and systems perspectives.
“ Organizational culture is perhaps the most controversial of the organization theory perspectives. Its theories are based on assumptions about organizations and people that depart radically from those of the mainline perspectives.” (Page 490)
“ From the organizational culture perspective, the personal preferences of organizational members are not restrained by systems of formal rules, authority, and norms of rational behavior.”(Page 491)

“” It takes courage to challenge the basic views of a mainstream perspective in any profession or academic discipline.”(Page 492)

The development of this article on organization theory appears to have a lot of analogy with stages of present day organizations. It is in a form a prediction of organizational culture and perspective that comes from sequence of development steps before it achieving full potential.