Diversity Essay

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Introduction Public administration is a multidimensional and multifaceted discipline, which consists of many sub-fields and specialty areas. More than fifty years ago, Luther Glick, a prominent scholar in the early development of public administration in the United States, described the tasks of public administration as POSDCORD: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting. Herbert Kaufman, a noted scholar of public bureaucracies, points out that during this era, “the ideal public service was portrayed as a neutral instrument...[where] policy-making was envisioned as a universe apart from administration....” (Kaufman, 2001:24). This was the socalled “politics/administration dichotomy.” Contemporarily, public administration consists of several dimensions, including political, legal, bureaucratic and managerial, and much of the day-to-day responsibility for making public policy falls in the hands of professional public administrators. In other words, it is the professional public servant who determines the standards and regulations of public law. Stated another way, it is professional public servants who make interpretive decisions involving a myriad of public policy areas. Further, according to Kaufman (p. 19) the actions of public administration officials stray into the legislative, judicial and executive areas: Their official powers include the issuance of regulations of general application and effect (a form of legislating), the application of laws and regulations to specific individuals and organizations (a form of adjudicating), and the employment, direction, and management of staff to perform these duties (the essence of the executive functions). Kaufman (p. 21) continues and asserts: Not only do public employees shape policy directly by the way they do their jobs, they also influence the policymakers who give them their

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