Critical Concepts of Public Administration
Understanding the complexity of this situation from the standpoint of a public manager requires a deep and thorough knowledge of some of the fundamental elements of public administration. An understanding of organizational theory and bureaucracy is necessary to be cognizant of the structure and functioning of the organization, as well as how individuals within the organization operate. Additionally, since the agency is facing downsizing due to new public management (NPM), an adept comprehension of NPM is also of serious importance. Finally, given the nature of the agency working with entitlements and various other state and local agencies, a cultivated perception of cooperative and horizontal federalism is essential for understanding the complexity of this situation.
First off, it is critical to have a thorough understanding of the concept of organization theory, specifically that of bureaucratic organization. Rosenbloom et al define some the underlying premises of organization theory as the following: “(1) the structure of an organization affects its behavior; (2) the structure of an organization affects the behavior of its workers, participants, and perhaps even casual members; (3) organizational processes also affect organizational and individual behavior; (4) organizations can be rationally (or scientifically) designed structurally and procedurally to achieve their goals in an effective and efficient manner…” (Rosenbloom pg. 141). In this instance, as a social service agency administering entitlement benefits to a large number of citizens from various backgrounds, it is understandable to see why the structure of the organization is so large and operates the way that it does. In order to receive entitlements there is undoubtedly a complex process for application, approval, rejection, appeals, administering, and delivering. To enhance the capabilities of the organization, these...