The course on Public Administration/Management has following objectives:

  1. Understand the concept of public administration/ management/organization
  2. Understand the evolution of the concept of public administration and its importance
  3. Understand the role of government
  4. Understand the role and core functions of public manager
  5. Understand the structure of government /organizations
  6. Create understanding about the skills required by the public manager in imparting duties
  7. Understand the changing role of government and role of public managers.
introduction to public administration  INTRODUCTION

Importance of Course: The course on public administration/management is important as every citizen must understand the functioning of government. Besides, whether one works in private or public organization, or one is doing ones own business or whatever the profession, this course is useful as it helps understand organizations and their functioning. It also helps us understand the environment in which we are working.

Introduction: definitions, concepts & setting

At the end of lecture the students should be able to understanding:

  • The meaning of PA
  • The practice of public administration (PA)
  • Public administration as a subject of study
  • Definition of Public administration
  • Public administration, democracy and rights of citizens
The Meaning

The word ‘administration’ has been derived from Latin words ‘ad’ = to and ‘ministiare’ = serve and ‘Public’ =people or citizens Thus the word administration means to execute the policy of government to serve public.

Management is also defined as Cooperative human endeavour to achieve given goals. Traditionally management is also defined as Management = POSDCORB which stands for Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordination, Reporting, Budgeting.

In general administration and management are used interchangeably.

Public Administration

A public administration as a practice is as old as the human civilization. When human beings started living in society in an organized way they started the practice of administration, because they started to live cooperatively in society. It is said that when a man tried to left a stone and was unable to do so alone and was helped by another man, the practice of ‘management/administration began.

Egyptian Pyramids (1491 BC)

You must have seen Egyptian pyramids and must have thought how such huge structure was built. The construction of Egyptian pyramids in 1491 is an example of practice of administration, as it involved cooperative effort of thousands of people.

Mohenjodaro and Harrapa

In Pakistan Mohenjodaro and Harrapa civilizations are a magnificent example of practice of administration. The two cities had well planned roads, granary, wells and walls around the city to protect it. Such planning of city shows that the rulers managed the city well.

introduction to public administration  INTRODUCTION

So we can say that public administration as a practice is old as civilization But Public Administration as a discipline to be taught in formal educational institution, started after World War I (1914), in USA and then in Europe. The emergence of public administration as discipline in USA and Europe was due to the changing role of government. The Great Depression in USA and Europe brought large scale unemployment and low wages, and falling demand for goods. It was felt that in these circumstances the government should invest to provide jobs. Thus, the role of government was seen as prime mover in economy.

Why Public Administration Received Impetus as A Subject?

Following were the reasons for the emergence of public administration as a subject:-

  1. Expanding welfare role (distributive) of the government
  2. The emergence of private sector and regulatory role, of government
  3. The need for increased efficiency in the Organization
  4. Development of Science and Technology
  5. Better management of public matters through training in USA
Definition of Public Administration

Now we will look at various definitions of public administration to better comprehend the concept:

  • “Public administration…. is the action part of government, the means by which the purposes and goals of government are realized”.
  • ‘Public administration as a field is mainly concerned with the means for implementing political values…”
  • “The process of public administration consists of the actions involved in effecting the intent or desire of a government. It is thus the continuously active, ‘business’ part of government, concerned with carrying out the law, as made by legislative bodies (or other authoritative agents) and interpreted by the courts, through the processes of organization and management.”
  • It is a cooperative group effort in a public setting;
  • It covers all the three branches — executive, legislative, and judicial — and
  • their interrelationships;

All these definitions explain us different dimension of the subjects. These definitions might confuse us and we might say that there is really no such subject as “public administration,” but rather that public administration means different things to different observers and lacks a significant common theoretical or applied meaning, or we might say that public administration is everywhere:-

But two things definitely emerge from the above definition. These are:-

  1. The study of public administration overlaps a number of other disciplines, including political science, sociology, economics, psychology, and business administration. and
  2. Public administration is the use of managerial, political, and legal theories and processes to fulfill the goals of government (welfare of public).

introduction to public administration  INTRODUCTION

Now before we further proceed to understand public administration we need to understand certain concepts like and state and government. The diagram shows that citizens of any country are user of services and provider of services.

Institutions of State

The institutions of state are as follows:

  • Legislature: Parliament (National and Provincial Assemblies) makes laws for the organization
  • Judiciary: (Supreme Court & Provincial Courts) – and Session Courts) interpret laws
  • Executive ( National, Provincial) implements laws

The Ministries, Division, Departments /Directorates are the organizations that function under the executive to implement law. For example the police department has the responsibility to maintain peace & order


Government is process of governing. It is the use of power derived from the law that is made/approve by the legislature. It is means, methods, manner, or system of governing society and organization.

The government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan derives its systems and methods from the Constitution (1973). Article 90-99 of the Constitution gives provision for Rules of Business. The Rules of Business 1973 provide. The roles, responsibilities and function of government organizations (ministries, departments etc)

What is Democracy

When we talk of state and government it is important to mention that what form of government Pakistan has. Pakistan is a parliamentary Democracy. The word democracy is a Greek word where “demos” mean people and “Krates” means authority.

Values of Democracy

Democracies have certain values and these are:-

  • Individualism
  • Equality
  • Liberty

Individualism means that the dignity and integrity of individual is of supreme importance. It suggests that achieving the fullest potential of each individual is the best measure of the success of political system and government


All normal individuals are equal in their talents but also each individual has an equal claim to life, liberty and the pursuit to happiness


Citizens should have the right to the maximum opportunity to select own purpose in life and choose means to accomplish these. The citizen should be facilitated rather than hindered in their pursuit to a meaningful life.


The students must understand the following concepts:

  • Organization: The structure and framework created to perform certain functions to achieve goals.
  • Management: Cooperative human effort to achieve goals
  • Process: a systematic mechanism to complete an activity

Efficiency: Efficiency = Output: Efficiency relates to maximization of goals Input example: 10 → output = 2 = efficient 4 → input 10 = 1.66 = less efficient.

  • Government: A government is the process of governing, it comprise organization, system, rules etc.
  • State: As State has territorial jurisdiction, it has people and institutions.
  • Democracy: Democracy is a form of government in which people has authority and right to elect their representative.
  • Democratic values: Democratic values are life, liberty & individualism.
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