The author, asserting that all action is purposive, calls group-performed habitual actions "administration." The task of administrative science is to generalize about all administrative situations. How the science selects and abstracts data and chooses and phrases propositions is described. An administered situation has actors (sponsors or executives, participants, and clientele), targets' (goals), and effects. Goals are substantive and instrumental, and include especially power, wealth, and prestige. Power and control constitute the core value, reflected in the preponderance of deductive operations. Organizations formed around wealth and prestige tend to become executive-power centered. The wealth value is especially compatible with clientele-centered organizations, the prestige value with participant-centered groups. By this analysis of administration confined to statements of fact and relations, the science of administration is defined, giving us an understanding of the variables and of the laws of their interaction. But the elements of this science, as represented by his original definition and conception of administrative action, lend themselves well to translation into the applied science of administration, with which the balance of the essay is concerned.
ADMINISTRATION as action, science, and applied science is the subject of this study. I shall try to explain why the science of administration needs reform and how it can be improved: this entails a logic of science and an essay on the differences between the pure and applied science of administration. Within this main theme we shall offer some basic propositions of administration which deal with the relation between administered and other action, with the relation between administrative science and society, with the growth of administration, and with the relation between administration and important values, particularly power.
A general theory of administration can account for much of human action. Action may be divided into creative action and habitual action. Administrative action may profitably be viewed as a subcategory of habitual action. Administrative thought itself is viewed as action that is internalized, for administrative action, like other forms of action, may be internalized in the mind as well as externalized in behavior. (John Dewey's Instrumentalism is especially useful to support the parallelism of internal and external thought-action processes.)
The broadness of this view of administration will not, we believe, detract from its utility. The sub categories thereupon evolved will have a firmer base in theory and in references to reality. Also, the broad scope may expose new theoretical problems to analysis. We wish to present an objective discussion of administration, and we believe that some surprises will result when various traditional theories are subjected to analysis in terms of their explicit or implicit evaluations of administrative action.
Another aim is to distinguish the science of administration (scientifically or unscientifically conducted) from the applied science of administration. This not only is necessary for the general theory but will be useful in analyzing much confused theory that is limiting or misleading. It is our intention, too, to frame a theory that is operational rather than simply authoritative or aesthetic.
Administration is a kind of action, or, better, may be viewed from our perspective as a kind of action. By this we mean that administration manifests the salient characteristics of human action, so that the orders of a general, the rules of a school superintendent, the routines of a filing clerk, the discipline of a political boss, and many other human activities possess the characteristics of action as well as of administration.
Several traits of action require emphasis for studying administration. All action is in a profound sense purposive. Human behavior is distinctive in its preoccupation with ends or goals.
More precisely, human behavior can only be distinguished by understanding its ends or goals. Whether these ends or goals are deduced from behavior or studied directly by inquiry or introspection, they present an indispensable subject for the methodology of social science. In the words of Aristotle, "Every act and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good." This thesis is, if only de facto, accepted by most students of human behavior. Even the behaviorist school of psychology, in its learning theory and in such utopian political writings as Skinner's Walden II, finds itself occupied with motives. For how can science find a role to play unless it connects with human desires? The father of modern methodology in the natural sciences, Francis Bacon, declared in the Novum Organum that Aristotle's fourth type of cause-final or goal cause-"corrupts the sciences except in the intercourse of man with man."(1) In all action, and in administrative action by inference, one cannot act without venting a preference, conscious or unconscious, and without advancing some moral viewpoint and impeding another. As John Stuart Mill said, "the rules of action. . . must take their whole character and color from the end to which they are subservient."
Action as a purposive human event is the predicate of an actor. It assumes a process that involves a goal. Using an instrumentalist theory, we say that the goals of action are more or less contained in and co-terminal with the action process itself. Hence the goals in any action stretch out from beginning to end with infinite subdivisions, like the tortoise's route in Zeno's fable. With our present techniques, however, the goal element in action cannot be subdivided mathematically, but must be imagined as an infinite number of irregular modifications extending from the goal, when the action first commenced, to the probably different goal, when the action may be said to have been terminated. It is perhaps sufficient at this point to declare that there are frequently important changes to be observed in the character of human goals as action progresses.
Action may be internalized or externalized. The psychology of action, while still indefinite on this point, is at least sufficiently clear to justify some statement. The human organism frequently operates in two worlds, which may be called ego and other. But the evolution of the ego and the other as psychological dimensions of the personality exhibits an essential unity of personal universe. What one does to others and to things is essentially what one does to himself and within himself. One's actions are like streams that flow sometimes underground, sometimes above ground. Many human actions represent choices of behavior that may be demonstrated overtly to the outside world or may be conducted entirely through the nervous system and internalized relationships. Without this conception, systematic theory - such as decision theory and communication theory - would not be able to cope with external actions, which would appear as spasmodic and unintelligible eruptions of personality dynamics.
Action, therefore, is purposive, unique, and may be an internal or external human operation. It is the basic unit by which we may understand human dynamics. Given action, we may isolate an actor with a goal and observe his conduct in consummating the goal, realizing that the goal itself often is transformed in the course of the action.
Actions may be termed creative or habitual. Creative action is the essence of poetry and anarchy. It is action uninstructed and uncontrolled. It arises from the complexity of man's nature, which allows unlimited and indeterminate values. Creative action is peculiarly at home in man. Its essential nature does not arise from uniqueness, for we have said that all action is unique, but from its incompatibility with its environment, with expectation. It is neither good nor bad in itself; external criteria are necessary to judge its value.
Some environments of human action are congenial to creative action, even structured for creative action. Thus we have literature, painting, and other humanistic disciplines, in which, no matter how ineffectually, men labor to provide something new. But no human activity is free from creative action. The administered fields of human action are the most notable in discriminating against creative action, but even here creative action plays an important part and cannot be dissociated from the realities of administrative activity.
Creative action is distinct from what is usually termed habit, of which administrative action forms a part, for the essential meaning of habit or habitual action is that the act be reflective of preceding actions, with or without self-awareness. Creative action tends to be inductive in character, whereas habitual action tends to be deductive, and again either may be quite without self-awareness.
A creative act becomes repetitive according to laws of physiological and psychological development that cannot be elaborated here. Rather conventional theories of human development are adequate to describe in general the conditions under which novel action springs forth, is evaluatively and physiologically framed, and continues as habit. John Dewey speaks for us when he says:
The word habit may seem twisted somewhat from its customary use when employed as we have been using it. But we need a word to express that kind of activity which is influenced by prior activity and in that sense acquired; which contains within itself a certain ordering or systematization of minor elements of action; which is projective, dynamic in quality, ready for overt manifestation; and which is operative in some subdued subordinate form even when not obviously dominating activity. Habit, even in its ordinary usage comes nearer to denoting these facts than any other word.(2)
And in turn habit is the basis for new evaluative and behavioral actions.
Like other action, administration is always purposive, unique, internally or externally performed. Like habitual action, administration has a quality reflective of preceding actions. It is essentially a deduction from precedent action and purpose. It is repetitive.
The actor, his action, and the situation are generally recognized as categories by the members of a society. The action is not regarded as sui generis.Many actions associated with administration are creative. They are highly important, especially when one concerns himself with the goals and values of administration, but their creativity is, according to our model of administration, anti-administrative; if there are too many creative actions in the milieu, we must move into the realm of poetic action, anarchy, or politics.
To the basic categories of action and of habit must be added another feature of an action if it is to be termed administration. Administration is institutionalized action. It is deducible from a group's operational code, performed within a group milieu, and is surrounded by a pattern of related practices. The institutionalization of action patterns precipitates a new frame of reference that participants give some identity to. Institutionalization in fact provides for many actors a supra-individual purposiveness that allows the actors to become unconscious and yet directed and purposeful. (It may be seen here how closely habit on the individual level is related to institutionalization on the group level.) Functions, forms, purposes, and other dimensions of thought and behavior are transferred in various ways from individual to group and back. It is the task of the science of administration to determine the principles governing these transfers of operations and affects.
Since we have defined a vast sphere of human action as administration, the question may properly be raised: "How can one define administration so broadly and expect to achieve principles that are meaningful to those who wish to study administration scientifically?" In reply I would say that it is ill-advised to waive the existence of many special areas of habitual institutionalized actions. We have defined administration broadly, and moved the concept into most social sciences and most human institutions, in the hope that the subsequent theory may be useful in all areas.
We would insist that all mechanical and technical skills applied in institutions qualify for the term administration. Even scientific procedure, insofar as it is a repetition of modes of testing, validating, and standardizing experience, based upon certain premises of a philosophical kind, qualifies as a kind of administration. A general theory of administration, it is hoped, will embrace some essential modes of the behavior of scientists, as well as the behavior of clubs and fraternal societies, workshops and trading companies, youth leagues and church groups, and armies and government agencies.
It is true that in each of these types of institutions practices are determined to a great extent by the skills of participating individuals, by the goals of the group with reference to the inner or outer effects of the group and by the inherited rules of operation within the group, and by the rules relating to the group's environment. There is nothing unadministrative about these goals, rules, and skills. They are simply special forms of administrative action. It is not the scope of a general theory of administration to say how the church is organized or ought to be organized, except within very broad limits. Nor is it the task of a theory of general administration to declare the skill operations, the goal selection, or the rules by which these organizations operate. A general theory of administration cannot, for example, describe the modes of biblical exegesis peculiar to certain types of religious organization; if men are promoted within a group according to their expertness in interpreting the Bible, this behavior should not be contradicted by some principle of the science of administration; it should be possible to describe it as a special case of some general principle of administration. The same may be said of the organization of special literary accomplishments within the pre-republican Chinese bureaucracy, the literati. The use of tests of classical education in recruiting the British administrative service in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is an illustration of the same kind. Similarly in the United States a knowledge of laws and constitutions was for a long time held to be the substance of education for administrative posts.
Consequently, one might be tempted to declare that the science of administration with respect to a particular group is a science whose principles consist of the knowledge necessary to succeed in such a group. Again, we would not argue that the special sciences of administration are not concerned with particular institutional practices. In fact, administrative actions occurring in particular institutions form the data for the special science of administration in each case. However, the general theory of administration must set its own criteria for categorizing administrative actions, and an administrative action may be a datum for a special science of administration and at the same time a datum for the general science of administration.
Somewhat analogous to the preceding problem is the problem of employing a single model of administrative action as exclusively entitled to the total scope of administrative study. Perhaps the most interesting case of this problem is Max Weber's special theory of bureaucracy.(3) Weber's ideal type of bureaucracy comes so close to describing the essential general traits of administrative action in most twentieth-century large-scale organizations, that many writers and students use the model as a measuring rod for large-scale organizations of all kinds. Somehow it has been presumed that familial, patrimonial, and feudal orders, or charismatic movements, to use several of Weber's other categories of human organization, are not administrative or are not instructive for the science of administration. Actually, the science of administration, properly construed, would embrace the actions occurring in all kinds of institutions, though the internal and external operating arrangements of such institutions might be differently defined, justified, or legitimized, and result in differing types of productivity. Even a charismatic movement, though it may be based on the fictions of anti-bureaucracy, anti-institutionalization, and anti-traditionalism, is still an administrative order, masquerading as creative action.
The examples just cited may help to explain the definition of the science of administration that follows. It should be apparent that the science of administration is first of all selective. It chooses for study the careers and patterns of administrative actions wherever they may occur, and its language consequently is composed of terms not necessarily most useful or most used in the special sciences of administration. Since any human situation contains a body of actions possessing the character of administration, there can be a science of administration concerning government, or business, or education, or voluntary associations.
Besides being selective of events or data, the science of administration is abstractive and treats specified aspects of the selected data rather than other aspects. Any vignette in the domain of administrative action illustrates what is meant by abstraction. For example, we set up a case: a man wearing an armband saying "foreman" declares to a second man, "Pick up that long-handled shovel and dig here." A second man picks up the shovel indicated and digs for one hour until he has a large hole. An industrial engineer who is concerned with administrative action viewed as the allocation and employment of available material and techniques over a period of time will describe the actions in terms of the capabilities of different shovels, the resistances of earth, the time elapsed, and the specificity of communication. A general administrative scientist will abstract data on the giving of orders by skilled supervisors to workers, followed by a response. Both are approaches to administrative action. The latter follows the general theory of administration; the former a special theory of administration. Both theories create scientific propositions about reality by abstracting certain types of events.
Each kind of abstraction is justified by t he particular demands of its master science. Whether someone prefers the one or the other analysis of the event in question is not to any great extent dependent upon the greater correspondence of the one or the other to the reality viewed, but depends upon some other principle for the abstraction of events. (We cannot deny, however, the greater difficulties of holding meanings constant in the second, general type of theory, but that difficulty merely exalts general theory to its devotees.)
The failure of most writers to understand what they mean by the term administration is the chief cause of interminable arguments over the "most useful" and "true" abstractions of reality. It is here, too, that so many "hardheaded" criers of "gobbledygook" fall into error, for they fail to realize that the criticized description or propositions very often do not happen to be related to the kind of general propositions they wish to make about the same data. Such persons would do better to ask always the correct methodological question: what kinds of data is the writer trying to abstract and what kinds of propositions does he ultimately seek? Then, if he wishes, he may argue over the instrumental utility of such abstractions or even ethically over the importance or relevance of having a general body of propositions of the kind the writers seek.
Perhaps an effective way of clarifying what is meant by general propositions of administration would be to cite examples of such propositions. This is done in section III, below. There may be laid down here, however, certain criteria according to which the science of administration chooses areas of generalization for construction of propositions.
One can discover in the history of generalization in any natural or social science a conditioning by unconscious fundamental values. This conditioning ranges from profound character structuring to mere unself-awareness. We would therefore expect that the ideology of the workers in any scientific field would provide the primary and most important initial source of generalizations. Administrative researchers tend to seek general principles regarding the several common social situations and major values of their cultures; and some of these workers will move from the single social situation, or value predisposition that constitutes a kind of specialized interest, toward generalization of the communization of life situations and values typical of the society as a whole. Thus the automobile producer sees the federal government as a giant automobile plant, while the constitutional lawyer sees it as a huge commentary on the Constitution. Karl Mannheim has shown how men's minds settle upon particular intellectual locales for proposition making. A well-known example is the predilection of medieval theologians for propositions regarding the hereafter and of modern theologians for propositions dealing with the social role of religion.
Most selection of the locales of propositions occurs unconsciously, but sometimes there is a conscious choice of areas of burning issues about which propositions are needed. One may range from the ancient Sophists to many modern social scientists, such as Robert Lynd, to find examples of men who insist that what is regarded as crucial to a generation's happiness should be the source of authority for constructing propositions of a scientific kind regarding man. "Man is the measure of all things."
According to this theory, the criterion for regarding a proposition as important, and therefore certifying it as useful, is the urgency of the social problem to which the proposition is relevant. Very often this criterion overlaps the criteria of an unconscious ideology. The clamor about the "organization man" is an example. What men are excited about tends to become part of the warp and woof of their existence. So the cycle of mutual causation occurs.
Creative or imaginative values may also be the source of scientific work. Many historians, for example, defend their interest in certain esoteric and apparently irrelevant problems of the past on grounds that they are simply "curious" about such problems. Or they may say that such problems represent elegant manifestations of the possibilities of the human character. While we may or may not accept these problems as valuable or relevant, the work done in such areas may be fully as scientific as the work done in any "more relevant" or more valuable fields. On the other hand those who write of history as "it should have been" or write of society as "it ought to be," cannot be said to be scientists at all even though their interests are deemed relevant or important. Their activities are properly to be studied as creative action, good or bad as the case may be.
Finally, the criterion for selecting the area of propositions may be instrumental, that is the joining of the several criteria mentioned - ideological, politically crucial, and imaginative - create a need for certain propositions that relate the several concerns and bridge the several subfields. The social sciences, and especially political science, are full of propositions of equivalences of meanings. Thus one frequently hears that "by such a proposition in area A is meant proposition X or some modification of X in area B." Or " Jones, when he says this or that, means the same as Smith, when he says this or that." This kind of self-consciousness breeds a great deal of historiography, speculation, and introspection in science.
Many propositions carry out deductive lines of thought preparatory to organizing new hypotheses. From this kind of scientific instrumentalism propositions are generated that evolve in many directions and induce a kind of creative or imaginative exercise that is related to pure curiosity but is actually under the control of the master propositions that have originated from primary sources. Thus a worker may ask himself "whether the proposition he is testing is relevant to a proposition already regarded by science as important." If the answer is affirmative, no further inquiry is made into the importance of the proposition.
In some cases, this sociological and intellectual process of science leads to a field so far away from the original sources of the criteria of importance that the field becomes hopelessly specialized. It can no longer be called to account even when some of the original criteria are generally recognized to have changed. The curricula of the world's universities are composed of specializations defined by the criteria of the past, a past that may be twenty-five or two thousand years ago. In some instances, the logical and practical basis for their existence is gone, but they live on as esoteric "sciences." This is a problem for the science of administration incidentally, and bears basic resemblance to a major concern of the study of administration, that is, the social separatism and goal autonomy of institutions.
Who can say what is the preferable degree of generality to be sought? As previously mentioned, a general science and its several sub-sciences can abstract different aspects from the same events or actions. Both the more and the less "realistic" abstractors can claim "truth." And perhaps, in the light of our present limited understanding of scientific theory, each must be allowed to claim the greater "goodness" of his abstractions. Similarly, when one talks of the degree of generality of propositions about data that have been abstracted, it cannot be "proven" that a less general proposition is less desirable than a more general one. If it can be shown that a more general statement carries the same validity and reliability as a less general statement that may be deduced from it, then the defender of the latter will usually prefer to know and to teach the more general statement. But because the multiplicity of variables, the difficulty of operational definitions, and the unstable communications system in the social sciences are foes of increasing generality, the less general proposition is more frequently the most useful. The more general proposition is developed more or less as an investment for some dim future when a number of associated developments may increase its utility.(4)
This is true for other sciences in varying degrees, although in some of them the general statements can, by logical or mathematical deduction, often help to link and make intelligible separate statements of lesser generality. In view of the bewildering assortment of actions that press upon us in our highly administered lives, one may well hope for a general theory of administration with propositions encompassing more time, more space, and a greater variety of administrative action, and with the less general propositions capable of being formulated as deductions from the more general propositions, either before or after inductive research.
These statements about the procedure of administrative science point up a grave and perhaps peculiar difficulty of the science in the face of its data. Administrative actions, unfortunately for the science of administration, are frequently highly "scientoid" in character; that is, men operating in administrative situations often behave like logicians and scientists in setting up deductive systems from moral postulates. (5) These valuing postulates can easily assume the guise of scientific hypotheses and actually are logically deduced from initial postulates of great generality. Then again, just as in science itself, the actors in administration may use inductive checks as guides to their own behavior, so as to determine the validity and reliability of certain behaviors according to the postulates set down initially. Since frequently in large organizations the actors are monopolized by their setting and the chain of deduction from the initial postulates is very extensive, the valuing element, that is, the nonscientific element, in a series of actions is forgotten and the actors come to behave like scientists.
Fortunately, the science of administration can describe administrative actions whether they are scientoid or scientific. There can be a science of administration, whether administration is scientifically conducted or otherwise. Administration that is scientifically conducted is a separate body of data. It is independent of a science of administration, at least in theory, and may exist even when a science of administration is not developed. To say that a certain administration is scientoid is a generalization that, as relatively true or false, is one of the factual statements contained in the science of administration, as in the statement, "Administration is conducted in area X in time period T according to certain rational or scientific procedures, A, B, C, D .. . ." Indeed, a possible principle of the science of administration when applied may consist of an injunction not to behave scientifically in a given institution. This might come about as follows: (a) A set of institutions in society A are unscientifically conducted with the exception of institution A7. (b) Sanctions are employed against scientism in all save the stipulated institution, A7. (c) The following principle of applied science is offered: Those who desire to be recruited into institutions of society A are, with the exception noted, discriminated against if they are scientific, and hence might be advised to be "nonscientific." If an individual wishes to be recruited into institution A2, which is, let us say, religious in nature, he may be enjoined perhaps to acquire skills in making decisions by revelation.
A number of primary generalizations of administrative science can now be put forward. They are intended to delimit the scope and data of the field, to describe the major relationships among the actors of administration, and to state the important evolutionary forces that change these relationships over time.
An appropriate test of an administrative situation might be one in which the proportion of administrative actions in any selected situation is "high." These action collections fall along a continuum of administration, from the non-administrative to the almost completely administered. For the administrative part of the continuum, we may use the term "administration," and subsequent propositions about administration pertain only to those situations.
Certain descriptive dimensions to administrative situations may be added. We may classify them according to the orientation of the actor, targets (scope and domain), and effects (effective force) of administrative actions performed in them. Thus an administrative situation contains N number of actions that have individually three objective dimensions: (a) the orientation, role, or reference of the actor; (b) the targets - the degree of generality of actions accomplished: how many, how different, and for how long - and the number of individuals affected by the action; and (c) the effects-degree of change brought about among other actions in the situation by an observed action. Generalizations about administrative situations (that is, establishments or groups of establishments or organizations) begin as statements of modal, mean, and median behaviors in the three major dimensions. (Other more sophisticated quantifications of the situation may be devised as the need arises.)
To illustrate the dimensions of a particular act, let us suppose that a school superintendent, in the course of a day's observed actions, tells his secretary to prepare a notice to all teachers to disengage themselves from formal affiliation with UNESCO or its affiliated agencies. A man acting in his occupational role (superintendent) performs an action of certified scope (UNESCO affiliations), domain (all teachers in the system), and intended effect (all affiliations abolished). The goal of this action is somewhat obvious, but long experience with administrative actions will tell us that other tests of the true goal are required. Furthermore, this goal is goal number 1, inasmuch as the teachers' subsequent behavior may not be presumed from the directive, nor may it even be presumed that the secretary will prepare the notice.
The stipulation that the goal is important is already part of our definition of administration, so this aspect of the problem should not concern us. We may be concerned, however, with the question of whether any single unit of action can possibly have a goal that can stand by itself and be recorded. Somewhat the same problem occurs in content analysis when one must judge a given statement out of its context. There is no easy way out of this dilemma. The main requirement is that we broaden our survey of the action to include surrounding actions and associated actions. A single human action is unlikely to carry its full meaning on its face. A single action is a useful basic unit for theory, for research orientation, and for some specific operational research procedures; but the action itself cannot be judged objectively without observing its external conditions, such as other people, the time dimension, the space dimension, and the like.
This is a practical objection to the action theory, in our view, rather than a theoretical one. We theorize that an action occurs in "reality" in its full and necessary context; if one could open up and describe fully the goal and precise direction of a single act, he would find it to include all of its appropriate meanings and its goals. Otherwise, it could not happen, for the organism in action is all its history and its projection of history. Likewise we say that an external historical event is caused by all that has ever happened before to limit or otherwise condition it, though we know that we can never hope to describe the complete antecedents of the event.
We may also propose as an elementary description of administrative situations that they are parts of an organization. The situation, as a more or less technically useful selection of a congeries of actions, is part of an organization, establishment, or institution that is isolated by the following criteria: (a) More interaction occurs among members of the organization in respect to the types of action chosen as important than occurs between them and others; and (b) action of the chosen types in respect to others is conscious, that is, realized as treating with an "outside."
To conclude these primary descriptive statements about administration, we may comment again on the further consequences of the proportion of administrative action a given organization embraces. The greater the proportion of administrative, rather than other actions, within an organization, i.e., the greater the isolation of the organization from external influences, the greater its self-consciousness (as tested among its participants), and the greater its acquisition of the traits of the "ideal type" of organizations in its cultural epoch. In a given cultural epoch, there may be two or more such "ideal types." For example, one may think of a religious cult, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, whose structure does not resemble the pure bureaucratic form, assuming bureaucracy to be the prevalent type. On the contrary, it is structured strikingly like a chiliastic organization or movement, such as Karl Mannheim has described, a type of movement not typical of the present epoch. The isolation and the self-consciousness of the Witnesses are well known, as are the punctiliousness and, one may say, almost compulsiveness of procedures and actions within the cult. This brief example should make us attend more carefully to the mean, modal, or median positions of types of actions and administrative situations. Too often the "science of administration" or the teaching of "applied administration" ignores the simplest and grossest quantitative thinking in describing the elementary data of the field. We would be greatly assisted by an inventory and classification by quantitative and structural criteria of the administered groups of society today.
The actors of administration are termed executives, participants, and clientele. The executives are the administrative leaders charged with, or controlling the deductions of policy in an organization (6) Participantsare those occupationally concerned with the operations of an organization. They include the employees in a formal bureaucracy, the politically active and professional partisans in a political grouping, or the rank and file in an army. The clientele are people definitely, noticeably, and usually directly affected by the operations of the establishment, but who are often not members of it. They would include, for example, the constituents of a politician, the public served by an army, the passengers served by a public transit authority, the customers of an automobile manufacturing firm, and the audience of an acting troupe.
These three categories are essential to administrative theory because they interact with each other in the struggle over substantive and instrumental goals. (7)
A goal to one group is not a goal to another. Furthermore, administrative groups have quite different contacts and relations with clienteles. Some of the most interesting problems of administrative theory concern the extent to which the clientele is part of the organization. For example, an important branch of democratic doctrine embraces the clientele as rulers, that is, as executives and participants. The clientele of other groups (e.g. armies, many private enterprises, stage companies) is quite dissociated from the administration, though operations are justified as "for the people." And, as if to confirm that these extremes are not entirely separate analytic problems, we have these examples reversed in some instances: in the doctrine that the clientele of a state are spectators and recipients, not participants or rulers; in the citizen armies; in the co-operative enterprise owned and operated by the clientele; and even in the theater company that is established with the clientele as owners, audience, and participants.
The organization goal is envisaged as the patterning of purposive activities toward an apparent goal. Ordinarily this is the executives' goal, for they work primarily at influencing members toward their ends. It is notable that Henri Fayol and many others before and since his time assert that administrative leadership consists of supervising administrative actions so as to make them conform to the leaders' ends. Pro-executive goals characterize not only the bureaucratic model that Fayol describes but most organizations, no matter how bizarre their operations may be and how unintelligible to the modern time-and-motion study expert.
Perhaps we may pass on merely with a warning that the science of administration must preserve by the precision of its generalizations the distinctions between the goals of all who are organizationally involved-executives (sponsors), participants, and clientele. Many important propositions depend upon this precision, as, for example, propositions about internal conflicts in an organization, "efficiency," resource allocations, or relations with outside organizations and clientele.
Every organization has more than one goal. This plurality may be usefully divided into substantive goals, insofar as they concern the doctrinal justification of the administration, or instrumental goals, insofar as they are means to the achievement of the substantive goals. The substantive goals of organizations are as varied as the desires of men or, more strictly, as varied as those desires that men have discovered can be extended and accomplished through administrative practices. Substantive goals would include education in educational administration, disposal of garbage in the administration of sanitation, combat in military administration, and so on, to innumerable other ultimately satisfying conclusions or outputs of administrative actions.
Contrary to at least one branch of thought, the general science of administration does not reject these special sub-fields of administration as irrelevant, nor does it try to isolate administrative practice from the practice of particular skills. In this sense, we would modify the claims of men such as Louis Meriam, who say that administration is the practice of a special skill and the principles regarding such practice, and the claims of generalists, such as L. D. White, who declare that administration is the generalized action with the special skill subtracted. The science of administration does not occupy itself exclusively with either the special substance of administration or the instrumental goals common to all administrative situations.
It seems to us that general administration tries to generalize all of these skilled practices by abstraction. It goes all the way up and all the way down in the world of administrative data. It speaks of a substantive goal rather than of sanitation, combat, education, conservation, transportation, and so on. It talks of leadership skills, policies, and ideologies in summary form, realizing it can never hope to be able to generalize about administration in particular substantive fields.
The question still remains though: If we are not to ignore substantive goals, how are we to study them? It is not enough to say merely that a substantive goal exists. We ought further to subdivide the substantive goal into its basic analytic components, on the a priori theory that many enriching propositions may be evolved from distinctions among substantive goals, even though the distinctions are not the concrete ones of building dams, cleaning streets, teaching children, and so forth. Perhaps we may fruitfully employ Harold D. Lasswell's classification of base values - power, respect, rectitude, affection, well-being, wealth, skill, and enlightenment - and inquire whether important behavioral differences manifest themselves in administration as actions that are directed toward one or more of these values.(8) Or we may accept some other classification of values, say that of Charles W. Morris, which deductively describes thirteen ways of life. (9) This kind of problem deserves, and will receive, further attention. At the moment we wish only to call attention to the existence of these substantive goals in organizations.
We have also said that organizations are characterized by instrumental goals. Both deduction and experience suggest that administrative establishments are permeated by certain objectives that are regarded by the sponsors of the organization and, to a varying extent, by the participants in it, by its clientele, and by the outside world as necessary for the achievement of substantive goals. Again, these instrumental goals may be classified in various ways. Thus we may once more employ Lasswell's scope values, this time as means values (what he calls "base") that is, objectives considered as desirable in order to implement a more fundamental substantive objective. Then we should expect administration to be characterized by a great many instrumental activities, the values of which are weighed in relation to their contribution to a more remote and basic substantive value.
Of these instrumental values perhaps the most common and most pervasive is power. The ability to participate in the making of decisions that affect the values of others is the frequent second thought of a person who wishes to accomplish a substantive objective by means of administration. It is through power, exercised both in reference to the outside world and also in internal relations, that actions can be directed toward the aims of the sponsor. If power is cut off, the organization loses its moorings in the external world and disintegrates internally.
Power within administrative situations, however, has a rather special character, distinguishing it from power in external operations or non-administrative circumstances. Power within administration is translated into control. Administration is directed toward substantive goals, collective energies have to be harnessed to those ends, and the organization leaders must establish a pattern of behavior that can be guaranteed to work toward those ends. Control is the ability to influence decisions relating to the values of others in an organization. Control is lent a deductive cast. The substantive goals of sponsors must be subdivided among a number of people. In order to avoid losing or changing the goals, the deductions must be made logically. Furthermore, they must be controlled. So the typical administration sees substantive goals deduced into component tasks which constitute the contributions of individual actors or participants. The ability to control, therefore, lies in the first instance in the ability to set directives to participants, and then in the ability to supervise the operations that follow.
Deduction supplies logic to control in administration. It ties the instrumental activities of divided labor to the substantive goals of an organization. Thus it is that the individual actions in an administrative organization can be rationalized. The organization need not be of the ideal bureaucratic type to allow such rationalization. No matter what the substantive goals and no matter what the ideological and cultural determinants of the character of administration, the deductive stamp presses heavily upon the organizational process. (10)
Inductive thinking is at a disadvantage not only in the modern large-scale government or corporate organizations, but in all kinds of organizations. The pervasiveness of control as a major instrumental objective, along with its concomitant deduction, is the chief reason why so few administrative establishments can be "scientifically" conducted. That is, few organizations employ inductive checks of the validity of actual behavior in the organization in terms of its substantive goals, even though to the scientist or observer the utility of such a procedure would be apparent in terms of the executives' goals. The executives and participants are themselves so involved in the observance of deductive rationalization in judging the operations of the organization that they find it difficult to assume an empirical or inductive frame of mind with regard to their own operations and so check them. This condition may be the basic reason why staffs have developed as free-floating advisory agencies, since, being free of the hard-and-fast control and deductive pressure that are exerted on line groups, they may become more "objective."
The universality of the control objective brings to prominence two other aspects of control: the formalization of action, and co-ordination. Formalization of an administration means giving to actions a ritual rehearsing their authoritative origin. Actions, though admittedly unique, must bear a deductive stamp upon their face. This accounts for laws, policies, rules, and formal commands in administration. Again, whatever the essential ideology of administrative action in a given organization, directives of the lowliest origin are allegedly made "in the name of the law," "in the name of the king," "by the will of the people," "by order of the commanding officer," or "in the words of the master." Much of so-called red tape consists of this kind of demonstration of an action's derivation from the organization's leaders.
As the whole body of action grows larger, co-ordinating activities increase in proportion to the total, first because there are increased chances for a discrepancy between the values of the executives and the values of the participants or clientele, and second because the instrumental goals generally become more complex and difficult to supervise. The whole body of administration can increase only by increases in the targets and effects of administrative action. An increase in any one of these targets will call into play more deductive control activities, unless the substantive goal of the organization is changed by liberating or decentralizing certain sub-organization divisions.
Every action tends to have effects and incite reactions. We may expect, therefore, that every change in substantive goal (or the derivations from it internally and externally) or in instrumental objectives will produce a chain of consequences that will, in turn, react upon the participants in an organization and produce other kinds of administrative actions. The substantive goals of given executives often work against the goals of executives or other actors in larger or at least related spheres of social action; this produces some confusion in the establishment as the actors attempt to adjust to a new equilibrium. The instrumental goals of executives are subject to the same process, which produces other kinds of confusion. The substantive goals of the executives may move against their instrumental goals to produce another kind of confusion. Finally, the instrumental goals may move against the substantive goals and cause still more confusion.
In general, any organization, whatever its substantive goals, can be structured, at least doctrinally, according to any arrangement of executive, participant, and clientele relationships. Even an army created to win wars may be a monolith or an anarchy. While this clarifies many confusions of logic and theory about administration, it also reveals the great complexity of administrative behavior.
The most important instrumental objective is power, specially defined within administrative situations as control. Since the actions of many are involved and the actions must be co-ordinated so as to present a deduced quality from the sponsored substantive goals, executives strive for control, by whatever means they have of influencing the decisions of others. It is because of this that administration which is primarily repetitive, purposive, and organized action forever presents a system of power relations. The achievement of administrative, substantive goals with respect to a population or to material effects requires the patterning of actions according to deductive sub categories of the goal. Control is the means of maintaining the deductive process. It may be granted externally to the participants by the symbols of authority and the sanctions of power; internally, control is dependent upon morale.
Whatever the pace or degree of power that dominates the substantive policies of the organization and its internal rule, there can be no doubt of its formidable role in absolute terms. If power is defined as the ability to make or influence decisions, every social situation becomes an opportunity for its appearance. The orientation of individuals to action - the basic "function" of administration - requires docility and repetitiveness of action among the actors. As soon as orientation occurs, power occurs with it, whether power be thought of in broad terms as unconscious norm construction, social suggestibility or conformism, or conscious direction of the actions of others. (11)
In the case of unconscious power, we are speaking of a phenomenon not peculiarly administrative, for it embraces habit. It is not inconsistent with the definition of power to extend it even to these cases, if it is now thought of as distributed in small amounts among those oriented to the group and as unconsciously wielded. How much there is in any group of this kind of power as compared with the power exercised by individuals consciously is, of course, an important question, and is the basis of recent studies aimed at showing the limits and origins of leadership.
Power as a conscious direction of the actions of others is a more useful concept for discussing the goals of "rational" organizations which are so abundant in modern times. Here it is clear that deliberate orientation of actions within a small or large group requires some definition of the external or substantive tasks of the group and of the means of organizing members to those ends.
Of course, if one were to survey the obvious administrative creations of man, one would find exceedingly few that are overtly dedicated to maximizing the power of one group. A list of hundreds of public agencies and thousands of private ones will reveal no more than a handful that justify themselves in terms of acquiring power. Even the political party, a voluntary association for propaganda and agitation aimed at capturing state offices, usually declares that its objective is to increase the real income of the whole nation, according to a program or party platform. Yet a cursory examination of the activities of party executives or sponsors will reveal a greater proportion of time spent on getting into office than in any substantive occupation with issues, ideals, and the like. What is true of the political party is not so true of other organizations; forest conservation, for example, seems to be purely income motivated with respect to the outer world, i.e., bringing services or distributing benefits to a clientele.
Still, the struggle to direct the group largely characterizes committees, agencies, and associations of all kinds. The desire for power is so heartfelt that substantive objections are submerged in active ("Give me the men and tools") and passive ("Let's not rock the boat") argumentation and activities aimed at increasing power. The men in an organization who complain most of the loss of objectives ("A craftsman can't work in this shop"; "Being an engineer means nothing to this crowd") are bitter over their lack of control or have primary objectives to which power is foreign and which result only in their relative isolation.
Jakob Burckhardt, speaking of the West, and Karl Wittfogel, discussing the East, agree on the ultimate power interests of organizations and states. (12) We should, perhaps, add the brooding voices of Henry and Brooks Adams, of Robert Michels, Gaetano Mosca, and Vilfredo Pareto, of Mises and Hayek. In essence, these and many others agree that administration is first and foremost an activity aimed at increasing the organization's external power and internal controls.
Treated in purely economic, status, or "happiness" terms, an organization may possess strong behaviors of a non-power kind. No objection, certainly, may be raised to general and systematic comparisons of the economic productivity of two organizations, differently constructed, and the prestige they tender their members or outsiders can be compared. However, these comparisons too often lack the conditional statement that power is being treated as a constant.
On the other hand, in assessing the absolute extent to which power determines administration, one may say that, regardless of other motives, the search for internal and external aggrandizement of power is highly significant. It determines the universal modes of administrative structure; it further explains many of the relations between the administration and the outside world that would be riddles if the presumed or alleged substantive goals were taken at face value to explain them.
The overwhelming fact about administration is that substantive goals are accomplished only by influencing the external world, and this influence is accomplished principally through power. The path to external accomplishment is political in a broad sense, even if we refer to the program of a parent-teachers' association or the construction of a new post office.
Power of administration may be distributed more or less inequitably among sponsors, participants, and clientele. In thinking of the clientele, of course, we visualize people getting what they wanted and tend therefore to dismiss the power problem as irrelevant or inoperative. On the contrary, the science of administration is especially preoccupied with these cases of seeming equality of power. (13) When a majority of a population itself determines how it is substantively served (this is a leading view of democratic administration), it must constantly strain every effort to maintain the equal-power situation to guarantee the substantive service. Here there should be no question whether power is a substantive goal of administration. Anyone who has studied or experienced the anxieties and activities of groups attempting to ensure the equal distribution to themselves of substantive products will recognize that clientele are exerting themselves to become participants and to control the distribution of power as much or more than they are exerting themselves to effect a substantive result. It is common experience to see co-operative associations, veterans' organizations, clubs, and party factions exhaust themselves in the struggle to make certain that the power exercised in internal rule is equally distributed within the group, and then have little energy for providing benefits (their postulated substantive goals) to themselves or to others.
We are already forewarned against a strict dichotomy of outside and inside in treating of administration. These distinctions are primarily useful in studying crystallization of references and memberships. Other reasons why the distinction persists help explain the ideology of administrative theorists. Thus one can do one's will on the "inside" if it is "isolated" from the outside, whence we hear talk of "purely domestic questions," "Keep government out of business," "The public be damned," "Eisenhower is not a real Republican," "The civil service is out of politics," and so on. When the distinction is made or alleged stoutly, a new vocabulary arises for describing the administrative process. Thus Machiavelli's Prince is about "politics": How a Prince manages his realm to get power and hold it. But Alexander Leighton's Governing of Men is "administration"; he has the same problems and quotes Machiavelli liberally, but the subjects of his concern are in a concentration camp.
Two additional notes may be added on the kind of problem one faces in studying administration where the substantive goals of income and prestige are paramount. The part that power plays here is often underestimated. (14) Yet a type of organization can be conceived that would maximize substantively the production of goods and prestige.
The most common stipulated substantive goals of administration are economic, in the broad sense of that term. Men say that they administer in order to reward themselves, their participant colleagues or employees, and their clientele with goods, and debate goes on continuously over the relative distribution of income among the three groups. Since monetary income takes many forms, and since the forms of such income are only the equivalents of other equally material goods of life, it is well for administrative science to include the many varieties of such benefits in considering to what extent organizations may be molded by this general purpose. Therefore, not only money, but its equivalent in other forms of reward-food and lodging, health and social services, public and private buildings, education, leisure and travel, and amusement-should be considered as income.
Perhaps the most striking example of an organization devoted to income is the entrepreneurial prototype of capitalism. As pictured by Adam Smith and its later devotees, it is a well-known model of human activity. The executives or entrepreneurs seek only to maximize personal profits, but owing to the operation of certain behavioral laws as they pursue this substantive goal, an ultimate increase in income is afforded the clientele, and to a more limited extent, the participants in the enterprise. We note that the model seeks the predominance of the income goal over power (and prestige) by providing anarchy through the stern injunction to governments: laissez faire. Then, or simultaneously, it makes much of the significant role allowed to invention and innovation, confirming the rightness of our identification of creativity with anarchy and of administration with power.
The striking feature of this model, as historically developed, was its denial of power as a substantive and instrumental goal. Power was atomized to the point of insignificance. Rational marketing was to substitute for control relationships. Yet its actual acceptance of power (control) was the most important instrumental goal. Although bargaining was to reign within as without, the great captains of industry, as Michels has indicated, ran their establishments like well-disciplined armies. Internally, however, they favored economic sanctions over coercive and psychological sanctions. Moreover, externally, the administration of prices often occurred. (15)
It seems that little in the substantive motive of greater organizational income itself acts against the predominance of the power motive within the establishment, but that the laissez-faire system stems the tide of power from within moving out, or at least breaks it up into smaller units. Equalizing income, in order more to indulge the participants and clientele, is supposed by laissez-faire writers to increase agitation concerning power. It may be questioned, however, whether the equalizing process inescapably produces a substitution of power for income as the preponderant active motive, or whether, historically, the equalization has itself been the corollary to a disturbance and redefinition of demands and expectations that are the inescapable producers of heightened power-consciousness and conflict. A band of hunters, who customarily distribute the spoils of the chase equally, have very small power problems, but the attempt on the part of one hunter to turn the hunt into an entrepreneurial expedition would immediately convert the operation into a power struggle, with the hunters eyeing one another so carefully perhaps that they fail to see the animals they hunt.
So we would surmise not only that a preponderant substantive income motive in an organization is made difficult if participants or clientele are to share with executive sponsors, but also that it is vulnerable to the power preoccupations excited by changes in demands and expectations, whether from sponsors to participants, participants to clients, clients to sponsors, and so on.
Turning from income to prestige as a focal value for the construction of administrative models, one senses a preoccupation of participants with prestige. It almost seems that participants, consigning power to their sponsors and goods to their clientele, seek prestige beyond all. For example, Henry Gantt's brief but influential essay of 1919 on administration, called Organizing for Work, reveals that he seems to desire sponsors' power maximized in order to give participants prestige and clientele income. Perhaps the chief hierarchs must, in every kind of organization, be preoccupied with power, even if their organization be essentially one for the command and bestowal of prestige. Perhaps clienteles are too imperfectly assimilated to the operations of the organization to recognize and accord prestige. The holder of a Medal of Honor is entitled to a salute from the general he obeys but not from the civilian he serves. Perhaps power is the premium, prestige the consolation prize, and income the booby prize in the mysterious combinings and orderings of different motives in administrative situations.
Again, the science of administration should not hesitate to describe the universe of administrative action as ordered according to prestige. We speak not only of fraternal orders and ceremonial cults, whose substantive goals are to obtain prestige for the actors (members), but also of groups such as powerless nobilities, where prestige, although not the ostensible substantive goal, in effect becomes so through the atrophy of goals such as power and income.
The values of administration are apparently not stable and seem to shift among the actors and between points of time. The evolution of administrative situations is a response to a number of ideological, material, and fortuitous events.
The degree to which a society is administrative varies. Organizations increase or decrease in number over a period of time, and individually their dimensions vary. Administration occurs at the instance of sponsors (leading actors) who expect to maximize their interest by harnessing human energies through collective behavior that is co-ordinated by deductions from their preferred interests and that takes the form of instrumental or means actions directed at the expansion of human energies in favor of the sponsors' goals.
Thus an administrative establishment develops as an innovation in human engineering. It contrasts with creative, anarchic actions and with other habitual actions by setting an external framework and "objectivity of goals" upon action. Administration cannot exist without communication, and without influencing. There can, be no organization without a definable influence structure, which relates to the external society and also describes relationships among the participants in the organization. The meaningful question is not whether human engineering exists, but rather what kind of influence it exerts, and what its goals and means are.
It is no restriction of the concept of an organization to say that it may be pictured as an influence structure. The same may be said of an individual organism and the relations among its parts, as well as non-administrative habits that provide social interaction without organization. We are tempted to use the term communication structure rather than influence structure, except that the term communication has acquired a neutral meaning that belies the facts about communication, that is, that it is always valuational and purposive.
Indices of degrees of administrativeness rise as the degree of division of labor in the society increases. However, the number of organizations in a society does not necessarily vary with the degree of division of labor in a society, for a single far-reaching organization may direct a great part of the division of labor. Rather the number of organizations in a society depends upon the division of labor and also upon the heterogeneity of a society, that is, the spectrum of values and value systems among the population. Where there are many values and no compulsion to unitary organization, the number of organizations will increase. When a society loses its heterogeneity of values, the number of organizations diminishes, although the degree of division of labor in a society may remain constant.
An increasing part of modern life throughout the world is falling within the area of administration. This follows from the heightened development of applied administration. Knowledge of how to organize collective behavior has spread, and such innovations have, after the manner of mechanical innovations, become cumulative. It has been discovered that administrative practices can be applied to more and more human situations.
In addition, new moral developments are causing an increase in administration. As the spectrum of creative activity enlarges in a heterogeneous world, demands increase for consensus to be brought about by administrative means. There is an increasing refusal to accept individualistic or supernatural solutions to social problems. There are increasing demands for power, and power agencies are being assigned more targets and greater force than was customary in preceding ages. Furthermore, previously unconnected areas of life, for which administrative action has provided little co-ordination, are seen to be ready for administrative organization. Functions, people, areas, and problems that had previously been out of the perspective of administration are now believed to be accessible to it. Management, like public relations, is awe-struck at its own possibilities, delighted and amazed at how easily human behavior falls prey to its techniques in the most diverse and unexpected fields of life.
Strategically situated central organizations, possessed of superior resources, are expanding outwards and increasing the total proportion of administration by centralizing less administered jurisdictions and organizations. Defensive reactions are elicited among the sponsors of administration in threatened areas, and administration then increases therein.
Increased administration does not always bring a net loss of creative action. It brings a decrease in creative action when it controls the value and sub-value spectra (defined as spheres of creative action). Also, the longer increased administration persists, the more likely that it will bring lapses of memory among those who previously held more varied values in the administered sphere. But increased administration can increase creative action if it brings satisfaction in a spectrum that is limited but has occupied the attention of persons potentially productive in more varied value spectra. A simple example would be the invariant demand for food, its fulfillment, and the release of individuals into spheres of more creative action. In addition, increased administration may increase creative action if it is value efficient. This happens when its sponsors can achieve their aims technically with less than the accustomed intervention in those value spectra that are relevant and conditioned but not necessarily directly involved in the instrumentation of the aims.
In general, it may be said that organizations originate for income, are perpetuated by considerations of prestige, and succumb to power. One tends to study new organizations to determine the material wants they intend to fulfill, established organizations as prestige and status systems, and the history of organizations as struggles for power. In brief, organizations tend to shift their major internal and external goals from income to prestige to power.
At the same time, as one observes organizational behavior, he finds the rule of administrative groups shifting from the clientele (to whom income was promised), to the participants (for whom status is of primary importance), to the executives (for whom power is paramount). Thus administration ends as power-motivated and elite-dominated (see Table 1).
The final organizational equilibrium consists, then, of power, which rests internally in the hands of a few and is masked externally by the substantive motive ascribed to the organization's actions of prestige, internally in the hands of participants and externally with reference to participants as well, and of income, such as it may be, assigned to the clientele. Both income and prestige, of course, are disproportionately provided to the power-elite. The analogy with Plato's trilogy of the philosopher kings (power), the warriors (honor), and the artisans (income) is suggested and is more than superficial. He was trying to describe an eternally stable organizational equilibrium.
The "exceptions" to these tendencies are many. We think a good many of them are produced by ambiguities of definition, by interplay of several values at the same time, by difficulties of observation, by transitory reversals of the process owing to local factors, by propaganda and myths denying the obvious, and by changes in the character of the reference groups or orientations of all concerned. 'these last changes transform the group by changing its definition and delimitation rather than allowing the group as delimited to exhibit the designated transformations.
Various conditions determine the initial character of administration as income motivated and client managed. By far the greatest part of the administration arises to satisfy needs for goods. Honorary or power groups, that are initiated for nonmaterial goals, are often the result of pre-existing income organizations.
TABLE IForms of administration under conditions of maximation of selected values for beneficiaries.
Changes occur: (1) by internal transformation (e.g. individual enterprise to profit-sharing participant, [public] decision-making to bureaucratic decision making), (2) by external co-ordination (e.g. profit-sharing enterprise to cartelism, nobility to king).
The dynamic principles are: differential activity, differential leadership, instrumentalism, simplism, and uncertainty. These factors cause the horizontal and vertical slippage diagramed above.
A group is usually organized by those who have a material need. Rarely do the clientele relinquish power unless they have to; usually it just slips away. (This would agree with Hobbes's interpretation of the social contract as an escape from a hopeless condition, but would go beyond him, following Michels, and include apathy.) The precondition to control is co-operation (hence the eternally perplexing problem posed by despotisms founded upon consensus, which has plagued rationalistic writers on democracy from the eighteenth century on).
Conditions that determine the transformation of a group from client-managed income to participant-managed status include: the demand for maximizing benefits to be derived from a strategic situation (Lasswell and Kaplan speak of the "agglutinizing" effects of the possession of a value), the routinization of operations and development of occupational personality that puts procedure above income, and a tendency to exclude low-sharers from status (including participation) as well as from income.
Among the conditions that determine the transformations of a group from status to power and from participant-managed to executive-managed are: the sanctions required to maintain the status system of participant sharing, the development of "scientoid" (rationalistic) administration as a technique of power among administrative leaders, and the struggles with alienated clientele and competing administrators in the larger environment.
The conditions that determine the ultimate fate of a group as a power-oriented and executive-managed organization include: the balance of power in the larger environment and the degree of isolation of the managing group from its participants and clientele that has resulted from the preceding events. A wide degree of freedom is evident in the behaviors of administration in this stage of development. The logic of the process may be inevitable, but its consummation is by no means certain.
The applied science of administration consists of general statements that tell a hypothetical actor who subscribes to certain value postulates (a "policy") what to do in a class of situations. The purposive character of administration never so well reveals itself as when one attempts to set up an applied science. Such a science depends basically upon the postulation of a value and the deduction of preferable subsequent actions from that value. The hypothetical actor is assumed to accept the original value postulated and also all subsequent values resulting from the operation of new situations that grow out of the chain of deduced actions.
One can have an applied science of administration (or for that matter, an applied science of any kind) only so long as those who are constructing it agree to assign a fixed preference of known variability to the actions. By implication, therefore, a neutral applied science of administration does not exist, if by neutral is meant a factual statement without valuational direction. All the neutrality that an applied science of any kind can possess is a neutrality that comes from making explicit the goals of the actors and agreeing to assign them weights, rank orders, and other measures of fixed quality for the duration of the scientific statement.
There are various ways of introducing necessary values preliminary to the construction of an applied science of administration. One may survey a number of individuals, selected according to some criterion, to determine their values and then proceed to construct an applied science of administration to conform to their values. One may also scrutinize existing organizations in order to determine whether the values of the sponsors accepted as right are being effectively applied. Or one may induce from administrative behavior the values that are determining administrative practice, and these values may then be postulated ab initio and used to construct a revised applied science of administration. Or a scientist or observer may make his own values the basis of an applied science of administration, in which event the recommended successive steps or operations will also be a deduction from his postulates. None of these several modes can be chosen exclusively by scientific criteria.
On the other hand, although no objective principle may be asserted to determine what values one wishes to postulate as the basis for an applied science of administration, statements derived from certain kinds of values are useless because the values postulated are frequently not encountered in the situations that are described, and hence in that sense cannot be applied. This use of the word "applied" has caused much confusion, in that some people have come to believe that "applied" means practical. The basic consideration, however, in determining if one is treating with an applied science is whether it states a prescription for action; whether it leads to practical action is irrelevant.
To those who are somewhat perplexed by this point, we call attention to the study of economics, where some of the best scientific applied economics is based upon preconditions and postulates that are obviously unsuited to the practical world. (16) These achievements cannot be refuted as unscientific. They can only be shown, by the application of one of the tests of postulates previously listed, to be incapable of social realization.
We may cite another example of a familiar applied science to which most people would readily accord practicality, the applied science of medicine. Here for almost all procedures men share the postulated value, namely, cure. The form in which the injunctions of the applied science appear is: "To cure ailment B, do X." Since almost everyone agrees on the goal for all cases of B, there is a ready acceptance of the practicality of the science. So practicality and application are joined.
Yet several features of the applied science of medicine reveal this joining to be one of two independent features of the science rather than of two synonymous terms. Even in our culture, doctors will sometimes complain of people "who do not want to be cured," and the history of medical practice in other cultures and other periods shows that the intensity of desire to be cured, be it called "respect for life" or "concern about the body," varies somewhat. Secondly, doctors today, and more so in other cultures and times, are sometimes frustrated by postulates contrary to what they would like to see called a basic value agreement on B. Thus, ought prisoners in war to be cured or allowed to expire from disease and wounds Or, ought the poor and wretched to be given the same value as the rich and influential? Thirdly, there arise circumstances in which contradictory moral postulates reduce a doctor to as great an indefiniteness and confusion as befall a man who wishes to set up the postulates that will start him off in the construction of an applied science of administration. Among such questions would be the policy of artificial insemination of women, the problem of preferring the death either of the mother or of the unborn baby in a case where a choice must be made, or the problem of "mercy killings," euphemistically called euthanasia.
In effect, one cannot found an applied science of administration or any other applied science except upon an initial declaration of faith or valuational intention. (If the values are unconscious or silent, the structure of the science is logically invalidated even while it may actually be almost as useful.) Subsequently, one cannot announce principles of action without presuming the constancy of the initial postulates or some constant rate of change in them and without positing a stipulated kind and degree of any other value that is expected or declared to occur in the situations to which the principle is extended.
Lest it be thought that we may be driven into a hopeless position by a remorseless logic, we should call attention to some assured constancies of human value, upon which a useful applied science may, in part, rest. An example may be cited. Since very few persons will deny that their mother was a good person, an applied science of school administration, one of whose stated aims is to be practical, can use a factual statement about how people regard their mothers as a limitation and directive in a number of manipulative propositions about administration. So accepted is the value in this case that it is often an unconscious and silent assumption underlying actions. This obvious universal value could be supplemented by a number of others. It is the task of the person constructing the applied science of administration to understand human beings so well that, if he wishes to be practical, he may construct manipulative propositions on the basis of such knowledge. The clearer the understanding of the valuational basis of the principles of the applied science of administration, the better the chances, in the long run, for a true applied science.
Any manipulative proposition of a science, that is, as a proposition of applied science, may be fitted to the formula: To get A, do X. It does not matter whether this is an intellectual solution of a manipulative problem or an action solution, the same procedure is followed internally or externally. In any particular case of an action to be prescribed, this formula becomes: To get A1, do X1. Here, A1 is a precise goal that is accepted by the operator or actor and has, hence, a valuational quality equal to A. Also Xl equals a precise and unique action in which the environment of the action Xl is precisely equal to the environment of X.
Now, any deviation of A1, A2. . .An from A and any deviation of Xl, X2, . . . Xn from X must harm the formula, "To get A, do X," for, if the principle is to be valid and useful, it must apply to a number of instances of action, in which An does not deviate too far from A nor Xn from X. Sciences differ greatly in their ability to provide such principles. The chances of a science doing so, that is, the chances of its being an exact applied science, vary with the degree of stability of the goal and the environment of the action.
Certain conditions are helpful in constructing applied propositions: (1) a high degree of agreement on the preference or goal; (2) great precision in the operational meaning of A; (3) a highly precise meaning of X; (4) high stability of the environment of X, that is, a high typicality of Xl, X2, X3, . . . Xn; and finally, (5) a high degree of evidence of causality (that is, A should follow X in a satisfying number of cases).
This last condition favorable to the creation of an applied proposition has been so exhaustively treated by writers and regarded as so important that it has impeded a fuller understanding of scientific principles in the light of the conditions preceding an applied proposition. This situation is at least partly owing to the constancy, consistency, and simplicity of A in the natural sciences, where applied propositions have been abundantly propagated.
If it is clear that a measure of the success of the applied proposition, "To get A, do X," is the degree of deviation of A1 and so forth and Xl and so forth from A and X, then we may reason that an applied proposition of administration or of any other science can never approach a specific instruction for the unique case. It can be said empirically that a unique action is almost never capable of description by a proposition dealing with a class of actions. Applied propositions may, of course, be highly general ox encompass only a very narrow band of actions. Both types of propositions are useful.
We might perhaps resurrect the much abused term "art" and say that the art of administration consists of unique administrative actions. As expected, however, we find that we are only saying redundantly that the art of administration is essentially the response of the organism to the unique event. If it is a pleasing "uniqueness," it is "good" art as to its creative and habitual elements. It epitomizes the verbally ungovernable and verbally uncontrollable quality of the individual situation. Action itself is undeducible; it is beyond the limits of propositions. It consists of what cannot be described by the science and the applied science of administration. It signifies the unpredictable, that is, the inapplicable. As such, it comes close to what we called earlier creative action, although it should be kept separate from creativeness. All action is unique. Creative actions, though unique and though present in most administrative situations to some extent, are essentially anti-administrative and are unframed initially, by origin and descent. They are ab initio not governed by applied propositions or scientific generalizations.
Now that the character of the applied science of administration has been outlined, I shall compare applied science with the general science described earlier. An applied science is not a simple translation of the propositions of the science of administration, and a general science does not simply convert manipulative propositions to its uses. The two bodies of propositions are fundamentally related to each other, but their significant differences illuminate the character of both sets of principles and the relations between science and society.
In the first place, we see throughout history a great many instances of men commanding and organizing extensive forces to their ends. Vast empires were created. Seemingly eternal religions were established. Institutions proliferated in the hands of geniuses of administration. Are these not applications of the science of administration? They are, if there is such a thing as "unconscious applied science." These are the activities that many call the art of a science, be it the art of medicine, the art of politics, or some other so-called art. Having already confined art to the unique action in administration, however, we have rejected these concepts. What apparently happens in these impressive historical instances is "applied administration." Yet we cannot make precise statements about them, because the reflections, memoirs, gospels, and the like of such men are frequently indecipherable and vague. Scientists who wish to construct an applied science of administration often greatly disapprove of such writings, but we shall have to admit these activities to the order of applied administrative science, even though they are incommunicado and fail to supply us with the propositions they reflect. The man who plays by ear must be called a musician, and the administrator who "plays by ear" must be regarded as an applied scientist.
The phenomenon of the extraordinarily successful but unselfconscious administrator shows that applied administrative science exists, but that we have hitherto lacked ways of abstracting the behavior in symbolic form. Many do not realize that, thus viewed, the history of social science shows a degree of success as an applied science that even the most astonishing discoveries of modern natural science cannot claim. Man may be instinctively adjusted to nature in some essential ways, but in general nature is not amenable to "playing by ear" and requires a fully self-conscious analysis and development of its possibilities. A man cannot play the role of a tree or rock, or subject it to his domination and authority. Human behavior, on the other hand, may be extensively analyzed and manipulated by man without great self-consciousness, and a conscious applied science of man can begin only following an extended historical accomplishment. Furthermore, man is not inhibited emotionally at taking a manipulative attitude toward nature, but is embarrassed at taking a "natural" view of mankind; from birth, his being humanized has been a training in avoiding objective, manipulative naturalism. In sum, both the general science of administration and the applied science of administration are only superstructures of the unconscious applied science of administration.
There are three other problems of transferring the self-conscious propositions from science to applied science and back. One is the difficulty of translating analytic propositions into synthetic ones. Any of the successful generalizations of the science of administration are analytic, that is, abstract. Since the situations to which an applied proposition refer are complicated and involved, a practical situation requires a reconstruction that is synthetic and total. For example, a relationship in science may be stated as a reciprocal inverse dependence, such as: as A increases, B decreases. An applied principle does not necessarily emerge from this, however, since one may want to decrease part of A and part of B, D, E, and F, whereas others may wish no A at all and parts of D and F. Thus an applied principle directly translated from the scientific principle may be useful only to a few or perhaps to no one at all. It often happens that the theoretical proposition is validated, agreed to be important, and applauded, but that no one finds it worth while to undertake the difficult task of making it synthetic.
Another interesting feature of science as contrasted with applied science is that a general law of natural or human behavior covers impractical as well as practical situations of applied science. For example, the law of gravitation that governs the position of the planets cannot be used to change their positions although it has many other practical applications. By the same token, many laws of political behavior, though they can be converted to manipulative prescriptions, with agreement on the goal and situation, cannot be put to practice. The impossible cannot be asked, or, if asked, should be regarded as facetious or heuristic, as when Archimedes declared, "Give me a lever long enough, and I can move the world." The science of administration can state principles generalizing about behaviors whose control might be postulated as impossible, yet control might be possible for the applied science. A simple example would be some of the principles dealing with the long-range history of administration, pointing out how developments such as war, technological change, or depressions affect administrative conditions. One cannot very well apply such propositions to bring about the total change of an administrative system; they are lamed by impracticability. He can, however, apply certain portions of those principles in guiding immediate conduct, such as the application of counter-measures to forestall the known effects of war upon an organization.
It may be necessary to comment on the variability of the term "usefulness." Somewhat blinded by natural science procedures, many commonly regard that statement as the most useful which is most specific with reference to a given case. It is possible that for many people the most useful statements of the science of administration may be at a high level of abstraction. The general but abstract propositions may orient one very well and tell one what to watch for in a large number of situations. If one wishes, of course, he may regard such propositions as examples of applied principle. If so, we would have no difficulty with the term "usefulness," except to remind ourselves that the criterion of usefulness here is not the same as the criterion of usefulness in many of the natural sciences, especially if they are mathematically formulated, where "useful" refers to the critical place a proposition holds in a system of propositions and to the number of propositions to which it relates.
At the same time, the most useful generalizations of the applied science of administration, taking the term "applied" in a narrow and precise sense, may be on a low level of generality, where agreement on values is present with respect to the goal and where the situation is exceedingly well defined. In terms of administration, this would mean that culture-bound, even shop-bound, or job-bound applied principles are the most useful because in such cases the postulated goals are in accord with the superficial axiology of all concerned in the situation described. Men who otherwise disagree about anything can agree on the principle that a hammer is the best tool for driving nails. Or they may agree, whatever their moral disagreements, that keeping people at work together in the same physical structure is the best way for them to accomplish their task.
Perhaps we may give another example. For all who agree that reports that have a high chance of being added to subsequently should be kept and filed, one may safely declare: "Reports should be bound in loose-leaf form before filing." Or, to use other phraseology: "If a report will be needed again, keep it"; "If it is desired to find a report easily later on, file it by some coding procedure"; or "If a report will be added to, do not bind it, but keep it in loose-leaf form to accommodate later additions." Of course, the "objectivity" of this principle vanishes as soon as one individual decides reports should not be kept, filed, or added to. Then the applied proposition would have to take on a more qualified (and we should say, suitable) form, such as: "If you wish to keep on file reports that will probably be added to, and you are sure others will agree with this, put them in loose-leaf folders."
This is beginning to seem silly, but the applied science of administration has often been criticized by practitioners precisely because its propositions have been dogmatic and unconcerned with the many possible value problems in any administrative situation. The critics are right, too, because they are aware of the intensely evaluative nature of the administrative process.
Propositions that involve valuational concord are received joyfully because these principles may be stated simply. This is one reason why textbooks on administration and American government are so Pollyannish. One need not put in all the valuational qualifications, for the good reason that no one is likely to disagree with the goals, and the situation is well circumscribed. As soon as people disagree with the goals of an applied proposition, its phrasing becomes internally complicated. Then the practitioner of applied science finds his behavior to be as absurd as that of a scientist in scrupulously stating an applied proposition. Take the following example: In an army camp it has apparently been difficult to prevent people from smoking in bed. The "barracks lawyers" have perhaps been finding loopholes in the applied proposition in terms of which the commandant probably has been operating, that is, "In order to forestall loss of property, injuries, and loss of life from smoking in bed, forbid smoking in bed and inflict sanctions upon violators of the rule."
5. Smoking in Bed Violations
The following is quoted from DB #269, SWC, 17 Nov. 52 for information and compliance of all concerned.
As a result of inquiries pertaining to a definition of "smoking in bed," the following definition is offered as one definition for the assistance of those who are in doubt as to the meaning of the term: when an individual assumes any position on or in any bed, canvas cot, steel cot, etc., with or without bedding, and then proceeds to smoke, he is "smoking in bed," except that when a person has both feet upon the floor or the ground he cannot be considered as being "in bed". In the event a person reclines upon a bed with one or both feet off the floor ,or the ground, and that by the further act of smoking he should cause the bed to catch fire, he should be considered as being in bed because he is using the bed as a bed and not as a chair as he is doing when he sits upon the bed with both feet upon the floor or the ground.
By order of Colonel ___________________________
Captain, Infantry, Adjutant
This administrator is striving valiantly for an operational definition of the situation, in order that he may say essentially: "To get A1, do Xl," but he is finding Xl exceedingly difficult to define.
One must conclude, therefore, that the basic nature of administration as a valuational process precludes applied principles of an absolute character. Only a stable goal and environment will permit applied propositions whose utility and validity will be manifested in most of the class of situations to which they refer.
It is of little avail to appeal to the concept of "administration scientifically conducted," as a way out of this characteristic dilemma. That is, one cannot say: "If you conduct administration scientifically, an applied science of administration is possible." This is the fallacy of most writers; they employ valuational, practical fictions using the myth value of science. The fact that an action corresponds to a correct means - end relationship does not make it less an evaluation and selection. Administration scientifically conducted is no more neutral than administration non-scientifically conducted; it is only more scientific. One can only say: "If you desire A, then do X," meaning by this, "If you desire A, but do Y, you are probably not going to get A, although you are not morally wrong in doing Y, nor are the consequences of doing Y bad." The point should be clear if one admits that is quite possible for a third person to abhor administration scientifically conducted, on grounds of preferring different values, or different means, or the failure rather than the success of a certain Mr. Smith in achieving A. That is, except by prior agreement or postulation, one is not entitled to prefer what is here termed administration scientifically conducted to administration unscientifically conducted.
An absolute and singular applied science of administration may be impossible, but this does not prevent people from asserting one, and as soon as we are confronted with assertions of the impossible we approach myth and ideology. The universal claim of ideologies is the objectivity of their view of reality. Values are reduced to facts. This is abundantly displayed by writers on administration. Striking among the twists by which ideality is made reality is the elimination of the distinction between applied and pure science. For instance, an advertisement of the Revue Internationale des Sciences Administratives announces that one of its features "is an indispensable guide for those who strive to incorporate the principles of scientific administration into their daily practice." In another instance, W. F. Willoughby, writing in his Principles of Public Administration, declares that "in administration, there are fundamental principles of general application, analogous to those characterizing any science, which must be observed if the end of administration, efficiency in operation, is to be secured." (17)
Moreover, since practically all writing on administrative science has been done in the past century, we should expect that most of it would mirror the dominant ideology of the age, which is that of science. Evidence of this is seen in the process of illustrating the claim of objectivity. Every school of applied administrative science has its own way of asserting that its principles flow from the fount of science; every school, that is, is pseudoscientific.
Thereafter, the several schools begin to assume their distinctive ideological shape and color. Each consists of a cluster of interrelated principles aimed at producing in administrative situations certain favored values. Our times are complicated, pluralistic, unclear, as our diverse architectures, literary forms, political movements, and belief systems testify. Accordingly, there exist side by side not one, but several, dominant approaches to the applied science of administration. And each, far from being sharp and distinct, knowing itself from its opponents, tends to have a diffuse structure. Some of its attitudes and recommended practices overlap those of other approaches. In some cases, some of a man's writings may belong in a body of doctrine other than the one in which he is placed. In any event, a voluminous literature will be available to the scholar of the future who may wish to test the validity of the categories of administrative ideology that we are suggesting here. They include executive centralism, authoritative legalism, Realpolitik, and participantism. Finally, we would recommend, as being value-free and self-conscious, a postulative-analytic approach.
Executive centralism is the most pervasive ideology of the applied science of administration. Generally a working out of the potent dream, "If I were boss," it has great appeal because it is a universal sentiment and re-enacts the continuous drama of thousands of years of history. What matters it that other common sentiments reflect as much actual history, to wit, "Who is boss around here anyway?" and "A word of command from me, and everyone does as he pleases." President Truman, contemplating the problems that would beset Eisenhower if elected President, said "He'll sit here (tapping his desk for emphasis), and he'll say, `Do this! Do that!' And nothing will happen." (18)
Often the dream of executive power is limned over by many kinds of ethical justification as well as pseudoscientific language. It is left to the realpolitik approach to "expose" the absence of motives other than power. We cannot undertake a rigorous content analysis here, but would merely indicate how a few writers bring questions of executive control into focus.
Thus in the first pages of his Governmental Administration, James Charlesworth declares that administration is the "science of realizing the intent of legislation and policy-making executives." (19) In his Introduction to the Study of Public Administration, L. D. White writes that "public administration consists of all those operations having for their purpose the fulfillment or enforcement of public policy." (20) Henri Fayol says, "By administrative knowledge we mean planning, organization, command, coordination, and control." (21) Charles Beard declares, "The State in the Great Society, like the private corporation, rests upon administration . . . . Administration - not the sword - is the key to enduring power in the Great Society." (22) So Brooks Adams, so James Burnham, and so W. Brooke Graves, who writes, in his Public Administration in a Democratic Society, "Good management is characterized by clearly defined objectives; lines of authority previously defined and reduced to writing in such a manner as to indicate definite limits of authority and responsibility; authority commensurate with responsibility; delegation of authority and responsibility to the maximum degree; simple but effective controls through budgetary procedures, reports, reviews; proper distribution of the workload; and effective supervision at all levels. " (23) We might also cite most of the reports of the (Hoover) Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government of 1949. Luther Gulick views organization as "interrelating the subdivisions of work by allotting them to men who are placed in a structure of authority, so that the work may be co-ordinated by orders of superiors to subordinates, reaching from the top to the bottom of the entire enterprise." (24)
Given the necessity of choosing values of one kind or another in constructing an applied science of administration, one may be allowed whatever values he wishes to inject into the situation. One's values may, however, be used as postulates in a hidden way. Administrative writers often give this kind of activity an objective and neutral aspect and deceive themselves as well as others. For example, as there is consensus regarding the value of actions resulting from a given public office - for example, the presidency-then an applied science of administration may be constructed with this value as central to the principles. The other applied propositions then constitute deductive principles intended and destined to increase the effects of this value through many other areas, as the power, "efficiency," and other aspects of the presidency's role are changed and extended throughout the administrative branch of the government.
Let me illustrate by quoting several passages from an essay entitled "The Future of Administrative Management." (25)
By administrative management, as used in this essay, is meant the
functions of the chief executive and his staff and the corresponding
activities of all executive and administrative officials who plan,
coordinate, direct, and control the work of the government.
There will be great advances in administrative management in the future, but
they will not come without opposition from timid souls or the
privileged few who seek to maintain the status quo
by keeping government weak and ineffective.
[p. 165 ]
The prime function of executive management is to establish the responsibility
of administrative agencies for the faithful and efficient
administration of the tasks assigned them.
[p. 174 ]
We may expect that administrative organization in the future will be more
symmetrical, unified and integrated, with few independent agencies
[p. 184 ]
A great expansion of government in the field of business enterprises may be
anticipated as an alternative to governmental regulation and for
[p. 181 ]
The development of administrative management will not defeat but, on the
contrary, will enhance the ultimate responsibility of executive
officers and agencies to the legislature.
[p. 191 ]
But, of course, this kind of administrative theory is not Professor Harris' alone. He received it from other distinguished teachers and in turn has helped to pass it on. Academics, politicians of clashing persuasions, and the efficiency engineers and survey agencies vie with each other in their expression of such views. (26)
In the Elements of Political Science, I asserted that the major principles of administration are representations of the instrumental goal of authority. The hierarchical pyramid, delegations of work, staff and line organizations, and command responsibilities are all institutionalizations of administration according to the principle of maximizing the sponsors' power. This is not to say that they are not at the same time ways of getting work done, and ways universally to be found of doing work, but it should be emphasized, however sadly, that the deviations from the administrative model that maximizes sponsors' internal power are few in number and not too significant in the total historical picture. Most often administration is a co-ordination of powers by a controlling few, and the applied science of administration is normally a manual of instructions to the power elite.
Just as the concepts of public administration can be shown to be closely related to traditional executive-centered administration, so the concept of "efficiency" can be shown, under practically all circumstances, to be similarly related. The essential meaning of efficiency is evaluative: efficiency, in human or natural engineering, is always measured by a goal-achievement index. As an instrumental objective in administration, efficiency means that a given method of performing a task is most "pleasing" to those controlling the method. Often "pleasing" has to do with material values such as input-output ratios of machines and clerks, but frequently the most "efficient" way of performing a task is conditioned on a clear triumph of executives' interests over the interests of others. In general, just as most administrative theory is founded on the maximization of executive control, "efficiency" is defined by executives' values.
It was something of this impatience with the academic idea of efficiency that occurred to Alexis de Tocqueville, when he contrasted the continental democratic and American democratic administration. The centralized executive power of the former differed markedly from the clientele power of America. He makes such comparisons as this: "That uniformity or permanence of design, the minute arrangement of details, and the perfection of administrative system must not be sought for in the United States; what we find there is the presence of a power which, if it is somewhat wild, is at least robust, and an existence checkered with accidents, indeed, but full of animation and effort." He ridicules the evaluation of administration according to the excellence of accounting practice and bids us observe "the activity, the information, and the spirit of enterprise in those American townships whose budgets are neither methodical or uniform." (27)
Many of the newer researches in administration have been incorporated in a school of "human relations engineering." One should not be deceived into believing this to be a fundamental moral reform of the traditional body of administrative principle. The basic model usually is the same: How does one organize to maximize executives' control and accomplish the substantive tasks set by the executives? The new human relations is more "efficient" than the old "authoritarian" school of "Orders are orders!" It discovers the social, ideological, and behavioral peculiarities of participants and clientele and tells the sponsors: You can more easily accomplish your objectives by treating employees and public as equals, superiors, or collaborators, or by recognizing the true sources of their resistance to authority.
The extent to which most of the new "human relations engineering" has camouflaged the essence of administration is astonishing. Part of the explanation for this is the high reputation of science, in the social sciences as well as the natural sciences. If human beings are placed in a position where they seem to act voluntarily in accredited ways, the problem of conflict of wills is submerged. Another factor that helps explain the new administrative theory is the strong preference found in "democratic" societies for psychological control rather than open authoritative control.
Still a third factor is the prestige that "human relations" methods give the intelligentsia, who write on administrative theory, applied psychology, and related subjects. If their methods are used, their staff powers are enhanced; it would be unlikely that they would allow parallels to be drawn between their methods and the old discredited ones. One would even expect the new human relations to be presented as true democracy. As described here, however, such practices are to be regarded essentially as a means of extending the executives' power.
The concept of "administration as law" is a common way of constructing an applied science of administration. Writers who pride themselves on their realism or their behaviorism have made too narrow an analysis of its meaning. They usually dismiss it as a form of pedantry or traditional vocationalism. Administration as law holds that the determination of the correctness of administrative action depends upon whether the action can be reasonably deduced to be lawful. The science of administration is then defined as the legal principles describing administrative establishments and governing their internal or external relations. The applied science of administration then consists of a system of prescriptions for lawful behavior, as deduced from the systematic legal framework that envelops the establishments. The great utility of this approach rests upon its assumptions of the "goodness" of control and upon the efficacy of controls. That is, the validity of the juridical approach in administration is a fiction, or rather two fictions that come close enough to both conventional morality and actual behavior ("there is a law covering every action") to be able to stand usefully for the realities.
Given an ideological milieu in which administrators and academic students of administration are closely bound up (such as existed in pre-Nazi Germany between the high bureaucracy and the universities, and between both and the society as a whole), the defects of this approach to administration are not easily apparent. In view of what has already been said, however, the juridical theory of administration turns out to be (a) a justification of the basic laws and establishments, (b) a preference for the instrumental values of control, (c) a vote of confidence for established legal procedures, and (d) a blindness to the deviations of many administrative situations from the law. (28)
In short, the model of administration as law is an impossible one for a scientist, as it is badly circumscribed by its limited evaluative position. It is doubly deceptive because it involves authoritarian premises, and nothing quite threatens objectivity in social analysis as much as authority. Authority in all its manifestations, including anti-authoritarianism, is so universal, so insidious, and so intricate that it inspires an "objectivistic" subjectivity.
So, although "administration as law" embraces and explains a great many actions that are administrative, it provides a pseudoscientific body of principles and should be isolated from the general science and applied science of administration. Administration as law emerges from the essential nature of administration as action. The law is a proof of administrative practice. It is likely to be a deductive system of authority and control, and can be an applied science of administration granted its premises, but its relativity to all such postulates must be made explicit. It is a possible subsystem of the applied science of administration, related strikingly, like one of its greatest critics, the realpolitik or "power" theory of administration, to the executive-centered ideology.
Whereas the juridical theorists state principles of applied administration deductively from "the law," such as "The law indicates personnel should be reprimanded before more formal action is brought against them," the realpolitik theorists declare: "Do not reprimand a man unless you are ready to fire him." While the former says, "Authority should be undivided," the latter may say, "No man can serve two masters." Both ordinarily aim at maximizing executive control, the one more formally, the other more realistically.
I mentioned earlier that a work by Alexander Leighton and The Prince of Machiavelli were similar in general goals and strategy, even while they differ in specific values and sanctions. One is called administration, the other politics. Let us see now why the basic approach of the two works may be similar, because, if this is so, we shall gain insight into the nature of applied administration and the realpolitik model of applied administration.
Leighton's theoretical work is organized into a number of postulates about human behavior and a number of recommendations to would-be administrators. They are generalizations of "lessons" from a desert relocation center for Japanese-Americans during World War II. They deal with cultural similarities and differences, social organizations, human stresses and reaction to stress, human motives, and the motives, stresses, and organizations of executive and participant administrators (as distinguished from the internees or clientele). The law is only a shadowy structure embracing the important action. As soon as Leighton transfers his interest from the postulates or their derivatives to their application, he, of course, resorts to manipulative statements in the form of: To get A, do X.
In his own words:
The Principles [postulates] are thought to have validity which is independent of any political theory or design for living. The Recommendations are based on the supposition that any administration will aim at the successful accomplishment of its assigned task, whether that be relief, rehabilitation, resettlement, or outright government, and will aim at operation with a minimum cost of men, materials, money and time. (29)
Now it will be noted that the recommendations (applied science of administration) must have goals. In this case, the substantive goals are "relief, rehabilitation, resettlement or outright government." The instrumental goal is "a minimum cost of men, materials, money and time." It is clear that here is a new Machiavelli. The "prince" wants to rule a domain. The main differences are not fundamental but rather minor differences of exactly who does what to whom with what intention.
We are interested here primarily in the extent to which ~~power is an instrumental objective for the achievement of Leighton's goals. In scrutinizing each of the almost one hundred recommendations in the work, we noted that almost all recommendations had to do with increasing the executives' power, particularly over the clientele. Although some were concerned with the participants, they had to do with how to increase one's control over the staff's anxieties, beliefs, and organization. About fifteen recommendations seemed to be "power" recommendations, but, unlike the vast majority, these were "democratic" principles, intended to increase the power of the clientele. (How these would accord with the original statement of directives is not clear; we suspect that Leighton was basically prointernee and pro-Japanese and felt the true enemy was the militaristic or "bureaucratic" elite, with its "old-fashioned," "harsh," and ineffective methods of rule.)
Certainly his treatment of the problems of administration would reinforce the theory that the basic model of administration is one of instrumental power or control. Certain features of this study provide additional evidence. The study is anthropological and psychiatric in tone and approach. One finds little of the traditional problems of text writers in administration. Yet the substance of this model of administration is clearly revealed; it is executive-valued and executive-implemented through applied principles of maximizing power. In his work one sees the bridge between Machiavellism and "human relations engineering" that has disturbed sensitive critics of both in the name of humanism and democracy.
There is, however, a different kind of "human relations in management," essentially, an endeavor to maximize control for participants. In its model of administration, a different instrumental motive prevails. Its advocates seek to distribute both controls and work happiness more equally.
The writings of Mary Parker Follett belong here.(30) So do those of Ordway Tead. For example, Tead writes:
Democratic administration is ...that over-all direction of an organization which assures that purposes and policies are shared in the making, that methods are understood and agreed to, that individual potentialities are being enhanced, that corporate or group ends are being realized with a maximum of release in shared creative power and a minimum of human friction .. ..In these respective administrative areas (industries and agencies) we are to create and operate under constitutional forms not merely as a measure of prudence, expediency, or efficiency at the level of material gain-but because to develop citizenship in our economic and administrative substate is the condition of assuring that the conduct of these states-within-the-state will work approximately in the public interest of personality fulfillment, in the interest of democratic aspiration and method consistently flowering in all branches of our common life. (31)
John Gaus reduces somewhat the impact of the executive centralism view by introducing the idea of satisfaction of employees (participants) as equal in importance to the satisfaction of the executives.(32) Marshall Dimock frankly grants the external and internal pervasiveness of the power drive in organizations and recommends various means of directing it, including dispersion, which most modern writers, trained in centralization, are loath to advocate. Thus, he says, in A Philosophy of Administration: "The more powerful an institution is, the more like the government of a political state it becomes . . . . This admission is the beginning of wisdom .... Our national objective should be to make every man and son as self-reliant as possible." (33)
Charles Merriam epitomizes the moderate and most popular phrasing of the general ideal when he declares, "Complex modern organization must be rooted in understanding, in assent, in consent, in a full and willing spirit of cooperation." (34) The chief wave of withdrawal, then, is away from the formulation of Woodrow Wilson in 1887, who called for "large powers and unhampered discretion" by a career group without arrogant class spirit. It is away from Fayol and the other early rationalizers of hierarchical administration of the Roman, Prussian, and Napoleonic type. It has consisted of understating authority, and urging new principles on behalf of ordinary participants and clientele, in a word, of humanizing administration.
Just as the dominant school believes there is nothing biased about its executive-centered principles, the democratic writers of participantism tend to ascribe objectivity (i.e. efficiency and neutrality) to their principles. Thus Tead writes:
The conditions and characteristics of a society to which we refer as democratic we find in practice to be at the same time those which wise psychological insight and experiment reveal as ways human beings can best be brought to and held to productive and amicable collaboration. (35)
Similar marriages of "laws of nature" and "democratic behavior" occur in other works, even in the rigidly positivistic analysis of Lasswell and Kaplan, Power and Society. (36)No doubt a strong wish produces its own "objectivity." No doubt, also, that, as some Americans think, so other Americans behave. Considerable evidence may be adduced to show a positive relation between certain indices of productivity and democratic group direction. Studies by Ronald Lippitt, the Survey Research Center, the Center for Group Dynamics, and others, reveal the relation in a striking manner. (37) It is irrelevant here, however, to judge the extent and character of the relation. The point is that assigning power to participants as the basis for a system of applied administrative principles is neither more nor less permissible scientifically than assigning power to executives. The evaluative postulate begins the work of applied science; it cannot be the proof of its own principle. (38)
An example of this is the applied product of much research sponsored by the Bureau of Naval Research. A pamphlet, distilling the prolonged laborious study of renowned psychologists, is called Conference Sense. (39) Asserting that "for finding the right answer the conference can be the finest thing since the back of your arithmetic book," the pamphlet presumably tells all naval officers how to get "the right answers" from conferences. It goes on to declare that "all studies show that a group can really be influenced only when the conference-wise gent rises above his own special interests and solves-or honestly attempts to solve-the overall problem of the conferring group." Then: "The conference described herein is the so-called modern conference. In this kind of gathering, representatives of various organizations try to find the best solution of a common problem by polling their different viewpoints and experience in the sort of informal discussion that leads to joint-thinking . . . . The conference leader must be a thoroughly impartial chairman." Certain types of characters cause trouble, viz. "The aggressor may work in many ways, deflating the status of others, expressing disapproval of the acts, feelings, and value of others. . . joking aggressively . . . showing envy towards another's contribution by trying to take credit for it."
The authors follow each "problem" with a "remedy." "Conference leader's remedy. Place Donald Duck at your left (the blind spot). Fail to hear his objections, or if you do, misunderstand them. If possible, recognize a legitimate objection and side with him. Object is to get him to feel that he `belongs.' "
In its summary, the booklet recommends "democracy in action" if a conference is to be a "problem solver." "The group reaches the maximum effectiveness when all the members feel personally responsible for the success of the meeting; and this feeling of personal responsibility starts with the determination to find a common ground."
Now, of course, this is applied science. I have no quarrel with its moral premises, (40) or its validity. We are interested mainly in pointing to the essential participant orientation of this type of applied administration. It is genuine and shows that a number of reputable scholars and administrators actually visualize a model of administration in which power is shared. In fact, power sharing is here viewed as the most important single instrumental goal of administration.
Attention may be called to another pamphlet of the same type, How to Conduct a Union Meeting, published by the UAW-CIO Education Department (no date) when R. J. Thomas was International President. The definition of purpose is quite similar to that of the Navy pamphlet: Democracy means "members of the Unions meeting together to find answers to their problems, and working together to solve them." Then the pamphlet goes on to describe plainly the rules of legislative procedure, with words to encourage the timid to participate. Here the applied administration is based upon a preferred and integrated hierarchy of rules originating outside of the meeting in time and space. Assuming the presence of informal sanctions (mores) and formal ones (as enforced by sergeants-at-arms), the scientific prescription for action follows the rules closely. There is a benign air about the statement, however, that belies the original motive of participant equality-something that was not always present at UAW meetings or at many others.
The rules here are designed to serve all participants equally up to the moment of voting, when the majority is treated unequally and favorably. There are literally thousands of situations administered formally by such means, and, whether we go back to the great studies by Sidney and Beatrice Webb of the history of trade union democracy in England and those of Robert Michels on European unions and parties, or whether we read the files of the McClellan Committee to investigate trade union practices in the United States, we must include such situations in the study of administration.
But a bewildering variety of works and materials, hitherto considered trivial or peripheral to the study of administration, should be taken into account. Church government, moving from the Quakers through the diverse Protestant and Catholic groupings, within Christianity alone, supplies abundant material for the theorist. Each grouping is within our scope and has besides made some attempt to tell its people how to act in the organization and upon their clientele. The same is true of business organizations, of welfare groups, of interest-group associations, of political party organizations, and of universities. The science of administration will come of age when it speaks distinctly of all these administered situations and can create for each of them such applied sciences as are desired.
One may conclude that it is possible, even if difficult, to study and describe all administration in ways that would truly give equal value to participants and to executives with respect to the instrumental value of power in administration. This would only be a self-conscious, rigorous, systematic applied science of administration, in accord with the values of participants, of clients, or of whatever group or type of ideal is postulated. Concepts of "consumer," "the public," and "the customer" come to mind in this connection. Much of the discussion of representative-constituent, state-individual, government-people, agency-public relationships would become centrally relevant to such works of administration. The sponsor-centered works would retire to better perspective in the variegated scope of social values. Some indications of the possibilities of this kind of administration are to be found in scattered writings about the use of public polls in administration and in the literature of interest representation. (In the latter case, however, the mistake is often made of identifying clientele with a partial-clientele group, such as the railroads before the ICC, when such a group might even better be considered as a participant.)
But this kind of argument has governed neither the political preferences nor the scientific interests of most American or European theorists. Charles Hyneman's Bureaucracy in a Democracy is a lonely treatise on administration, postulating legislative supremacy. (41) Other works, such as those of Dimock and Tead referred to earlier, elevate the creative individual; in the ideal form they describe him as the person before whose interests institutions must give way. The "case study method" met with nowadays in the teaching of educational, industrial, and public administration, is a notable attempt (mostly unconscious) to reduce the posturings of traditional applied and general theory to value anarchy in order at least to convey the complexity of fact-value situations. Each case demands a unique fact-value approach.
If we were to direct any negative criticism at that valiant and remarkable text on public administration by Herbert Simon, Donald Smithburg, and Victor Thompson , (42) it would probably be aimed at the intellectual environment, for it seems to me that they have had to advance with an enormous baggage of traditional categories and problems that prevent them from clearly and sharply reorganizing administrative study to conform to their underlying theories. They would have enhanced the already great value of their work if they had abandoned this baggage and systematically exploited their objective and pluralistic fact-value position. They have presented a general sociology of administration, fragmented into pieces holding some attraction to contemporary teachers. They avoided systematic applied science, perhaps because it would have hopelessly confused an already intricate rationalization of traditional themes.
And yet, many of these same themes are labeled in applied form (for instance, staffing the organization), thus lending the work the appearance of dealing in applied administration.
To a certain extent, the compromises of textbooks have been shaken off in a recent work by James G. March and Herbert A. Simon called Organizations. (43)This work, in the style of Lasswell and Kaplan's Power and Society, provides many propositions whose objectivity is scarcely open to question and that reflect very well the recent literature of social-psychological approaches to administration. Encumbered by a mass of purely empirical studies, however, the theory of the book only begins to emerge, and its larger implications must await a later clarification.
I conclude that the science of administration should be vast in scope and should progress according to an objective autonomous momentum. It should father as many applied sciences of administration as there are important sets of values (including anarchistic or null-values) to be carried into administered situations.
Training people to study, administration is difficult; training them to be administrators is even more difficult. Whereas the former may be managed by opening the whole administrative world of yesterday and today to objective examination, the latter may be achieved only by setting up elaborate models based upon key value premises. We believe that, if applied administration is to be taught at all without destructive effects upon creativity, it must be taught as an exercise in the postulation of alternative values (often of opposites), in the systematic assessment of conditions affecting a given value system, and in the prescription of preferred action for those who accept the values. The subjective and relative nature of the pedagogy should be constantly indicated in order to prevent indoctrination and "scientism." Taught in this way, administrative science could be regarded as a worthy part of education in "the liberal arts:"
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We would amend Bacon, however, so far as to say that "final cause" does not corrupt the other sciences either; rather, it is so difficult to work with that until the twentieth century man has preferred to evade it.
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Human Nature and Conduct (New York, 1930), p. 40.
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Weber's general theories of organization and bureaucracy are contained in From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, ed. by H. Gerth and C. W. Mills (New York, 1946), and T. Parsons, ed., Max Weber: The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (New York, 1957).
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See, for instance, Mason Haire, ed., Modern Organization Theory (New York, 1959), where the heroic efforts of the editor to join together the writers' theories in a preliminary chapter merely underline the theoretical egoism of the writings.
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Cf. Brooks Adams: "Administration or generalization is not only the faculty upon which social stability rests, but is possibly the highest faculty of the human mind" (Theory of Social Revolutions (New York, 1913), p. 216); also Dwight Waldo's words that administrators are "specialists in generalizations," (The Administrative State New York, 1948 p. 102).
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These include legislators wherever they are involved in administrative situations. They are then considered as co-elite with the administration hierarchy, with different origins, recruitment, power, perspectives, and relationships to participants and clientele. This is not only methodologically useful, but historically pertinent, as can be revealed by consideration of the origins of representative government. Cf. the author's Public and Republic (New York, 1951), pp. 13-21; certain theories of legislative function (ibid., p. 183); and the activities of elected assemblymen.
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Mosca, Bryce, and others, including this writer in his Elements of Political Science (New York, 1952), have emphasized a threefold, broad classification of (1) active leaders, (2) less active and less powerful, and (3) the relatively apathetic mass, as the most meaningful broad division of political actors. Cf. R. MacIver: "Power is never a subordination of the many to the one. It is, always, a hierarchy" (quoted in H. D. Lasswell and A. Kaplan, concurring, Power and Society New Haven, 1950, p. 205).
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See H. D. Lasswell and A. Kaplan, op. cit.
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"Comparative Strength of Life Ideals in Eastern and Western Cultures," in C. W. Moore, ed., Essays in East and West Philosophy (Honolulu, 1953).
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Cf. From Max Weber, pp. 204-205, where Weber emphasizes the dependence of rationalistic bureaucracy upon the development of a money system. From our point of view, money and similar conditions he describes are technical instruments for implementing deduction. The use of money allows measurability of performance, increased control over persons within the organization, and other assurances of greater deducibility of action.
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Cf. R. Lippitt, N. Polansky, and S. Rosen, The Dynamics of Power, Human Relations, 5 (1952), 37-64, on (a) tendency of orientation of newly organized groups to be accompanied by clarifications (determinations) in power perspectives, and (b) correlations between power contagion and power direction
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J. Burckhardt, Force and Freedom (New York, 1943), and K. Wittfogel, The Ruling Bureaucracy of Oriental Despotism, Review of Politics, 15 (1953), 350-359
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Lasswell has stated the axioms of clientele power sharing well:
"1. Power is shared when the political myth favors the pattern of general
participation in the making of decisions.
"2. Power is shared when in fact there is general participation in decisionmaking.
"3. Shared power means that it is assumed that office holders can be criticized without fear of serious retaliation.
"4. Shared power means that the shaping of decisions depends upon values to which access can be had on the basis of merit.
"5. Shared power includes the freedom to challenge the lawfulness of applying general rules to concrete cases.
"6. Power is shared when there is an effective presumption against the politicizing of human relations.
"7. Power is shared when there is a presumption against the use of power in great concentration, particularly in the form of regimentation, centralization, and militarization." The World Revolution of Our Time Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1951, p. 41; (quoted by permission). When these relations exist in an organization, we can speak of administrative power sharing.
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Cf. also Sebastian de Grazia, Status as a Political and Religious Motive, Journal of Liberal Religion, 28 (1947), 91-101.
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An alternative and equally abstract model is provided in the form of socialism, in which income is maximized for the clientele, with regulated stipends to the executives and participants. However, socialism presumes by its plan an integrated structure of controls over society; it promises an organization that is systematically dedicated to many forms of influencing the population in return for sharing income with its clientele: so what it gives with one hand it takes with the other.
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For example see Henry Simons, A Positive Program for Laissez-faire (Public Policy Pamphlet Series; Chicago, 1937). This set of imaginative and valid applied propositions is exceedingly unlikely to occur.
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New York, 1927, ix.
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Richard S. Neustadt, Presidential Power (New York, 1960), p. 9.
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New York, 1951.
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Third edition (New York, 1950), p. 3.
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Industrial and General Administration, quoted on page 5 of Albert Lepawsky, Administration. (New York 1949).
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Lepawsky, op. cit., p. 17.
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(Boston,1950), p. 550.
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Papers on the Science of Administration (New York, 1937).
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By Joseph P. Harris, in L. D. White, ed., The Future of Government in the United States (Univ. of Chicago Press, copyright 1942 by Univ. of Chicago), ch. ix.
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"Ten Commandments of Good Organization," prepared by the American Management Association affords another good example of applied administrative principles aimed at increasing executive control and assuming an accord on values that is surely wanting in many concrete situations. They are quoted, together with similar principles ventured by other authors, by John D. Millett, "Working Concepts of Organization;" in Fritz Morstein Marx, ed., Elements of Public Administration (New York, 1946), pp. 154-156
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Democracy in America (New York, 1946), I, 91-92.
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Cf. the author's Law and Behavior: A Unified Approach to their Study, Political Research: Organization and Design, 3 (1960), 3-7.
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The Governing of Men (Princeton, 1945), p. 85.
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For an annotated list of titles on this approach to applied administration, see my Human Relations in Public Administration (Chicago, 1949); also William J. Gore and Fred S. Silander, A Bibliographical Essay on Decision Making, Administrative Science Quarterly, 4 (1959) 97-121.
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Democratic Administration (New York: Association Press, 1945), pp. 71-73.
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John M. Gans, "A Theory of Organization in Public Administration," in J. Gans, L. D. White, and M. Dimock, eds., The Frontiers of Public Administration (Chicago, 1936).
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(New York, 1958), pp. 62, 165.
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Systematic Politics, (Chicago, 1945), pp. 170-171.
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Art of Administration (New York, 1951), pp. 70-71.
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For example, pp. xxiv, 14-15.
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For example, Lester Coch and J. R. P. French, Jr., Overcoming Resistance to Change, Human Relations, 1 (1948), 513-532; also "Productivity, Supervision and Employee Morale" (Survey Research Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Study No. 6, 1948).
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Cf. my analysis of the objectivity and social invention problem in Mathematical Derivation of an Election System, Isis, 44 (1953), 42-51.
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Bureau of Naval Personnel, NAVPER 91139, Washington, D.C., 1950.
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For example, one might raise strenuous objections to the major value of the pamphlet, that postulates the goal of getting a group decision out of all committees. What of the postulate, often equally defensible, that the goal shall be to prevent a committee action? What would happen to the common practice of calling a committee in order to do nothing about an issue. Cf. M. Kriesberg and H. Guetzkow, The Use of Conferences in the Administrative Process, Public Administration Review, 10 (1950), 93-98.
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New York, 1950.
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Public Administration, New York, 1950.
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New York, 1958.
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