What is the definition of public administration?

Administer is an English word, which is originated from the Latin word ‘ad’ and ‘ministrare’. It means to serve or to manage. Administration means management of affairs, public or private.

Various definitions of Public Administration are as follows:

Prof. Woodrow Wilson, says “Public Administration is a detailed and systematic application of law.”

According to L. D. White “Public Administration consists of all those operations having for their purpose the fulfilment of public policy as declared by authority.”

Both above definitions are done from traditional viewpoint and related only to the functions and actions of Administration.

Following thinkers have taken a broad view while defining Public Administration:

According to Simon, “By Public Administration is meant the activities of the executive branches of the national, state, & local governments.”

According to Willoughby – “Public Administration in broadest sense denotes the work involved in the actual conduct of governmental affairs, and in narrowest senses denotes the operations of the administrative branch only.”

According to Gullick, “Public Administration is that part of the science of administration which has to do with government and thus, concerns itself primarily with the executive branch where the work of the government is done.”

According to Waldo, “Public Administration is the art and science of management as applied to the affairs of the state.”

Marshall E. Dimock, “Administration is concerned with ‘what’ and ‘How’ of the government. What is the subject matter, the technical knowledge of a field which enables the administrator to perform his tasks? The ‘How’ is the technique of management according to which co-operative programmes are carried to success.”

All above modern definitions of Public Administration emphasize the value based character of Public Administration and Public Administration as a science and art of administration.

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