Public administration involves many different partners with different priorities and responsibilities. These partners include elected officials, appointed officials, the citizens they serve, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Public organizations are required to solve complex issues with limited resources, while also understanding that their goals overlap between partners (Yeboah-Assiamah, Asamoah, & Adams 2019). Statesmanship is needed to work through each of these issues and there are times that there may be challenges and opportunities that would help during these processes.
The traditional public administration model became prevalent in the United States in the late 1900s and was focused on efficiency in government operations. The new public management model became the more dominant approach in the 1980s and 1990s after concerns of government failures grew (Bryson, Crosby, & Bloomberg 2014). The new public management model focuses on both efficacy and efficiency, while moving away from large, centralized government.
The new public administration model urges public managers to “steer, not row” according to Bryson, Crosby, and Bloomberg (2014). This model calls for the collaboration between the different partners within public administration. The government create policies and visions for solving an issue within the community. The government then explains the vision to the citizens, who are viewed differently from the traditional public administration model.
Within the new public administration model, citizens are seen as customers, who need to buy into the policies proposed by the government. The support of the citizens helps to drive the operations of the organizations while the government manages for results. Businesses and nonprofits also are used to move the objectives forward by supplementing the government through the process and helping to educate and sell to the citizens.
Proverbs 11:14 NIV says “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisors.” This should remind public administrators that they are unable to complete the needed work alone. Public administrators should seek guidance from all partners within the government and outside of the government to make a more informed decision.
Bryson, J., Crosby, B., & Bloomberg, L. (2014). Public value governance: moving beyond
traditional public administration and the new public management. Public Administration Review, Vol 74, Issue 4, p 445-456. Doi:10.1111/puar.12238.
Denhardt, R., Denhardt, J., & Blanc, T. (2014). Leadership and management skills in public
organizations. Public Administration: An Action Orientation. 7th edition, p. 323-359. ISBN-13:978-1-133-93921-4.
Yeboah‐Assiamah, E., Asamoah, K., & Adams, S. (2019). Transdisciplinary public leadership
theory: Between the extremes of “traditional public administration” and “new public management”. Journal of Public Affairs, 19(1), e1887-n/a. doi:10.1002/pa.1887