Public Administration

  1. The art of getting things done
  2. A term used to describe the influence government agencies have on politics, economics, and other social activities
    Administrative state
  3. A type of organization characterized by division of labor, hierarchy, formal rules, record keeping, and professionalization.
  4. The primary tasks public agencies undertake, which include decision making, personnel management, and budgeting.
    Core Functions
  5. The power to make choices about what action to take
    Discretionary authority
  6. The process of deciding who gets what
  7. The ideas that politics and administration can be separated, with elected officials deciding who gets what, and bureaucrats implementing those decisions.
    Politics-administration dichotomy
  8. The means used to translate the will of the state into the actions of the state
    public administration
  9. A public agency employee who actually performs the actions that implement laws
    Street-level bureaucrat
  10. The principle that holds professionalism as a desirable feature of a bureaucrat. Rather than hiring bureaucrats on political grounds, we expect them to be professional, neutral experts who will make decision based on that professionalism and expertise rather than on their political allegiances
    bureaucratic neutrality
  11. Bureaucratic clients are those directly served by a government agency. Sometimes this is a distinct, identifiable group, such as recipients of Social Security. Other times agency clientele will be more general or broad, which usually is the case with agencies that provide widely used services or public goods
  12. Executive departments are large groupings of bureaus and offices that carry out crucial political functions and provide citizens with important services, Each of the 15 departments is led by a secretary appointed by the president, who then sits on the president's cabinet and provides policy advice.
  13. Enterprises that are expected to be "non-partisan," but more free to use operating procedures from the business world. Government corporations are usually expected to operate for profit.
    government corporation
  14. Freestanding agencies that operate outside of executive departments. Instead, they report directly to the president or to Congress. They are typically lead by an odd-numbered group of experts who are usually thought to be more insulated from politics than the cabinet members who lead executive departments
    independent regulatory boards and commissions
  15. A persnnel system that uses evaluations of work to determine promotions and raises, rather then basing rewards on political grounds. A merit system in a government agency also protects workers' rights in most personnel matters (hiring, firing, evaluations, promotions, and raises).
    merit system
  16. Under patronage, political loyalty is the chief criterion used to staff government agencies, as opposed to professionalism under bureaucratic neutrality. While this makes bureaucrats easier for the president to control, the quality of public administration suffers because the bureaucracy has fewer professional experts.
  17. The belief that, unlike the philosophy of limited government, there are important social and economic problems that can best be solved through government intervention. This best describes the current era of the United States, as most political discussions are centered on what the government should do rather than if it should do antything
    positive government
  18. Sets of rules that govern how an organization resolves recurring situations. These are developed in order to speed decision making in the organization and to provide consistent, predictable responses. Standard operating procedures ideally improve the efficiency and dependability of government agencies
    standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  19. Public agencies are said to be captured when they adopt the interests and preferences of their clientel as their primary goals
  20. is a persistent way of thinking about organizational tasks and human relationships within the organization.
  21. exist when an organization uses the same resources to produce more than one output
    economies of scope
  22. A measure of organizational performance, typically calculated by dividing observed organizational outputs by expected outputs
  23. A measure of organizational performane, typically a ratio of an organization's outputs to its inputs
  24. A measure of organizational efficiency that calculates the labor required to produce an output.
  25. The process by which public agencies take laws or mandates from their political controllers and translate them into specific actions.
  26. Written instructions on what public bureaucracies and public servants are supposed to do
  27. Private organizations whose primary business is gettin contracts from public agencies, Shadow bureaucracies typically operat under much looser regulatory restraints than public agencies.
    Shadow bureaucracy
  28. The characteristics of a particular situation that provide the goal or motivation to make a choice or take an action
    situational imperatives
  29. A judicial function that government agencies use to charge and try individuals or firms suspected of violating the law. Adjudication is done on a case-by-case basis, but can still have broad implications, such as when the Food and Drug Administration recalls medication from the market due to safety concerns.
  30. Passed in 1946, this act guides how government agencies make rules, adjudicate, hold public meetings, retain records, and otherwise enforce the law.
    Adminstrative Procedures Act
  31. Commitment to an organization and belief in its goals shared by members of a public agency.
    bureaucratic cohesion
  32. A source of political power for agencies that is derived from the ability to decide how policies will be implemented. Allows bureaucrats to decide how to apply the general terms of a policy to specific situations in society, and to decide what prcedures will be used to accomplish the goal of the policy.
  33. A source of political power for agencies that is derived from the coordination, teamwork, and experience that arises from their being able to devote attention to a single issue for long periods of time.
  34. Some political power of the bureaucracy comes from sources outside government agencies. Broad public support for the mission of an agency lends it political power. On the other hand, general public opposition to the mission of an agency makes it politically weaker. Agency clientele that is committed and respected generates political support. Other elites (academics, professionals in the private sector, and elected officials such as executives and legislative committe members) can also be important sources of political power
    external sources of power
  35. The federal government's daily publication of rules, proposed rules, and notices that government agencies wish to announce. Executive orders and other presidential documents are also included
    Federal Register
  36. A name for a policy subsystem that denotes the strong bonds between a government agency, its clientele, and key members of the legislature. These bonds are durable and reinforce each other because what is good for one member is usually good for the other two.
    iron triangle
  37. A source of political power for agencies that is derived from acting in accordance with the standards for ethics, training, quality of service, and dedication to self-improvement established by a particular field. Gives bureaucrats legitimacy and respect, as well as special skills not available to those outside the profession
  38. The belief that public agencies and their employees should be held accountable for their actions.
  39. Holding a public agency accountable for complying with the laws and rules that govern its actions
    bureaucratic accountability
  40. A set of guidelines designed to help people distinguish between right and wrong behavior
    code of ethics
  41. Decision situations in which the right course of action is not clear
    ethical dilemmas
  42. A system of behavior based on values and moral principles designed to help people distiguish between right and wrong behavior.
  43. holding a public agency accountable to its cleintele
    market accountability
  44. An indirect, two-stage method of holding publc agencies accountable. The first stage requires citizens to hold elected officials accountable for the performance and actions of government. The second stage requires public officials to hold public agencies accountable for their performance and actions.
    overhead democracy
  45. Holding a public agency accountable for achieving a particular task or goal.
    performance accountability
  46. Holding bureaucrats accountable to the norms and practices of a profession or professional code of ethics
    professional accountability
  47. A public agency whose personnel reflect the diversity of the community it serves.
    representative bureucracy
  48. beliefs about right and wrong
  49. The idea that the authority of a superior is base on the willingness of a subordinate to accept and obey an order.
    acceptance theory
  50. A school of psychology base on the idea that human behavior is a response to environmental stimuli
  51. Behavior learned through the process of associating an environmental stimulus with a particular behavioral response.
  52. The precess of information gathering, analysis, and prioritizing as a means to select the best course of action to solve a problem or achieve a goal.
    decision making
  53. A decision-making approach that emphasizes using past experience and the current situation as baselines for coming up with practical solutions to achieve goals or solve problems.
    incremental decision making
  54. The action needed to address the problem and circumstances at hand.
    law of the situation
  55. The idea that humans are motivated ny a hierarchically ranked set of needs. Lower-order needs must be satisfied before higher needs play a significant role in behavior.
    Maslow's hierarchy of needs
  56. Decision makers who know their goals, can rank order the preferred means to achieve those goals, and choose the means that best achieves the goal at the lowest cost
  57. A dciion making approach that emphasizes using incremental decision making for routine decions, and rational-comprehensive decision making for important decisions
    mixed scanning
  58. An approach to decision making that emphasizes identifying and analyzing all possible means to achieve a given goal, and choosing the option that best achieves the goal at the lowest cost.
    rational-comprehensive decision making
  59. We must remember though,
    that laws are the result of a political process that involves a great deal of
    disagreement (among and between different political parties). In brokering
    compromise, elected bodies often give public agencies multiple goals, vague
    goals or even contradictory goals. Discuss and explain.
    Itis a paradox because bureaucracy and democracy are opposing systems;bureaucracy is hierarchical and authoritarian, while democracy is egalitarian and communal. It isnecessary paradox because the American system of democracy requires bureaucracyin order to function. We don’tlike bureaucracy or at least the idea of bureaucracy but we want schools,garbage removal services, law and order, and our stockbrokers to be kept on theup and up. Contradicting as it may be we the people, democracy, need bureaucracy to get things done.
  60. What is the politics-administration dichotomy?
    • It was theoretically convenient because it meantthe decisions and actions of bureaucracies did not have to be squared with democratic values. A public agencies were not viewed as independent agents ofpolitical power, the organization and operations of public administration could be viewed as simply the means to a previously (and democratically defined) end. The problem , as many scholars have recognized, this was false. Administrative decisions turn out to be political decisions, and public bureaucracies to be political institutions.
  61. According to our textbook, why is the study of public administration so important?
    • There is more than justification for studying public administration. Three of the primary reasons pople decide to study public administration are for the career opportuinities, for a desire to understand more bout gonernment’s purpose and role, and perhaps most importantly, because of public adminstraitons important role in shaping individual interests and ambitions. This is because of the large role of public bureaucracies in our daily life. Whatever you do on any given day, it almost definitely was affected by and perhaps even made entirely possible by – public agencies.
Card Set
Public Administration
Public administration study guide