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NASA - Essay Example

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Question 1. Based on your reading of the Wilson article and “The Blast in Centralia No 5”, how would you justify the need for a strong and effective public administrative system in society? The examples given in the Wilson article, and in the case study, show that there are different ways of approaching the public administration task…
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Download file to see previous pages These are all good things but they do not necessarily bring about good results. The case study shows that the administrators and the systems need to be geared to solving real problems, and not just sustaining the system itself. There is no point in having an excellent health and safety system, for example, if it the accidents still happen and people still lose their lives. Another key role of public administration is to decide what needs to be done, and plan for that. Wilson’s comparison of the French and German armies at the start of World War 2 shows that it is possible to have excellent organizational systems, with everything working to plan, and yet, in the case of the French, have a plan that is not suited to the particular problems facing the organization. This means that public administration which is strong is not enough. It has to be facing the right direction and aiming for the right goals so that it can be effective at bringing about the desired outcomes. In some public organizations there are very large resources devoted to the operation and so it is crucial that the senior teams think through very carefully what the priorities are, and what kind of change needs to be faced in the future. Simply maintaining the procedures that have always worked in the past is not enough. This may have been enough before, but because there are many variables in society, and because things change unexpectedly, an effective public administration needs to be flexible and able to take on board new ideas all the time. The example of the German army, and of some school head teachers, shows that highly committed individuals who can manage teams are an essential part of an effective administration. There has to be an ability to keep to an overall plan, but at the same time some small group independent thinking and action is absolutely vital. Public administration is often criticized because it is too slow moving, and over cautious. Society needs an administration that can respond quickly to crisis, and can break through all the red tape to take decisive action when there is a real threat. In the Centralia case study it is clear that the administrators all kept within their own narrow boundaries, and no-one stepped out to demand immediate and decisive action. Society needs this kind of leadership in public administration to identify crisis areas and respond immediately. Public administration has a very important role in society because it adds a professional dimension to community activities. Someone has to have a view of the big picture, and someone has to ensure that all the different branches of activity in society meet together for the good of all. I think Wilson’s description of the German army is a good one, because it shows that discipline and order can be matched with innovation and independent thinking. If everything was left to private individuals and companies, then there would soon be chaos and exploitation of the weakest members of society. Public administration sets the standard for fairness and consistency, and it is the job of public administration managers to keep a good balance between following the rules and driving through change where it is needed. Question 2. On the basis of Long’s essay on administrative power and your analysis of “The Columbia Accident” what specific factors can you identify that can strengthen or detract from an organization’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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