KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE OF DISTANCE LEARNING MASTER OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION COURSE CODE: PA 555 GROUP: DANSOMAN ASSIGNMENT QUESTION: HERBERT A. SIMON. 1946 “THE PROVERBS OF ADMINISTRATION”, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REVIEW, VOL 6: PP 53-67 GROUP MEMBERS Name Index Number Student ID Phone Number 1. Leslie Issa AdamZakariah PG7059319 20691617 0243949636 2. Rita N. Oppong PG7071519 20655118 0545391528 3. Philip JamesOcloo PG7066919 20662452 0244484543 4. Faustina Yirenkyi PG7074119 20697005 0203623678 5. Charity Afriyie Agyemang PG7060317 20680599 0244547292 6. Larissa OseiAkoto PG7072119 20680607 0264251379 The title of the article “Proverbs in Administration” appropriately headlines this article that attempts to discuss the challenges associated with several administrative principles that tend to be contradictory. An administrative “principle” usually sounds very appropriate and appears the best option until a directly opposing principle is mentioned. This contradictory nature of most administrative principles is also a characteristic of proverbs. As such, referring to principles of administration as proverbs would appropriately serve the purposes of this article. The Proverbs of Administration being authorizing what the writer describes as the accepted administrative principles and tries to recommend that administration efficiencies is increased by four main principles:Specialization of task for members in a groupUnity of command Limiting span of control Grouping of staff according to purpose, process and place. The first principle specialization indicates that administration efficiency is increased by specialization of duties and task among the workers. In same case it questions whether the increase in specialization will result in efficiency. At the end it is reviewed that this principle is considered useless in assisting in the decision making since it does not describe the exact area of specialization that will be in the positive turning around of an organization. In simple terms specialization can never be a remedy for efficiency. The example of the two types of specialization using nurses aptly explains the deficiency of this principle. The first group of nurses is assigned to particular districts to perform all the general nursing activities in those particular districts. This group is specialized by place while another group is specialized by function, in that; they are assigned to the performance of particular tasks. Although these groups are both regarded as “specialists”, the principle of specialization fails to identify which of these two groups of nurses would be more efficient in the performance of their duties. Specialization therefore is an inevitable consequence of different individuals performing different functions and not an obvious prerequisite for efficiency. As long as a person can only perform one task at a time, he or she would become more proficient in the performance of that task and so become a “specialist”.Author further recommends an appropriate framing of the principle of specialization to make it more scientific and thus less ambiguous and less simplistic by adding that specialization must be in a direction that will lead to increased administrative efficiency and not “just specialization”. Secondly the unity command principle refines that subordinates should not have multiple supervisors from whom he takes instruction though it admit that administration efficiency is increased by arranging the members of an organisation in the form of hierarchy of authority. The author criticizes this principle that states that administrative efficiency is enhanced by arranging the members of the organization in a determinate hierarchy of authority in order to preserve “unity of command.” This principle assumes strictly that, a worker would only have one superior he takes “commands” or instructions from. Although this may allow for a reduced risk of irresponsibility, the author still thinks that strict adherence to this principle would lead to some amount of inefficiency anytime different forms of specialised expertise are required. The example given of the accountant who is subordinate to an educator in a school setting adequately illustrates this point. In that, the accountant would only take instructions from the educator and never from the finance department. Then how would the said accountant address his technical challenges? This principle finds support from Henry Fayol who asserts that failure to adhere to the unity of command principle would lead to authority being undermined, discipline will be in jeopardy, order will be disturbed and stability threatened (Marume & Jubenkanda, 2016). Gulick and Urwick have also supported the principle of unity of command. They believed that, “a man cannot serve two masters.” Hence, they concluded that, “well-managed administrative units in the government are almost without exception headed by single administrators.” The support the author exposing the weakness of this principle, Seckler-Hudson argues that the old concept of one single boss for each person is seldom found in fact in complex governmental situations. Many interrelationships exist outside the straight line of command which require working with, and reporting to many persons for purposes of orderly and effective performance. The administrator in government has many bosses and he can neglect one of them. From one he may receive policy orders; from another, personnel; from a third, budget; from a fourth, supplies and equipments. J.D. Millet also disagrees with this principle and rather advocates for the dual supervision model in that, supervision may be professional (technical). Obviously, a principle well taught through and started has been well challenged. A feature of proverbs therein. Hence, what is definitely required is a principle that duly considers the advantages and disadvantages of using the ‘unity of command’ approach and the ‘dual supervision’ approach. The third principle span of control tends to indicate that administration efficiency is increase by reducing the span of control. This principle starts that administrative efficiency can be enhanced by limiting the number of subordinates who report to an administrator. Although the author agrees that it is easier to manage a smaller group of subordinates, he is also of the view that, the smaller groups of control if situated in a large company will lead to a higher number of organizational levels which can lead to red taping. If a large number would likely reduce the authority of the administrator or supervisor, then what is the appropriate size of the span of control? Although some researchers such as Fox & Meyer (1995) have suggested a maximum of 12, others such as Sir Ian Hamilton and V.A. Graicunus believe an administrator should supervise the work of 4 or 5 subordinates. Finally, Administrative efficiency is increased by grouping the workers, for purposes of control, according to purpose, process, clientele, or place. Purpose is defined as the end or objective for which an activity is carried out. Process is the means of accomplishing a purpose. Place is the setting of the organisation .Clientele refers to the recipients of the service of the organisation.The author impeccably argues that this principle is internally inconsistent because at any point in dividing roles, the advantage of three of the categories (process, purpose, place, clientele) would have to be sacrificed to enable the advantages of the fourth to suffice since all four are always competing bases of an organisation. For example, if the major departments of a city are organised on the basis of purpose, then various professionals would be distributed into various departmental offices to provide their services instead of these professionals being located in single departments composed of particular professionals. The author also explains that, these major bases or types of specialization cannot be simultaneously achieved, for at any point in time, the organisation must decide whether specialization would be achieved by major purpose, major process, major place or major clientele. The author makes it clear that it is naïve to think these kinds of specialization as being separable. The contradiction of this administrative principle is the challenge that adequately differentiating between purpose and process since purposes are usually arranged in a hierarchy where the purpose of one process may be the process of another higher purpose as exemplified by the typist.Movement of the fingers of the typist (process) → To enable typing (purpose/process) → To produce a letter (purpose/process) → To answer an inquiry (purpose)The author further explains that place and clientele are part of purpose and not separate from it. That is why a complete statement of purpose would have to include place and recipient. For example, the mission statement (purpose) of a fire department would have to include the coverage area (place) and by extension to people to be served (clientele). Hence the ambiguity or contradiction of the principle.It is a challenge to describe an organisation as a “purpose” organization, a “process” organization, a “clientele” organization, or an “area” organization because that organisation may be any of these depending on the nature of the larger organizational unit where it is located. This criticism of the principle is clearly justified by the author with the example of an organisation providing medical services to children of school-going age in a city. It would be considered:Area organisation if it were part of a bigger organisation that provided the same service for the state that city belonged. Clientele organisation if it were part of an organisation providing such service to children of all ages. Purpose or Process organisation if it were part of an education department.Therefore, the article explains that it is better to describe a certain bureau is a process bureau within a certain department. Even when the ambiguities with the usage of the terms are clarified, the “principles” of administration do not offer a guide as to determining which of the competing bases of specialization is applicable. Herbert A. Simon {June 15,1916-February 9, 2001} was an American economist, political scientist, lecturer and psychologist whose primary research interest was decision-making in organizations. As a professor of administration, psychology and computer science, he taught at the Carnegie Mellon University for more than 50 years. His contributions to modern business economics and administrative research in 1978won him a Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences. He was very particular about decision-making within organizations and how organizations should be run to achieve high productivity and efficiency. Herbert is commonly associated with the theory of bounded rationality, which states that “Individuals do not make perfectly rational decisions because of the difficulty in obtaining and processing all the information needed to do so”. He authored a total of 27 books. Popular amongst them includes “Administrative Behaviour” (1947), “The Sciences of the Artificial” (1968) and “Models of Bounded Rationality” (1982). In 1946 Herbert upon realizing the problems of achieving high efficiency in various organizations made an attempt to provide solutions through various studies which led to the publishing of “The Proverbs of Administration”( HYPERLINK “>wiki”>wiki). Considering the pedigree of Herbert Simon in the field of administration and his works as well as the contents of this piece, I will recommend the book “The Proverbs of Administration” to higher level administrative officers of all kinds in an organization. In conclusion though the article aimed at proposing administration ideals to bring in efficiency to bear an administrative management which can be describe as one of the biggest accomplishment in the an effort to challenge a situation for the better, the theory has raised issues which may be considered as criteria for assessing administrative situation. Again it has been argued that using administrative theories to describe the functions of organisation lack scientific standards to describe the structure of the organisation in terms of function and formal structure. Also the article satisfactorily discusses the challenges associated with understanding the administrative principles of Specialization, Unity of Command, Span of Control and Organisation by purpose, process, clientele and place. Although the author alludes to the fact that these administrative theories or principles are useful tools in the practice of administration, there are certain critical contradictions and ambiguities that students and practitioners of administration must be mindful of. The author advises administrators to consider past experiences in determining the appropriate line of action to take. The entire article aptly provides enough justification for describing the “principles” of administration as “proverbs”. Obviously once again, the ‘principle’ or proverb failed to resolve its own ambiguity. As such, this principle is just as good as a proverb. REFERENCES Cloete J.J.N. Introduction to Public Administration: Pretoria; J. L. van Schaik, 1967: translationFox W and Meyer I.H. Public Administration Dictionary, Juta and Co Ltd, 1995 (ISBN: 0-7021 3219 5).Fox W. and Meyer I.H. Public administration to public administration: 2nd edition: Staples Press, Limited, London, 1966.Gulick L. and Urwick L.F.(eds): Papers on the Science of Administration: Institute of Public Administration; New York, 1937. Marume S.B.M and Jubenkanda R.R. The Basic Concepts and Principles of Unity of Command and the Span of Control. International Journal of Business and Management Invention ISSN (Online): 2319 – 8028, ISSN (Print): 2319 – 801X || Volume 5 Issue 6 || June. 2016 || PP—14-18

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