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In 1886, Woodrow Wilson wrote an article regarding the topic of the administration of government titled, The Study of Administration. Wilson’s article was a pioneering stepping stone for public administration during this time – which led to others acting on his behalf to construct innovative notions and progressive movements as regards to public administration. These transformative means brought development and function of public administration in the United States. This led to relevancy of public administration and bureaucratic reform in the United States.
The Study of Administration is an imperative document concerning public administration. Wilson’s intent appeared to be to make public administration more relevant to the administration of government as it is conducted in the United States. Wilson discussed the obstacles of handling the laws enacted by a government’s constitution and its lawmakers. Wilson also described how administration is applied to the United States government and the means to expand the improvement of administration in the United States. Over a century later, Wilson’s dialogue is still a pertinent framework to present public administrators.
A bureaucracy is an administrative group of nonelected officials charged with carrying out functions connected to a series of policies and programs (Bowman, 1984.) In the United States, the bureaucracy began as a very small collection of individuals. Over time, however, it grew to be a major force in political affairs. It grew so large that politicians in modern times have ridiculed it to great political advantage (Nelson, 1982.) However, the country’s individuals who work in the bureaucracy, fill essential roles in every area of government: from high-level positions to staff in the smallest regulatory agencies. They are hired, or sometimes appointed, for their expertise in carrying out the functions and programs of the government (Stillman, 2009.)
The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were a time of great bureaucratic growth in the United States: The Interstate Commerce Commission was established in 1887, the Federal Reserve Board in 1913, the Federal Trade Commission in 1914, and the Federal Power Commission in 1920 (Walker, 1989.) As well as the Social Security Administration. All which were aimed at pulling the nation out of The Great Depression. These new programs required bureaucrats to run them, and this resulted in exponential growth of the national bureaucracy.
Moreover, modern society relies on an active functioning government. The more society grows and the more government expands, then the more challenging a bureaucracy and public administration becomes. Consequently, public administration is predominantly concerned with the implementation of governmental policies. Several administrative thinkers have defined public administration in diverse ways over the years. From Woodrow Wilson’s celebrated article to present forerunners – we can perceive that public administration is ever-changing.
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