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This section talks about the difficulties of measuring an administrator’s “excellence”. Excellence in any private sector is fairly easy to define because there is a concrete measure, how much money they’re bringing in. But public administrators can’t be rated the same way because it’s often not even relevant to their job or the program they’re managing. The criteria have to be carefully chosen and unique to the situation, because they’re meant to spend money rather than save it.
Efficiency and effectiveness are two different concepts that need to separate when speaking in terms of administration. Efficiency is doing something well, like filing papers all day. Effectiveness is the important one, doing the right thing well, like spending a day on a filing system that doesn’t take so long to sort out, so you can take more calls. Efficiency is a dangerous thing to measure in the public sector, the focus must shift to the effectiveness of the worker.
The public sector is slowly integrating more closely to the private. The private sector is concretely measurable and independent from the government, so it saves a lot in administrative costs. This can have many benefits, including increased efficiency. The public sector, as this chapters already established, just can’t do efficiency. But by privatizing, the public sector has to consider whether or not they are losing effectiveness.
This section begins the conversation about the importance of program evaluation. Program evaluation is the process of making sure a program is doing exactly what the legislature intended. The process involves writing the criteria by which to judge the program, judging the program, and then the feedback and review of the program using the criteria written in step one. These evaluation programs take a lot of time and resources, so legislatures are strategic in choosing which ones to focus on.
Citizen-driven government performance is a form of evaluation that involves the citizens of the community rather than criteria written by an outsider. The concept is pretty straightforward, that the people dealing with their local government on a daily basis are the ones most qualified to judge it. This process increases local trust in their government and helps the community grow in a healthy way.
More often in modern government, public and private sectors are working together to make more effective programs. This section lists all the elements needed to make sure that everyone is getting the greatest possible benefit from a public-private partnership. Organized structure, a highly detailed business plan, clearly defined revenue streams, and very carefully chosen partners are all some of the necessary elements of a successful P3.
The current struggle in the public sector in employee engagement in roles that have a narrow range of responsibility. This section touches on ways administrators can improve employee engagement and morale, and therefore productivity. There are many ways to do that, but one of the easier ways to get someone excited to do their job is to grant them decision making abilities, just the power to feel like their making a change makes a big difference.
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