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What is the standardized definition of public administration?

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Quick Answer

Public administration is the implementation of an academic discipline and a government policy that prepares civil servants for working in public services, and it also refers to the study of the implementation itself. The goal of public administration is to advance management and policies to allow governments to operate as efficiently as possible. Numerous other definitions have been offered, including the management of public programs, the study of government decision-making and the translation of politics into a civil reality.

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Full Answer

Public administration has been described as being primarily concerned with the organization and implementation of government programs and policies. Many unelected public servants may be considered public administrators by definition, including the heads of regional, state, county and city departments. Those who work in public administration are described as public servants, and they tend to work in all levels of government.

During the 1880s, Woodrow Wilson promoted American civil service reform, inspiring many to move public administration into the academic sector. However, it was not until the middle of the 20th century that there was clear interest in theories concerning public administration. The field is described as multidisciplinary, and it revolves around pillars such as ethics, human resources, budgeting and organizational theory.

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