Public Administration and Teaching – Papers, Milan 2006

Conference theme: Public Managers under Pressure between Politics, Professionalism & Civil Society

Public Administration Teaching: compared study of Portugal and Spain

Joaquim Filipe Ferraz Esteves de Araujo, Enrique José Varela Alvarez, Universitario de Vigo, Spain

The teaching of the Administrative Science fundamentally guides itself by two paradigms originated in the Anglo-Saxon countries and in the countries from Continental Europe. In the United States, and particularly until World War II,  Administrative Science was influenced by management theory, as a result of the contribution of Woodrow Wilson (1997), from Taylor’s Scientific Administration (1912) and from the work developed by Luther Gulick (1937), among others. At the time, it was argued that management in the public and in the private sector involved the same functions and demanded the same competencies and skills (Stillman II, 1991), so there was no distinction between public and private management. This period corresponds to the identification of the Administrative Science with management, which resulted from the development of the dichotomy suggested by Wilson (1887) between politics and administration. As a consequence of that perspective, Administrative Science is studied and taught in business schools identifying the public management with the private.

This perspective was abandoned in the post World War II period, with the New Deal, during which we see a reinterpretation of the principles used in Public Administration, recognising the influence of politics and public policies. The effects of bureaucratic organisations and the political dimension of the Administration emerge at the time. The general principles which dominated the administrative thinking in that time are questioned, arguing that they are proverbs, and defending that the decision making process and the implementation of public policies are the central element of Public Administration (Simon, 1946; 1947). With this, the dichotomy politics and administration and the separation between Political Science and Public Administration ends (Shafritz and Hyde, 1997). The teaching of the Administrative Science guides itself to the areas of political economics, public policy, the political decision process and the participation of the citizens in the political-administrative decisions. Recently, with the independence of the Administrative Science subject, the teaching of the political process has a central place linking it to the study of other sciences and techniques.

Investigation and teaching pass to Public Administration Schools which assume a role in the academic community identical to other schools, like for example Law Schools or Medicine Schools.

In continental Europe, Administrative Law was considered the only Administrative Science very early (Kickert, 1996). The first book about Public Administration, published by Carles-Jean Bonnin in 1812 under the title Principes d’Administration Publique, is no more than an Administrative Law book, being this the main training area of civil servants. On the other hand, the spreading in Europe of the Napoleonic model emphasised the military principles and the Roman legal system, influencing the administrative systems of several European countries. Administrative Law was then in the centre of workers’ training and Law schools had the future workers training exclusive. Therefore, Administrative Law appears as the scientific area which claims the study and teaching of Administrative Science.

In the study of Administrative Science in Europe is relevant to stress the part played by the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS), founded in 1910 by academics of several European countries with the objective of discussing the problems of Public Administration improvement. In Mosher’s opinion (1958), from the 50’s, the juridical perspective of this institute spread to other perspectives which assumed identical part and importance. The study of Administrative Science in Europe becomes progressively multidisciplinary, searching contributions in different subjects, such as philosophy, law, sociology, economics and political science.

The teaching of Administrative Science in continental Europe was, for many years, essentially done in special schools contrary to the Anglo-Saxon tradition in which the teaching was done in universities. There are in almost all countries of continental Europe which aim to train civil servants. This is a tradition which goes back to the ‘Cameralist’ time, in Prussia, and to the long French experience of workers’ training (Chapman, 1966). Only after World War II, the universities started the teaching of Administrative Science.

Management Education in Public Administration: lessons learned from experience in international accreditation

Manuela Brusoni, Università Bocconi, Italy

During the past 8-10 years, the management education community has faced the proliferation of accreditation and quality systems, along with an increasing importance of media rankings. In many cases, particularly for accreditation, the quality criteria and standards which make up the model had been substantially conceived by the main constituencies of the community ( namely representative bodies of the academic world and the corporate world) whilst for the rankings the leading actor is the single editor or newspaper. Whether schools like it or not, it is a matter of fact that firms, students and the government themselves, though with different emphasis, rely on this wealth of information conveyed through
different sources and having different meaning. In the meantime schools must afford the burden of collecting data and elaborating documents to give evidence to their quality.

What value can these systems add, and to whom? And under which conditions schools or programs can derive benefits while sustaining the costs of an accreditation process?

Exploring Case Study Method as a Tool for Teaching PA Pedagogy in Theory & Practice Sep 2006 PSG9

Dr. Roberta W. Walsh, Florida Gulf Coast University, USA

This paper explores both the underlying theory and the practical application of incorporating case studies in teaching public administration in a cross-national context. Its purpose is to examine the role case studies can play in broadening students’ perspectives on approaches to public administration in governance settings other than those with which they are most familiar. Case study teaching is assessed with respect to its potential for addressing the impact of globalization on public administration teaching.

Following a discussion of theoretical foundations as background and introduction to the case study method, the paper describes its practical aspects, including types and forms of case studies, where they are found, what they aim to  accomplish and factors for consideration in adopting them in a course of instruction. The paper then turns to some of the unique issues associated with incorporating a cross-national perspective in case study teaching in public administration, principally, the transfer of cases between contexts and among students of varying cultural backgrounds.

The paper concludes with suggestions and recommendations on ways in which international academic cooperation can enhance the potential for effective use of the case study method. Specifically, it proposes pursuing linkages and partnerships among related organizations and groups such as the European Group of Public Administration, American Society of Public Administration and the World Association for Case Method Research and Case Method Application.

Public Manager under pressure: between politics, professionalism and civil society

Prof. Dr. Lucica Matei, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania

The higher education is fundamentally changing. The change has started and it continues in various stages of society development. Nowadays, the major preoccupation of the actors responsible for education development on European level, in the context of the great processes of change, globalisation, Europeanisation and knowledge-based society is to contribute to reaching the major objective of Lisbon Strategy (2002), so that the European Union becomes the most competitive knowledge-based economy by 2010.

The university has the mission to cultivate attitudes, to transmit knowledge, to train specialists in order to validate the higher education quality in the context of the political and economic imperatives that promote „a closer Union” between the European states. Knowing and responding to the specific education, training needs, the universities respond to the EC social and economic development requirements.

In this context, more often one discusses about Europeanisation as process, or as „status” of a system, geographic area, field or activity sector, public service etc. with European Union „dimensions”. Yes, it is the public service where we find also the service of education, situated in its own European area. It is under the influence of the effects of the Europeanisation process by means of the European public policies – the educational policy – subject both to institutional and social effects and continuous change. Thus, the Europeanisation of higher education represents the result of the political direct action. The specificity of the Europeanisation of higher education is provided by the dimensions of the formal national institutional and political changes of the European Union Member States and acceding countries and it is supported by activities that apply „Bologna Declaration” (1999) on creation of a common European Area for Higher Education by 2010, aimed to promote citizens’ mobility and employability, to increase the competitiveness of European higher education.

The Europeanisation process of higher education has concerned politicians even since 1950s, when documents on equivalent diplomas were adopted (European Convention for equivalent diplomas (1953) and Additional Protocol (1954), European Convention for equivalent periods of the academic studies (1956), European Convention for academic recognition of academic qualifications (1959). At the same time we mention the following moments:

  • Convention for recognising the studies and diplomas in higher education in the states of Europe Region UNESCO in 1979;2
  • The Maastricht Treaty (1992) awards to EU responsibility in education and implicit in higher education;
  • The Common Declaration concerning the harmonisation of European higher education system, Sorbonne, 25 May 1998;
  • Bologna Declaration on 19 June 1999 on defining the „European Area of Higher Education”;
  • The Prague Communiqué of the ministers responsible for higher education, 2001;
  • Communiqué of the Conference of ministers responsible for higher education, Berlin, 2003.

Yes, our purpose is not to try to present models and concepts from the specialised literature on the Europeanisation, its dimensions and effects but to identify some effects of Europeanisation at higher education level and possible integration within a relevant indicator. In this paper we shall try to make a radiography of what happens in the Romanian higher education area, especially in education in administrative sciences, a relative small sample, related to the educational system, concerning its Europeanisation.

The effectiveness of educational programmes in public management: Transfer of knowledge in the public sector

Bruno Broucker, Prof. Dr. Annie Hondeghem, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

An educational programme is a type of managerial intervention to increase, change or ameliorate the knowledge, attitudes and/or skills of the employee. It is a strategy to create a better fit between the employee and his (future) job, in order to improve the individual and the organizational performance. In short, training is an investment, that must be useful and effective. But that is not always the case: Broad and Newstrom already suggested in 1992 that the educational costs for organizations are mostly a lost investment because of the ineffective use of knowledge in organizations. Some authors even claim that 90% of the investment in training is lost (Awoniyi, Griego & Morgen: 2002).

The civil sector spends every year a lot of money in educational programmes to give civil servants the opportunity to enroll in those programmes. Reasons to enroll are divergent: the trainings are interesting, obliged or necessary, or give access to individual advantages, like for example premiums. From organizational point of view, public management programmes are necessary because of the need of specific knowledge about management, policy and administration.

A central question, often overlooked, is about the effect of those MPA’s. What happens with the knowledge after the civil servants have completed the programme? Can the civil servant transfer the knowledge effectively at his workplace? Can the individual and organizational performance be enhanced with that knowledge? And, maybe more important: are there in administration transfer enhancing mechanisms that allow the use of knowledge?

To be able to formulate an answer on those questions it is important to frame the concept of knowledge within a theoretical organizational framework, in order to better understand afterwards what transfer is. This paper will present results of a literature research about transfer, transfer measurement and the importance of transfer enhancing factors within a public organization. Out of this research several research questions will be defined and a methodology for those questions will be proposed.

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