Sample Essay on Public Administration as Art or Science

Public Administration as Art or Science


The principle of completed work is that situation where a subordinate or staff member identifies a problem affecting the organization, submits recommendations to the senior management or supervisor whose responsibility would be to approve or disapprove (Balogun and Hope, 2004, p.30). In this case, the staff member presents such information through a memorandum detailing the research done on the problem, facts gathered so far and analysis done with the way forward. It is asserted that in government public administration there do municipal administrators while executing their leadership roles to provide services to the public citizens (Shafritz and Hyde, 2012, pp.120.) face a recurrent problem of resistance to change.

Identifications and analysis of the issue

Due to the changing nature of municipal governments that is coupled with technological advancements, business operations and activities are constantly changing requiring new skills and knowledge. Though diversity and change benefit the entire municipal, some employees may not react positively to proposed changes or implemented changes, they may, to some extent, reject new ideas and inventions proposed that might benefit the government. The premise to solve the problem of resistance to change would include several steps of challenging public administrators with queries of how to go about it, coming back with researched information for them to look at and asking the next step or action and later presenting a collection of solutions on how to solve the problem.

The key decision maker of this issue will be the administrators and the expectations that need to be met after the process would include finding solutions to the resistance to change problem through proposed procedures and guidelines. This staff completed work will undertake to sort for input from the customers, clients and the employees who will be affected in one way or the other when the  report is approved for adoption. Clear set timetable should be prepared to detail the events to be covered and the time covered for each so that the report is in schedule (Bensinger, 2000, p. 68).

Developing and assessing options

This staff completed work will also determine the existing alternatives that can be explored to provide a solution to the current problem of resistance to change by employees of the municipal setup. Alternatives will provide other ways of curbing the situation in the best possible way. In providing solutions to this problem expenses must be incurred therefore development of cost options must be done to ensure that costs that are incurred are optimum to the government as in most cases taxpayers’ funds are used. This will also consider the impacts that the costs will have on the financial budget of the government. There are also non-cost impacts that such is likely to produce like reduction in employee morale, this must also be identified and taken into account.

Coordination and providing solutions

Once the solutions have been identified and alternatives explored a consensus of the options need to be ascertained. Consensus is to provide the other stakeholders with opportunity to provide their varied opinions and views; this is a process that requires the involvement of all stakeholders. Through discussions, the best option will be selected and the conflicts arising will be resolved; the drafts will then be circulated to peers and other stakeholders for review and discussion to provide far forward.

Presentation of recommendations

The memorandum will be presented to management for actions; this report will contain recommendations to solving the current problem and present key steps in providing solutions. To some extent unresolved conflicts and issues may exist, the management will be alerted to find ways to mitigate such. This will then be followed by approval or disapproval and follow up through actions done. For this problem, the recommendations will include motivating others to accept change, ensuring that the change is graduals and slow, ensuring the participation of everybody in change initiation and implementation and the development of a strong government culture to support change.

What is it about this aspect of public administration that drew your interest?

There are several aspects that drew my attention to this problem that motivated venturing to find solutions. Change cannot be avoided in by public institutions and as public administrators it is important to deal with this problem amicably since it can have a negative effect to the operations and running of the institution. The first aspect is that resistance to change will lower the morale of employees or workers as they feel less motivated and optimistic about their future in the organization, when it is widespread to other with the same thinking it might as well affect the morale of the entire staff fraternity. The other aspect is reduced efficiency and productivity by the employee as employees who are resisting change will be less focused and in the process reduce their ability to be productive. This problem of resistance also disrupts the work environment since such people who resist change can cause commotions and outburst that will interrupt the normal functioning of the institution.


Are their champions in this area?

There are champions in this area those who see the needs for productive change innovation to governments and public institutions. Change does not occur by itself the ideas must be carried and brought forward for implementations and ultimate acceptance by people; the people who bring change, deal with the resistance and successfully implement are the champions in this area. They invent change, believe in the ideas and views, face the organization management to implement and support then they find ways of dealing with resistance by some employees.

What is the current state of affairs for it?

The current state of affair of this problem is that most planned municipal government changes fail to reach their financial targets not because of inadequate capital, poor technological resources or time constraints but due to the resistive nature of people working in them. The success of these public institutions and implementation of change strategies will heavily depend on the kind of leadership provided by the public administrators. The essence of leadership is managing change and allowing team members to work on the various contentious issues prevent change implementation. Good public administrators always try to improve the current state of affairs of business issues for the good of the organization and the people. This is possible with inclusive decision-making and involving all stakeholders in issues likely to affect them through the preparations of a staff completed work memorandum.

Is it an emerging issue, contemporary or historical?

This is an emerging issue in the current society due to the technological advancements taking place coupled with the changing organizational culture. The emerging dimensions of change have made it possible for employee and people to resist though it is not their fault. Most of the resistance is attributed to the organizational structures and their culture that fully reside in the organizations. It is also important to note that perception contributes much to the resistance, as people are worried with the new ways of doing things. The new ways of performing tasks make other employees be losers as they cannot cope with the new skills and knowledge required thus making it difficult to implement change and hence resistance.

Is it in a state of chaos?

This problem is not in the state of chaos since with the complex and changing of the world, organizations and public institutions must adapt to the new ways of operating in order to survive. The change that organizations implement is a gradual and slow process that transforms the way of performing tasks and redesigning the organization. This gradual process does not lead to chaos, as it is something that takes time.

Drivers and stakeholders

The main drivers in this area that actually brings the problem of resisting change is the misunderstanding between people and the change initiators, contentious issues that are left unresolved may make people resist change. Incompetency is also another driving force especially if new technologies require new skills and knowledge that are actually not possessed by an individual (Fernandez and Rainey, 2006, p. 170).   It is also believed that the existing connection with performing tasks and things the old fashion way may encourage people to resist new inventions and innovations that are to be implemented in the institution. The stakeholders in this area of change management and implementation include sponsors, who have direct interests in the change management process and provide authority to the entire process (Ford J. and Ford L., 2009, pp. 220).  The employees who are targeted by the change, they are likely to be affected when the organization redesigns its operations; this also include their relatives and families. The media and the national government are also major stakeholders especially when people lose their jobs in the process of resisting change.


Additional or future studies should strive to identify and highlight other constructive forms of resistance to change in order to provide standardization on how to note resistive behaviors. I also suggest additional studies to establish the problem in different dimensions not only looking at one paradigm. Finally, future studies should establish resistance to change from different organizations to provide the similarities and differences of this behavior.


It is evident from the paper that effective leadership will include all stakeholders in discussing pertinent issues and coming up with binding solutions to all. This can be through giving employees or staff to prepare staff completed work to highlight different problems and their solutions for approval by top management. From the discussion it is evident that change must be embraced by institutions to ensure their survival, this is however affected by resistance to change. It is affirmed that resisting changing with the new methods of operations affects the productivity and efficiency of employees leading to institution failures. The staff completed work can be used to provide strategies to mitigate this problem when effectively prepared with consultations of all the affected individuals and other stakeholders.



Balogun, J. and Hope Haily, V. (2004). Exploring Strategic Change, 2nd Ed. London: Prentice

Hall. pp. 25-37.

Bensinger, K. (2000). Thriving in Mind: The Art & Science of Using Your Whole Brain. K B A

Publishers. pp. 65-77.

Fernandez, R. and Rainey, H.G. (2006). Managing Successful Organizational Change in the

Public Sector. Public Administration Review. pp 168 – 176.

Ford, J., D.  and Ford, L.,W.( 2009). Resistance to change: A reexamination and extension

Research in Organizational Change and Development, vol. 17. pp. 211–239.

Shafritz, J. and Hyde A. (2012). Classics of Public Administration 7th ed. Cengage. pp. 102-110.