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Text 5. People in Public Administration

Large public organisations employ many individuals. Theoretically public managers must possess higher moral and ethical standards than private employees because they have to work within very strict limits of legislation, executive orders and governmental regulations.

Although a public organisation contains a lot of different positions, the roles of political executives, desktop administrators, professionals, street-level bureaucrats and policy entrepreneurs are the most common.

Political executives such as the Secretary of the State Department, the city manager, or the region administrator occupy the top of the public organisations. Although their jobs and responsibilities are different, they all perform the function of the political aide, policy maker and top administrator. In most cases political executives are executive appointees. Elected officials cannot do everything. That is why they appoint executives and delegate their rights to them.

These loyal supporters and advisers initiate, shape, promote and oversee policy changers. Political executives may have responsibility for many major decisions. However, the ultimate authority rests with elected officials. Political executives are top-level administrators. It is a difficult role, as they are legally responsible for implementing policy. They must cut through the red tape and resistance of change to assure that people are served well.

Desktop administrators are civil servants down the hierarchy structure. They are middle managers and closely fit the general description of a bureaucrat. Whether a social worker supervisor or a project manager of a major government programme, a desktop administrator spends days on memorandums and meetings. Desktop administrators guide policy intentions into policy actions that actually change people's life. After a short probation period desktop administrators usually earn job tenure. Job tenure protects civil servants from loosing their jobs, however they may be reassigned to less important jobs of equal rank.

Professionals play the third major role in public organisations. Most professionals receive specific training and have appropriate certificates. The work of professionals involves applying their general knowledge to the specific case and requires considerable autonomy and flexibility. More and more professionals nowadays are involved in public administration.

Level-street bureaucrats such as social workers, police officers, public school teachers and public heath nurses are at the bottom of public organisations. They deal with people who are different, complex and unpredictable. A common complaint about level-street bureaucrats is that they treat people like numbers and ignore problems and unique circumstances.

With limited resources, public organisations want fewer not more clients. This differs them from private companies which want to attract more clients to earn more profits. Moreover, there are frequent conflicts between bureaucrats and their clients. Street-level bureaucrats work in situations that defy strict supervision. Most paper works and modern computerized systems are supposed to control bureaucrats, who in turn have become very skillful of how to fill out different forms to satisfy their supervisors and to maintain their own autonomy. Street bureaucrats are also policy-makers, as they often have to decide what policy to implement working with clients.

As for the policy entrepreneurs, they can be met at all levels of public organisation. They are strong managers tightly committed to specific programmes. They are skilled in getting support and realizing ideas. This role requires leadership, strategic planning and political activism. They take risks and push limits which is necessary for dynamic government.

Answer the Questions:

1. Why must civil servants possess higher moral and ethical standards than private employees?

2. What are the most common jobs in public organisations?

3. What are political executives responsible for?

4. Why is it difficult to work as a political executive?

5. What functions do desktop administrators perform?

6. What role do professionals play in public administration?

7. Who are level-street bureaucrats?

8. What is a common complaint about level-street


9. What situations do bureaucrats usually work in?

10. What qualities should policy entrepreneurs posses?


Модуль4. Организация как культурный продукт общества. Корпоративная культура и этика. Имидж предприятия. Имидж успешного предпринимателя. Фирменный стиль, репутация и торговые марки компании. Эффективное руководство


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