Myths of Public Administration

In: Social Issues

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Module 1 Dropbox
April Jardine Bureaucracy has long been a term synonymous with inefficiency in my vocabulary. This negative connotation may have stemmed from a childhood full of “hurry up and wait” frustration with the military and/or growing up in a traditional “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” Southern family. Distinct memories of adults complaining about the government just being a bunch of talking heads are prevalent as I reflect on bureaucracy. Initially, the sources of the negativity were word of mount, a sort of oral history passed down generation to generation. As years passed by, stories quickly became reality with trips to the Department of Motor Vehicles, Post Offices and courthouses because a dreaded experience. In no time at all, bureaucracy came to mean failed government and just plain rude people. Sadly, bureaucracy became a mandatory punishment in the form of a sterile waiting room full of rubber-stamp worker bees that I was required by law to endure in order to drive, pay taxes vote and send mail.
Surprisingly, even through a Bachelors degree in Political Science, I was never introduced to the idea that public administration was necessary in order for out government to function.
The 9th edition of Managing the Public Sector by Grover Starling illuminated several blaring issues with my personal definition of public administration and bureaucracy. The very first of these inaccuracies is the definition of both. Starling defines public administration as “the process by which resources are marshaled and then used to cope with the problems facing a political community” (Starling pg 3). The most informative and thought-provoking aspect of the Starling text is the situational examples that are used to provide the reader with insight into the world of public administration. Specifically, Starling provides a transcript of a transportation…...

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