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Ecology and the Environment: Perspectives from the Humanities:

In the United States of AmericaWoodrow Wilson is considered the father of public administration. He first formally recognized public administration in an 1887 article entitled “The Study of Administration“. The future president wrote that “it is the object of administrative study to discover, first, what government can properly and successfully do, and, secondly, how it can do these proper things with the utmost possible efficiency and at the least possible cost either of money or of energy”.[7] Wilson was more influential to the science of public administration than Von Stein, primarily due to an article Wilson wrote in 1887 in which he advocated four concepts:

  • Separation of politics and administration
  • Comparative analysis of political and private organizations
  • Improving efficiency with business-like practices and attitudes toward daily operations
  • Improving the effectiveness of public service through management and by training civil servants, merit-based assessment

The separation of politics and administration has been the subject of lasting debate. The different perspectives regarding this dichotomy contribute to differentiating characteristics of the suggested generations of public administration.

By the 1920s, scholars of public administration had responded to Wilson’s solicitation and thus textbooks in this field were introduced. A few distinguished scholars of that period were, Luther GulickLyndall UrwickHenri FayolFrederick Taylor, and others. Frederick Taylor (1856–1915), another prominent scholar in the field of administration and management also published a book entitled The Principles of Scientific Management (1911). He believed that scientific analysis would lead to the discovery of the “one best way” to do things or carrying out an operation. This, according to him could help save cost and time. Taylor’s technique was later introduced to private industrialists, and later into the various government organizations (Jeong, 2007).[32]