Thursday, March 7, 2019
The Proverbs of Administration Herbert Simon Summary
Bekki Drewlo Simon, Herbert A. (1946). The Proverbs of Administration. In J. M. Shafrits & A. C. Hyde (Eds. ), Classics of public political science (6th ed. ) (pp. 124-137). Boston, MA Thompson Wadsworth.ARTICLE SUMMARYIn Herbert Simons The Proverbs of Administration he begins outlining what he describes as the accepted administrative principles (p. 124). These principles state that administrative force is increased by specialization of tasks among members of a group, ace of command, limiting the span of obligate at any one point in the hierarchy and by radical the workers according to purpose, process, clientele and place.He then goes on to detail specific examples of how for distributively one principle could be tested in real world administrative situations for validity. Simon subjects each principle in turn to a very censorious summary beginning with specialization. He describes specialization as a misleading simplicity and conveys that the fundamental problem with specia lization is that it is ambiguous and he leads the proofreader to determine that the principle of specialization is of not help at each in deciding how to specialize to improve efficiency (p. 25) Turning to harmony of command, Simon points out that this principle is simply incompatible with the principle of specialization (p. 125). If apply the specialization principal, then the specialist would be looked upon for the decisions, not the person in command as the unity of command principal would require. Span of control contradictions are highlighted by Simon by describing how both an increase and a abate in the span of control could increase or decrease efficiency in an organization. Lastly, Simon evaluates organization by purpose, process, clientele and place.In this principle, organization based on one aspect would be to the detriment of the remaining three. In each evaluation Simon provides either contradictory solutions that meet the requirement of the proverb in question or describes situations where adherence to the proverb could be inefficient if not irresponsible. Simon suggests rather that the principles of administration are me hope criteria for describing and diagnosing administrative situations(p. 131). Finally, Simon relates that the proverbs of administration are in desperate need of empirical research and in the long run revision.He states that efficiency should be a definition of what is good or ameliorate administrative behavior rather than a principle of administration (p. 133). He goes on to describe an approach for a more scientific analysis of administrative principles that would allow one to easily choose between evenly viable yet opposing solutions to a single administrative problem. He provides the road map by which he believes this could be accomplished, yet admits that it whitethorn even be a quixotic undertaking (p. 136).The irony of this concluding contradiction is not lost on this reader.KEY POINTSThe accepted administrative principles or proverbs are indispensablely flawed.These principles are still of value by employ them as criteria for describing and diagnosing administrative situations(pg 131).SpecializationUnity of CommandSpan of ControlOrganization by purpose, Process, Clientele, PlaceThe accepted administrative principles or proverbs are in desperate need of empirical research and in the long run revision.RELEVENCEThis article is relevant to students and practitioners of administration because it highlights the ongoing struggle with administrative theory. Simons highlights the contradictions inherent with the accepted administrative principles but leads the reader to understand that these principles are useable as tools in the practice of administration (p. 124). After evaluation of specialization, unity of command, span of control and organization by purpose, process, clientele and place, administrators can rely on experience to determine the appropriate behavior.