Public Administration: Discretion of Power

This paper will look at the advantages and disadvantages of whether Public Administrators should only be allowed to follow a restricted set of rules according to Max Weber’s rules of public administration or allowed to have some amount of discretion in the discharging of their duties.   There are two articles from our course handbook that will be used to examine both sides of the argument showing the advantages and disadvantages of the restricted set of rules theory and the advantages and disadvantages of allowing the administrator some discretion in the discharging of their duties.   The two articles from our handbook “How Kristin Died” and “William Robertson: Exemplar of Politics and Public Management Rightly Understood” give prime examples of both methods of Public Administrative actions and also illustrate the short comings of each.   Max Weber believed that the more dehumanized the people were the better the system would run (Stillman II, 2010, p.60).   This paper examines both sides of the argument for and against Max Weber’s Public Administration theory and concludes that allowing some discretion is the overall best way for public administrators to address the various complexities of public administration, but not without oversight as a way to maintain public trust.

        Public Administration is always changing, not in the meaning of the word, but in who holds the position at any given time.   Each new official has his or her way of doing things and thought processes, priories, what needs to be done, how to address issues and their own styles of leadership.   The role of Public Administrator is such that whoever assumes the position needs to be a person who is capable of multi-tasking, an aggressive outside the box thinker who can address current issues and agendas while running a public department.   Keeping all parties, agencies and citizens informed in an ever changing environment that can get very politically charged at a moment’s notice is not...