Highlights in Public Administration of the 1900s

Timeline created by jfowlkes
  • Frederic Taylor

    Frederic Taylor
    Scientific Management The "Father of Scientific Management" recognized the need for labor-management cooperation, for controlling costs, and analyzing work methods.
  • Boston Police Strike

  • Budget and Accounting Act

    Was passed by Congress, creating the Bureau of the Budget (now Office of Management and Budget) and the General Accounting Office.
  • Max Weber

    The German sociologist articulated the classical definition of the bureaucratic form of organization. (Was not translated and published in the United States until after World War II.)
  • Classification Act

    Began the rationalization of position classification in the federal service.
  • Elton Mayo

    Began the famous management study at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company near Chicago which examined the relationship between work environment and productivity. These studies were the genesis of the human relations school of management thought.
  • Mary Parker Follet

    Developed a management philosophy based on individual motivation and group problem solving - a forerunner of the participatory management idea.
  • Brownlow Committee

    Otherwise known as the President's 1937 Committee on Administrative Management and composed of Louis Brownlow, Charles Merriam, and Luther Gulick, made sweeping recommendations for the reorganization of the executive branch of the U.S. Government.
  • Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick

    Provided the definitive statement of the "principles" approach to management: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting (in short, POSDCORB).
  • Chester I. Barnard

    Viewed organizations as cooperative systems in which the "functions of the executive" (title of his classic work) were to maintain a balance between the needs of the organization and the needs of the individual and to establish effective communication.
  • American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)

    A national professional organization "to advance the science, processes, and art of public administration" was organized.
  • Robert K. Merton

    Proclaimed that bureaucracy, which Weber (1922) had defined so systematically, had a number of dysfunctions (that is, characteristics that lead to inefficiency).
  • Abraham H. Maslow

    Developed a theory of human motivation in which men and women moved up or down a needs hierarchy, as each level was satisfied or threatened.
  • Paul Appeleby

    Asserted that processes in government organizations are political - at least more than those in business organizations. Philip Selznick, Norton Long, and other writers of the late 1940's were to add theoretical and empirical support to Appeleby's most un-Wilsonian (1887) thesis.
  • Herbert A. Simon

    In his classic Administrative Behavior, Simon, like Merton (1940), attacked the " principles" approach to management as often being inconsistent and inapplicable. Like Barnard (1938) and influenced by him, Simon advocated a systems approach to administration and the study of decision making.
  • Norbert Wiener, Claude Shannon and P.M.S. Blackett

    Emphasized systems analysis, operations research, and information theory in management.
  • Herbert Kaufman, Fred W. Riggs and Walter R. Sharp

    First course on comparative administration introduced at Yale University. This movement, which represented a broadening of public administration to other cultures, began to wane in later years as American foreign aid programs were scaled back.
  • Chris Argyris and Douglas McGregor

    Placed emphasis on social psychology and research in human relations in achieving a better fit between the personality of a mature adult and the requirements of a modern organization. Argyris developed an open-system theory of organization, while McGregor poplarized a humanistic managerial philosophy.
  • Charles A. Lindblom

    In his influential essay, "The Science of Muddling Through," Lindblom attacked the rational models of decision making in government. In reality, the model did not work; decision makers, therefore, depend heavily on small, incremental decisions.
  • Aaron Wildavsky

    In an article, "The Political Implications of Budgetary Reform," Wildavsky developed the concept of budgetary incrementalism and its political nature that led to his landmark work, The Politics of the Budgetary Process. (1964).
  • President Kennedy

    Issued Executive Order 10988 which permitted unionization and collective bargaining in the federal service.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Title VII prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin in private-sector employment (would be applied to the public sector in 1972).
  • Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton

    Proposed that every leader could be categorized in terms of two variables: concern for task and concern for people. Blake and Mouton's Managerial Grid was perhaps the best known of dozens of adaptations of this idea, which could be traced back to the Ohio State University leadership studies of the 1940's.
  • Charles J. Hitch and Roland N. McKean

    In the same year that President Johnson ordered Planning-Programming-Budgeting Systems (PPBS) adopted governmentwide, the "bible" of government systems analysis appeared: The Economics of Defense in the Nuclear Age.
  • Equality of Educational Opportunity

    The Coleman Report applied the
    methods of the social sciences to the analysis and evaluation of government programs.
  • Anthony Downs

    Applied economic principles to develop propositions to aid in predicting behavior of bureaus and bureaucrats. A forerunner of the "public choice" approach to decision making.
  • Yehezkel Dror

    Pioneered in the development of policy sciences (that is, the analysis of the anticipated effects of a public policy and the design of better policymaking institutions in government).
  • Dwight Waldo

    Under the patronage of Waldo, some young scholars gathered to critique American public administration for ignoring values and social equity and accepting too readily the status quo. This movement was known as the "New Public Administration".
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Act

    Amended and applied Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the public sector and authorized the use of "affirmative action" to remedy the results of past dsicrimination.
  • Griggs v. Duke Power

    In this landmark opinion based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the United States Supreme Court ruled that any factor used in an employment decision must be a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) related to the actual performance of the work.
  • Peter F. Drucker

    Addressed the problems of using management-by-objectives - a process of mutual goalsetting between employee and supervisor for purposes of planning and evaluation - in the public sector.
  • Proposition 13

    Significantly reorganized the Federal Civil Service.
  • Civil Service Reform Act

    Significantly reorganized the Federal Civil Service.
  • Regents v. Bakke

    In its first major decision on affirmative action, the United States Supreme Court ruled that race could be a factor but not the factor in university admissions policies. This principle was later extended to employment and gender.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Extended anti-discrimination protection to persons with disabilities.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991

    Attempted, inter alia, to clarify and limit certain recent decisions of the Supreme Court that were interpreted as hostile to affirmative action.
  • Osborne and Gaebler

    Osborne and Gaebler publish Reinventing Government in an attempt to "empower government officials to bring business technologies to public service."
  • Administrative Behavior

    The fourth edition of Simon's classic Administrative Behavior is published on the 50th anniversary of the first.
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    The New Jersey Graduated Work Incentive Experiment

    First large-scale social experiment ever conducted in the U.S. This experiment spanned 6 1/2 years (1967-1973) and cost eight million dollars.
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    Alice Rivlin and Carol Weiss

    Provided a comprehensive analysis of the methodologies and difficulties of evaluating public programs in a dynamic political environment. Since that time, the importance of evaluation has grown rapidly.
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    A good way to characterize the study of public administration in the U.S. today is in terms of three impulses: politics, management, and public policy. University programs emphasizing politics tend to be found in departments of political science or separate schools of public administration (e.g., Syracuse). Programs emphasizing management tend to be found in schools of business (e.g., Stanford) or administration (e.g., Yale and Cornell). And programs emphasizing public policy tend