Essay on Public Management in the USA

Published: 2021/11/18
Number of words: 1954


Public management has been receiving enormous attention in the past. According to Kisner and Vigoda-Gadot (2017), administration aspects, especially in the public sector, have recently received significant and vital reforms. Different scholars and specialists in the past have suggested the best managerial approaches in the public sector. On the other hand, public administration has come a long way and undergone different reforms and changes. As a result, the modern approaches in this sector areas per sufficient theoretical models and ideas. The public sectors are owned and governed by the government in society. This aspect shows that the public sectors differ across countries and nations. Regardless of the countries or regions, the public sectors’ management approaches differ across borders and regions.

Bouckaert (2010), management in the public sector is a complicated aspect and faces numerous factors and developmental issues in society today. Public sector administration has the past, present, and projected future developments and performance indicators from this aspect. This essay, therefore, uses public sector management theories and principles to explain the past, current, and future public sector management in the USA. This essay analyses the current public sector administration system, thus presenting a critical reflection of the public administration aspects of the country. Finally, this essay presents a recommendation for the change and development of the public sector management aspects of the country and the conclusion based on the public administration theories depicted in the public sector management aspects of the USA.

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The Existing Public Administration (PA) System

Mackenzie (2007) outlined that the public administration in the USA has been undergoing significant reforms recently. According to Lynn Jr. (1999), some of the elements of the historical public administration aspects of the USA include customers, privatization, accountability, decentralization, and performance. These elements are common in most of the public sector’s managerial operations of the United States. On the other hand, organizational approaches under these elements differ across regions and states in America. General, the US public administration aspects cover decision-making prospects of the government about public affairs. As a result, public administration is a complicated aspect by the government meant to manage several societal elements.

According to Raadchelders (2011), public administration in the USA has been receiving enormous attention in most academic disciplines in the past years. Like any other country, the public administration of the USA is guided by the country’s culture in general. The public administrative system of the United States consists of three levels, namely, the Federal or national, the state, and the local levels (Win, n.d.). The American system follows the theory of separation of power. The American constitutions mainly distribute power across public offices, making them responsible for some administrative decisions. Some of the primary authority vested in some significant systems includes the legislative, judicial, and executive power. The current public management system of the USA vests the judicial power in the courts, the executive management on the president, and the legislative on the congress. The responsibilities of these sectors are as follows (Win, n.d.):

  • Congress, Vested with the legislative power: The two elected houses of the congress, namely the house of representatives and the senate, have the authority to make laws.
  • The Presidential office, vested with the executive power: Both the president and his vice election are by the citizens, and they stay in office for four years. Some of the executive activities conducted by the president include commander in chief of the armed forces, foreign relations management, supervising law enforcement, recommending congress legislation.
  • The Supreme Court is vested with judicial power. Other federal courts created with the congress are also awarded the judicial power to review all legislation aspects. The courts have the authority to declare any legislatures null and void.

Therefore, one of the main theories depicted in the current public administration in the USA is the division of labor. The current public administration models adopted in the American public sector cover numerous aspects that promote best management practices for a better administrative outcome. The public administration approaches emphasizing the theory of separation of power are fundamental as it prevents the accumulation of power on one administration sector. On the other hand, this approach promotes a system of checks and balances. However, this model sometimes the inaction tendency at the management level (Rosenbloom, 2013). This theory, therefore, has both positive and negative outcomes. Administrative bodies, therefore, have to ensure that the issues are managed effectively and the benefits maximized. Like any other country, America’s public administration aspects have also undergone enormous developments and shifts to the current models adopted.

Critical Reflection of the Public administration aspects in the USA

From the above public administration aspects, the management aspects of the American public sector reflect different concepts apart from the separation of power, as shown. On the other hand, various theories are suggesting the best general management approaches for companies and countries. According to Serpa and Ferreira (2019), bureaucracy, as Max Weber indicates, is vital for successful management in all societal sectors. For successful public administration, Weber suggested that bureaucracy is essential, especially when it is approached appropriately from the rationalization element that promotes social relationships and the global disenchantment. In general, the theory suggests that bureaucratic approaches have to maximize on rationalization of the world.

Bureaucracy is a significant concept in the administration aspects of the United States. “The Bureaucracy” (n.d.) argued that there are several bureaucratic organizations in the public management system of the United States. These bureaucratic organizations in the USA fall under the independent executive agencies, government corporations, regulatory agencies, and cabinet department general types. The bureaucratic aspect broadly explains the right of bodies to rule whether the authority comes from the public, a government body, or traditional and cultural models of operations. As argued by Weber, charismatic power, formal authority, and rational-legal authority are significant bureaucratic aspects of society today and traditionally.

From the current public administration system of the USA, the powers are vested to different administrative sectors based on some models. The citizens give presidential power through voting. On the other hand, any organizational aspects are controlled by the judicial sector of the country. This condition shows that the courts are responsible for reviewing the administrative aspects. In general, the main bureaucratic models followed in the United States are the rational-legal authority where the executive, legislative and judicial powers are specifically and strategically vested by the constitution of the land. According to Walton (2005), bureaucratic approaches to management have received enormous attention due to their perceived positive outcomes to management outcomes. As a result, they have been a center of discussion in the management models. However, its implementation is not done effectively to maximize yields. There is, therefore, the need for future focus on this area to suggest the best approaches for success.


Bureaucracy is a management model that covers all societal aspects to maximize organizational outcomes. Appropriately implementing bureaucracy in the United States is therefore very important in promoting better products. Bureaucracy is a model that has been approached widely in the past in the USA public management. Modern-day society experiences change today. These changes are significant in maximizing economic outcomes and other country-specific elements. However, the bureaucratic aspects in the general administration of the USA are widely affected by some factors. Employing specific measures to manage this change is very important. According to Guttentag (2019), some of the significant barriers to reform arising from bureaucratic aspects include resistance to change, resistance to broad discretion, and the long processes such as reviews and approval of some management aspects specified by the law.

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On the other hand, the public sector follows different models as stipulated in the constitution. As a result, some cultural aspects are used in general management. Furthermore, appropriate public administration aspects are vital in society, and they promote numerous aspects, including better economic performance and social outcomes. For instance, proper public administration has to cover all the neoclassic, Marxian and Keynesian theories of economics as they are vital for a prosperous economy (Wolff & Resnick, 2012). The public administration presents different power to different bodies in the United States. While this bureaucratic approach assists in maximizing organizational and decision-making outcomes, some major managerial traits covering economic and social aspects require discretion and proper consideration that maximizes results. Therefore, this essay shows that while bureaucratic aspects are evident in the American public administration, there is the need for better aspects to maximize the adverse outcomes while maximizing the positive results.


Management models adopted by countries’ public sectors are vital for the overall success of the different societal sectors of society. The United States adopts some major theoretical elements in its public administration approaches from the above information and literature reviewed. First and foremost, one of the significant theories adopted by this country is the distribution of power. This model is vital as it promotes sound decision-making by the management bodies in the country’s public administration. On the other hand, the bureaucratic element that presents the aspect of power vested in different authoritative bodies is present in managing models of the country’s public affairs. However, this aspect is majorly done by the country’s constitution. Therefore, this essay presents an argument that the public administration aspects of the country require some improvements to be effective. Furthermore, the bureaucratic element has to emphasize the rationalism aspect to cover all the societal needs and maximize organizational outcomes in the public sector of the USA.


“The Bureaucracy: How is its Structure?” (n.d.). Lumen.,to%20those%20of%20other%


Bouckaert, G. (2010). Research in public administration for the future. Society and Economy, 32(1), 3-15.

Guttentag, L. (2019). Reflections on Bureaucratic Barriers to Immigration Reform. The Regulatory Review.

Kisner, M., & Vigoda-Gadot, E. (2017). The provenance of public management and its future: is general management here to stay? International Journal of Public Sector Management, 30(1), 1 – 19. DOI: 10.1108/IJPSM-05-2017-0143

Lynn Jr., L. E. (1999). Public management in North America. Public Management Review, 1(9907), 1 – 13. DOI: 10.1080/14719039900000008

Mackenzie, W. J. M. (2007). The study of public administration in the United States. Public Administration, 29(2), 131 – 143. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.1951.tb01401.x

Raadchelders, J. C. N. (2011). The study of public administration in the United States. Public Administration, 89, 140-155

Rosenbloom, D. (2013). Public administration theory and the separation of powers. The American Review of Public Administration, 43(4), 381 – 396. DOI: 10.1177/0275074013483167

Serpa, S., & Ferreira, C. M. (2019). The concept of bureaucracy by Max Weber. International Journal of Social Science Studies, 7(2), 12 – 18. DOI: 10.11114/IJSS.v7i2.3979

Walton, E. J. (2005). The persistence of bureaucracy: a meta-analysis of weber’s model of bureaucratic control. Organization Studies, 26(4), 569 – 600.

Win, D. D. (n.d.). Administrative Systems. Courtesy of Saidai Manitheneyam.

Wolff, R. D., & Resnick, S. A. (2012). Dueling economics: a tale of three theories. Monthly Labor Review. US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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