The key differences between classic theories and human relations theories are that classic theories assume that people are machines who can always give their max, and that their emotions are irrelevant to their work. This is shown through Frederick’s “One Best Way” theory of which states that “workers increase their well-being though productivity” (Lecture 2, Historic Developments, slide 9). Contrasting this view, the Hawthorn Studies showed that a simply change in the lighting increased workers’ productivity; it was the change in the workers’ well-being that increased their productivity. These differences are significant for organizations as the more modern theories allow for managers to take into account that people are not simply machines and must have their well-being accounted for to be productive.2. Information asymmetries are the occurrences of one person in an organization’s hierarchy having more information that another person in that hierarchy. This can easily lead to the problems described in Principal-Agent Theory.
Such problems are that the principal, a manger in an organization, can more easily be taken advantage of by the agent, a lower level bureaucrat, than the other way around. As a result of this, a manager’s plan may by thwarted by a lower level’s official refusal to implement a manager’s plan, yet the manager may not be aware of that being the reason that their plan is failing. Likewise, a lower level official may say that it requires much more time and resources to implement a manager’s plan that what it actually takes, but the manager may not know any better and will have to just go with what the lower level official says. Thus, information asymmetries may decrease an organization’s efficiency.
3. Bounded rationality is the decision-making theory that claims that decisions are closer to being completely rational than they are to being completely irrational. Managers try to make as rational of a decision that they can with the limited information that they have available to them. This may be due to it taking too much time or resources to aware all relevant information, or to predict all possible outcomes of a decision. Resulting from this is how managers are often forced to make a “good enough” decision instead of the best decision.
The implications of this for organizations and managers are that upper-level officials may make decisions that make sense with the information that they have, but may make little sense to lower-level officials or bureaucrats with the information they have. As a result, such people may feel compelled to take initiatives to make a more rational decision than what the upper-level official(s) made.4. The spoils system is the practice of elected officials giving jobs to those who politically supported them instead of who in most qualified for said job. It’s relevance to American history comes from it being so commonly practiced, most famously by Andrew Jackson, that the civil service exam became required for certain occupations by the Pendleton Act of 1883. This comes although the exact percentage of federal employees under the civil service varies dramatically over the past century.
Further civil service requirements were added by the Hatch Act of 1934 to prevent federal employees from participating in partisan politics. Lastly, the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 was added so that the executive branch has to give enough of a notice before changes in how laws are being enforced so that people can voice their concerns about their changes. This law often gets administrations in trouble when they try to change enforcement policies partly as a result in the ambiguity in what “due time” means and what exceptions there are to the APA. 5. Groupthink is the concept that describes the effects being in groups has on people’s rationale. When making moral judgements, people are less moral.
When asked to analyze things, people are less able to do so. When put in a group, people want to conform to what others are saying. These effects are especially potent in cultures than encourage conformity. As a result of “groupthink”, group brainstorming is not as effective of an analytical tool as people and managers want it to be. 6. Content theories are those like Maslow’s hierarchy of need, and Hertzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene theory which analyze the effects of needs and rewards on Motivation.
Process theories are those that focus in on the psychological and behavior processes that associated with motivation. Such theories include “Vroom’s Expectancy of Motivation” (Bagga ; Parijiat, 2014, pp 2) and “Adam’s Equity Theory of Motivation” (Redmond, 2015, pp. 1). The contributions of content theories are the easy-to-fix problems they identify; if a worker is not motivated to work because they are hunger, the manager can put them on lunch break or give them food. Contrasting this and the difficult to solve problems Process theories identify; if a worker isn’t motivated because they feel like they’re getting less output for the same input as another employee, it’s a challenge to try to change that perspective. Nevertheless, process theories are still useful as they identify deeper level problems that content theories skim over. As a manager, this becomes useful as another tool for when problems arise within the organization. A.
Short Essay1. Principle agent problems are those derive from information asymmetries between a person who needs a service and the person(s) providing that service. Most often the one providing the service, the agent, is the one who is better informed about the details about the service the principle needs than what the principle is about the agent’s service.
This puts the agent in a much better position than the principle when it comes time to negotiate the terms of terms of the agent’s service as the agent can make their work appear more difficult than what it is. Thus, they can get paid more than what they would be getting paid if the principle was more informed about the agent’s work. Yet this isn’t the only challenge with principal-agent problems. Agents also may take longer to complete a project than what is necessary to complete said job. Again, this is due to the principal’s ignorance of the better. Further due to this ignorance is how the agent can pretend that the principal’s plan for the agent’s work is impossible when that is not the case. Likewise, the principal may be convinced that their plan is feasible when it simply isn’t, causing them to think that their agent is lying to them about their plan’s flaws.
Either way, unnecessary conflict can be generated within an organization due to principle-agent problems. Yet, these problems can be easily overcome. To overcome principal-agent problems, the principle first needs to educate themselves on the agent’s work. This may mean reading up on the agent’s work or asking a trusted advisor or coworker about the agent’s work. Additionally, the principal needs to be an active listener when the agent is describing their work. If something they are saying doesn’t make sense as to why they are doing it, then they need to ask and be open to what the agent is saying.
This is to ensure the principal doesn’t get screwed in a bad deal. Lastly, the principal can offer incentives, monetary or otherwise, to encourage agents to do as the principal wants. The principal just needs to be cautions when using this tactic as it may result in people being reluctant to do things they’re not being incentivized to do.
Thus, the monetary incentive may create the externality of the principal’s agents becoming lazier than before the incentive was offered and create more principal-agent problems in the future. 2. Transactional leaders and transformational leaders are similar in that effective leaders have come out of both camps. For transactional leaders, there are people like John D.
Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie who achieved their goals of enormous wealth while dramatically expanding America’s industrial outputs. For transformational leaders, there are people like Jesus, Mohammad, and MLK who’ve attracted billions of followers willing to sacrifice themselves in the name of such people, even long after these leaders’ deaths.
For both types of leaders, such success has made all of the above-mentioned leaders highly famous throughout the world. Yet these leaders achieved their fame and success in very different ways. People like Carnegie and Rockefeller achieved their success by offering other people monetary incentives and in exchange for doing what as people like Carnegie or Rockefeller wanted.
This may have meant giving employees a salary for their labor or paying another corporation for transferring their goods to market. Yet people like MLK and Jesus offered their followers little or no such incentives. Instead they offered their followers a vision of some higher ordeal than what their followers otherwise would have. This made people willing to die following them. Such dedication may make it appear as if transformational leaders are more important in public organizations, but that is not the case. In the short term, having employees with such dedication and charismatic feelings towards their organization or superior is highly beneficial. It makes the public manager’s job significantly easier to do when the public employees are zealous about their manager’s or organization’s current prerogatives, but prerogatives and managers in public organizations change rapidly. In one election, the president can go from someone who was very strict about business and environmental regulations to a president who is much laxer about them.
Yet the federal employees in charge of enforcing such regulations can’t change nearly as fast due to contracts and laws forbidding such rapid change. If those federal employees were zealous about the previous administration’s prerogatives, then they will want to constantly undermine those of the current administration, especially in an increasingly partisan political environment. To avoid such zealously, public organizations need to have transactional leaders.
With transactional leaders, there are employees who are working just to make a few dollars, have a relatively stable job (in terms of the likelihood that they’re going to be fired), and eventually have a decent pension. While there may be some dedication to a particular organization, the likelihood of a religious-like dedication to that organization or its current ideal is much less than with transformational leaders. This makes it easier for the manager to implement any changes that may be necessary to improve the organization’s outputs, or to adjust its priorities. As a result, there can be smoother transitions between administrations with transactional leaders than with transformational leaders. Thus, America’s historic accomplishment is better maintained with transactional leaders than with transformational ones.3. “Public service motivation”, or PSM, states that people who work in the public sphere are intrinsically motivated to do so. More specifically, they can be motivated “by their rational, normative, or affective interest to serve the public” (Lecture Session 9, Slide 8).
If they have a rational interest to serve the public, then that that individual has a personal stake in a specific program, policy, or special interest the government is working on. If an individual is motivated normatively to serve the public, then they feel “duty and loyalty to the government or agency to promote social equity and serve the public interest” (Lecture Session 9, Slide 11). If someone is motivated affectively to serve the public, then a sense of “Altruism, a willingness or desire to help others” (Lecture Session 9, Slide 11) dominates their values. When these types of motivation are brought under one concept, core dimensions arise. One of these is “an attraction towards policy making or public affairs” (Lecture Session 9, Slide 12).
This comes as a result of someone having a longing to serve the public, so they think policy making is an effective way to do so. Another dimension is “a commitment to public interests” (Lecture Session 9, Slide 12); a barrier to those who want to abuse the pubic. Again, this comes from someone thinking that joining the public sphere is an effective way to serve the public. The last dimension of PSM is a strong sense of compassion and self-sacrifice on behalf of the public employee. This is due to public service often being a long-term, chaotic job with minimal initial pay that not everyone is cut out for. Those that want to participate in it need to have a strong sense of self-sacrifice and commitment in order to tough it out, at least enough so that they can make it to tenure. In theory, these should be the effects and reasons why people work in the public sphere, but that doesn’t always show in practice.
PSM does do an accurate job of explaining why someone would join the public sphere in the first place when the private sphere is much more profitable. Either everyone in the public sphere is ignorant of this fact, or there is something more personal to the employees than that. PSM says that the “something more” is either a rational, affective, or normative motive to be in the public sphere which makes sense.
Additionally, PSM explains why whistleblowers exist in the public sphere when they may be fired for doing so. The public employees feel as if it is their duty to inform the public of some potential malpractice going on inside of the government regardless of the potential consequences of their future careers. Yet, PSM does not explain why corruption happens in government. If people who work in government are always noble in their intensions, then no one in government would steal or abuse the public’s trust or money for their personal gain.
Since corruption does occur, then not everyone is noble in their intensions which PSM fails to account as to why such a person would work in government in the first place. B. Long Essay Taking place in 1940, the Friedrich-Finer debate featured the themes of how much discretion to give to bureaucrats, what accountability measures should be in place against bureaucratic incompetence, and if the other branches of government are capable of protecting against the bureaucracy. In debating these, Friedrich and Finer have shaped the conversation around the bureaucracy in the many decades since (Authors, 2014, 279). When it comes to bureaucratic discretion, Friedrich believed that bureaucrats needed to almost complete discretion about their work. If bureaucrats are experts at their work, then they should be allowed to use their expertise to maximize their work outputs. Yet, as Finer pointed out, bureaucrats may not always want to maximize their work efforts; their terrible human nature will prevent them from doing so.
Instead they will want to be as lazy as possible. To thwart this laziness, bureaucrats need to have as little discretion as is humanly possible. This is will help protect against bureaucratic incompetence from failing policy directives.
Thus, Finer argued, that bureaucrats needed to have as much accountability as the other branches could manage, a point Friedrich strongly disagreed with. Bureaucrats, Friedrich argued, practiced a culture of professionalism. This culture of professionalism will prevent bureaucrats from becoming lazy or malicious in their intents; the other bureaucrats won’t allow such behavior to be tolerated. This culture will act as in inner check against any potential wrongdoing by the bureaucracy. Thus, checks by the other government branches is completely unnecessary. When combined with the other branches inability to be experts in all of the bureaucracy’s activities, it is also only risks the other branches decreasing the efficiency of the bureaucracy. On the other hand, Finer argued that those checks by the other branches is what prevented the bureaucrats from giving into their poor human nature.
Additionally, these checks act to give some democratic control over an otherwise completely undemocratic branch of government. In a democracy, that is completely unacceptable; the judicial branch’s final say in how laws are interpreted, congress’ ability to appropriate agencies’ budgets and approve nominees, and the president’s ability to nominate those nominees is necessary for the bureaucracy to maintain legitimacy with the American public. Whatever lack of expertise the other branches may have about the bureaucracy’s work is well worth this legitimacy. With that said, Finer’s argument about the bureaucracy, and what to do about, is the more accurate argument. Human nature is not good; it is lazy and capable of doing terrible things, often in the name of some utopian ideal. One glace at the atrocities of 20th century can easily demonstrate that. Finer, even before the worst event in human history was to occur, understood this and because of this, he knew that checks against human nature are necessary.
Friedrich, on the other hand, seemed to be ignorant of this. Instead he either saw the good in everyone or thought those in public service where somehow immune to human nature’s evils. In either case he is wrong about human nature due to over 160 million people having been murdered in state-sponsored genocide thus far in history.
If Friedrich’s idea of inner checks being the only needed checks on the bureaucracy was adapted, the bureaucracy would be more efficient in its work, but there would be nothing stopping them from repeating history’s most tragic events. Even if the other government branches couldn’t effectively check against bureaucratic wrongdoing, a bad external check is still better than no external threat as a bad check can still catch something while no check will catch nothing. Combined with the need to try to add some democratic legitimacy to the bureaucracy’s actions, and it’s no question that Finer had the more accurate perspective on bureaucratic accountability. Yet, Friedrich was correct in the sense that bureaucrats can’t be micromanaged every time they try to do something. Outside of decreasing an organization’s efficiency, it is also very demoralizing to employees, according the Hertzberg.
Thus, bureaucrats need to have some discretion, but their discretional actions need to be monitored and checked by the other branches of government. In doing so, the best of Finer’s and Friedrick’s ideas can be combined to make an effective, less error prone government. While Finer and Friedrick bring up good points about bureaucratic management, Finer’s perspective is more accurate in terms of the level of acceptable bureaucratic description, and the level of needed bureaucratic accountability. In sticking with Finer’s view of the bureaucracy, a bureaucracy less prone to errors, and general malpractice is possible than with Friedrick’s bureaucratic views.
Thus, the trust in America’s government can only be reassured through Friedrick’s bureaucratic views on the world.