Woodrow Wilson, known as the father of the discipline of public administration, expressed his view about public administration in his essay entitled ‘The study of administration’ published in Political Science Quarterly in 1887.
In this article, Wilson made the following observations:
- Functions of the state in the past were limited and simple.
- Public administration as a discipline is a late arrival as a branch of political science which emerged some 2200 years ago. The late arrival of public administration is explained by the nearly total concentration of political science on political and constitutional questions on abstract principles.
- Woodrow Wilson played a pioneering role in emphasizing the need for separating public administration from politics in 1887. Till then, politics and public administration were considered inseparable. This made him the founding father of the discipline.
- Public administration is the government’s most obvious, most visible part.
- Implementation- the undisputed function of administration- is always difficult, which makes administration important.
Woodrow Wilson rightly warned: ‘It is getting harder to run a constitution than to frame one.’
- Wilson emphasizes the separateness of politics from administration. The administration should be separate from politics.
- The administration must necessarily be grounded in the constitution and its values.
- Administrative studies should include the experiences of other countries. ‘So long as we know only ourselves, we know nothing.’ Wilson is, thus, the first intellectual father of comparative public administration.
- It is a ‘science’.
- It is a field of knowledge that can be learned in colleges and universities.
- Administrative processes and techniques are universally applicable and thus common to all governments and organizations.