Administrative power Grade 30th March, Administrative Power Administration is the most central part of the government. Administrative power has become more and more complex to define, as administration strategies continue to change in the 20th century. Administrative power is the operative, and the executive part of the government (Stillman, 2010). Public administrators engage in technical details while exercising their powers, like preparing budgets for the government, and are concerned with key societal goals and in developing the resources to be used in achieving those goals. Administrators have administrative powers, which enable them to enforce or administer a law. Public administration is wholly intertwined in the problems and all the activities of the society, and hence, it does not operate alone (Stillman, 2010).
Factors that can strengthen or detract from an organization’s power
Norton Long argues that, power is the lifeblood and backbone of administration (Stillman, 2010). Power attainment, increase, maintenance, dissipation and loss, are factors that cannot be ignored by administrators. Long argues that, ignoring these aspects can lead to failure and loss of realm. In the case of the Columbia accident, which happened in February 2003, killing seven crew members, the administration was to blame for the loss of lives. The damage suspected by the engineers before the shuttle left orbit was downplayed by the NASA managers, who limited the investigations. External pressure from the white house and the congress to meet the date set for launching, made NASA managers to authorize the launching, even when it was clear that foaming was occurring on the left wing of Columbia. Failure to address issues or risks fully or postponing them, can lead to loss of life, a situation which detracts an organization’s power.
Bureaucracy and internal pressure are key aspects of administrative power, and that partake a significant task in enhancing or detracting the administrative power. Bureaucracy, when properly applied without too much pressure, can enhance an organization’s administrative power. NASA employees were under internal pressure, to meet a deadline; hence, the seven crew members went ahead with their project to launch, even with the awareness of risks. This caused the American people, who were patriotic to the country’s endeavors in aerospace, to diminish the value and effectiveness of NASA.
Ways through which administrators protect and enhance their positions.
Power is a coveted aspect in life, and the blood life of administration, as Long said (Stillman, 2010). Administrators strive to gain and retain power, and in the process, they employ various means to ensure that they remain in power. Long argues that, administrators strive to get support from popular people and from the majority. NASA managers risked seven lives of the Columbia crew, in order to launch in time, so as to earn the support of the congress and the white House. Most employees felt that the February 19 deadline could not be met, yet NASA managers stressed the more on the importance of the date (Stillman, 2010). The Columbia accident reflects the reality of power and not the political cynicism.
Bureaucracy is used by most administrators to ensure that, they enhance their power. Centralization of power ensures that, there is always someone who is at the top, and the rest of the hierarchy downwards is subject to him. A bureau perforce is significantly in the trade of building, increasing, and maintaining their support, which is political (Stillman, 2010). NASA managers tried their best to enhance their power by trying to win the support of the congress and the white house, and they did this by putting pressure on their employees, to meet the date set for launching.
Administration power is coveted since it is the blood life of a government, according to Long (Stillman, 2010). Administrators, therefore, know that attaining and retaining that power needs a lot of undertaking, like for example, mobilizing political support and creating strong public relations. This is done by engaging in a scope of activities aimed at acquiring a lot of customer support in order to survive. They also aim at developing an adequate consensus to program formulation and finally execution. The administrators do their best to remain in power by employing a measure such as bureaucracy, which define, who are in power and who is not.
Stillman, R. J. (2010). Public administration: concepts and cases. 9th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.