Starting with Neo Classical School Herbert Simon The Proverbs of Administration Note: The paragraphs in blue are the article text extracts that Fares read in class. Introduction: Wrapping up what we talked about under classical school in the previous sessions: 1-Universal principles of management, 2-Only one way of doing things, discover this one way and implement it (no two or more ways) 3-It tells you in a normative way what you ought to do (not empirical) they don’t go and see what people do and come up with a science.
Even Taylor said after I develop a science u have to adopt and follow it 4-The Classical school doesn’t talk about humans.
It talks about structure, rules, regulations, specialization, and coordination. No one in this school talked about decision making, psychology, Note: Neo classical school is a critique for the classical theory. The Neo Classical School focuses on people, psychology and sociology rather than organization and structure. (We will have four articles under this school, Herbert Simon, Douglas McGregor (X and Y theory), Politics and Public Administration, Systems Theory not book included) …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Herbert Simon is saying that all what we have read so far about classical PA are proverbs (Khabriyet, since Simon didn’t see a real theory under the classical school, he only heard talking about structure and regulations). The aim of Simon’s article is to show us how a theory should be thought at. Some Accepted Administrative Principles From The Classical School: 1-Specialization of the task: (From Taylor): Simon criticizes Taylor by explaining specialization through the nurse example below: A-Specialization by place (district), where nurses will do school s examinations, visit to homes.
The nurses work within their district and become specialists in their corresponding district. B-Specialization by function where different nurses are assigned special functions like schools examinations, tuberculosis, and visit to homes. The critique is that both these administrative arrangements satisfy the requirement of specialization whether it is by place or by function (Which one is better??? No one) He concluded that Specialization is not a principle to achieve an efficient PA it is a condition actually that should be normally present. It is a given, a characteristic of all group efforts.
It isn’t about specialization itself -Specialization is inevitable- Regardless of Specializing by process, by function, in geography….. The real thing we need to answer is which is best in a certain situation. Here we start to talk about some kind of principles. Specialization is not a principle; it is a condition of work. 2-Unity of Command (From Gulick): Herbert Simon says that Unity of command which we used to understand under the classical theory as a principle of PA is actually not a principle yet a fact of everyday life because it is impossible for a person to obey to contradictory commands.
That’s a state of nature. Technical VS managerial supervision: Refer to the Accountant vs Director in a school sketch drawn in class. According to unity of command the financial director shall obey the school director. According to specialization the school director cannot give orders to the financial director because he isn’t experienced in accounting. The school director has usually a broad managerial perspective but is not an expert in the fields of its subordinates and has to approve financial reports raised to him by the financial director and other things by other epartments. (Usually things he doesn’t understand well) There is a real conflict between specialization and unity of command. In classical school they said we want both. Gulick claimed unity of command and Taylor claimed specialization. Simon says we should rephrase what they said to solve this dilemma. The solution is that we should observe unity of command as the ultimate principle with two different commands coming, then there should be a single person to follow and that person is the credible one with the proper experience and specialization.
Simon believes that specialized people should be the decision makers. Classical theory according to Simon is not answering problems encountered in real life. He needs good principles mesh khbar bel hawa. Unity of command created a condition where non specialized people are giving commands to specialized people. Gulick clearly indicates the difficulties to be faced if unity of command is not observed. A certain amount of irresponsibility and confusion are almost certain to ensue. But Simon believes that perhaps this isn’t too great a price to pay for the increased expertise that can be applied to decisions.
What means that true we will have chaos but at least we are gaining a good specialized decision. 3-Span of Control (From Gulick): The span of control is a principle that states that administrative efficiency should be enhanced by limiting the number of people that directly report to any given supervisor. Another contradictory administrative principle states that efficiency is enhanced by keeping at a minimum the number of organizational levels through which a matter must pass before it is acted upon (simplification of work) We have talked about this when we studied Gulick.
The narrower span of control the less efficiency, the wider span of control the more efficiency yet less control According to Simon in a large organization with complex interrelations among members a restricted span of control inevitably creates red tape. We should basically choose a compromise. Control is good but at some moment in time the cost of control will be less than the cost of corruption. Lower than the cost of controlling corruption. Let go with expensive control measures and keep corruption in this case. Go to optimal solution. 1,000,000 lira corruption better than 100,000,000 lira to control it.
In New PA that we will talk about, control is not considered efficient anymore. A better and totally different approach is sought which is incentive and rewards to avoid the bribing of the administrators (rashwet l2idariin). Administrators will earn money with zero risks, with no stealing. 4-Organization by Purpose, Process, Clientele and Place (From Gulick): The conventional system in classical school was to organize according to either: Purpose: Example the Ministry of agriculture where we place all the people that work in agriculture in Lebanon in the ministry and we divide the ministry into purposes.
Different people but the purpose is the agriculture. Process: The Company is divided into departments (engineering department, accounting department) and people are placed in their respective departments. People work according to functions in their respective fields of work. Clientele: Example a Hospital for heart diseases that targets only people with heart problems. Place: Targeting people in a certain region (NSSF in jounieh, in Beirut…) The above is how Gulick and Erwick viewed how to coordinate work through opening department and putting people inside the departments.
Simon says that the relation between purpose and process is a means end relationship whereby a purpose of one activity could be the process of another. Example: Student’s purpose is to learn, however if we learn we are in a process of getting a degree so the purpose becomes a process and the new purpose (getting a degree). However getting a degree which has become now the purpose is the process of getting a career and so on. What mean the issue of purpose and process becomes a lie because we are the same on different levels of where you want to achieve.
What is purpose to you today is part of process tomorrow. So don’t tell me I can organize by process or purpose because purpose and process are goals of different levels. The division between them organization wise is ridiculous. Simon also argues that the issue of clientele and place is also similar because if I open in Akkar it is true that I am organizing by place but I will have my clientele for Akkar. So there is no consent on the above principles of dividing organizations and the difference between these principles is not clear when it comes to build a structure of a certain organization.
The guiding principle is achieving efficiency regardless not drawing sketches that have now much difference between them. Even when the problem is solved of proper usage of these terms “purpose”, “process”, “clientele”, “area”, the principles of administration give no guide as to which of these four competing bases of specialization is applicable in any particular situation. That’s the essential problem. If we want to go as per the above, then which of them should we use in a certain situation? As an administrative scientist you should tell me.
You should clarify how I want to choose. VIP: To wrap up all what we discussed so far in this reading, all the elements that we talked about so far are contradictory so we need to get the best compromise out of them to reach efficiency. The way I compromise to achieve efficiency leads us to the science. These elements aren’t the science. Until now according to Simon the classical school doesn’t provide this science. So it is time to introduce the theory “An approach to Adminsitrative Theory”. The descritption of administrative situations
Administrative description suffers currently from superficiality, oversimplification, lack of realism. It has confined itself too closely to the mechanism of authority and has failed to bring within its orbit the other, equally important, modes of influence on organizational behavior. This is a new theory called organizational behavior. And here is the first time that we start with Simon to hear about the organizational behavior. It has refused to undertake the tiresome task of studying the actual allocation of decision-making functions. He is saying that the theory said nothing about decision-making allocation.
It has been satisfied to speak of “authority”, “centralization”, “span of control”, “function”, without seeking operational definitions of these terms. Until administrative description reaches a higher level of sophistication, there is little reason to hope that rapid progress will be made toward the identification and verification of valid administrative principles. The diagnosis of administrative situations We said we are searching for a new science in Public Administration. What did Herbert Simon do? He dropped all the previous theories and tried to generalize a new science of Public Administration.
Refer to the sketch drawn in class for the description below. His new science says Public Administration should be efficient. The major aim is efficiency. How to go there? He said two things: 1-Ability to performif you remark these two are about human beings. 2-Ability to make correct decisions So basically Herbert Simon started from a totally different place which according to him the efficiency is about seeing the ability of the people to perform and to decide the basic unit of analysis is human being. To achieve that he wanted to work on three extremely important things:
Attention to the difference classical school says I want to control the organization so we build control, hierarchy etc. Herbert Simon says forget everything related to the organization. I want to control the Public Administrator because if the latter is working well he will lead me to efficiency. He wanted to control the Administrator even without the necessity of giving this worker orders and they will be working to increase efficiency. This is done by controlling the administrator’s: 1-Skills Train on tasks and budgeting (Knowing how to do budgeting) -Values Brainwash him and give him new values like loyalty, transparency, conservativeness, you will do reporting, customer oriented. 3-Knowledge Train the person and inform him. Example of knowledge, he will start knowing about the budget (How much money he has to spend) If the administrator has 10,000$ in the budget and he was taught how to spend them and when you get confused you resort to the values you know at the end of the day this person will make the most efficient decision and the most efficient decision according to Simon goes with the Organizational objectives.
Wherever you throw this person, or you place the planning department in the top, bottom or middle hierarchy or you divide according to purpose or place etc this is all irrelevant. Work on the individual and let him take decision and that’s organization. It means you have to work on organization behavior. Which is the behavior of the individual within the organization and that’s the new science. It is about conditioning the behavior of the individual. Example: Fares El Zein is conditioning his students’ behavior.
If he says that we have an exam every week then he will force us to study on a regular basis and if he says we have only a midterm and final than he is sure that we won’t study unless before the exams (HIHIHIHIH ma 7ezer it has been a while we are preparing these shitty articles ) For Simon this is what counts, conditioning the behavior of the individual and not just build a science of structure and hierarchy. Because one can build the best structure but if there is no control on the individual within the structure than there will be no efficiency.
To Simon Organizational behavior in Public and especially in Private sector is the important thing to focus on. That’s why they brought psychologists and sociologists and started to study people. Note the example of increasing and decreasing the lighting level in an industry. They got shocked that even after decreasing the lighting level the efficiency of the workers has further increased. So they realized that it isn’t about changing the lighting effect, it was about paying attention to the human being himself without changing structures and rules. Go take care of the workers and they will be efficient.
Cite this Proverbs of Administration
Proverbs of Administration. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/proverbs-of-administration/