Politics-administration dichotomy

Politics-administration dichotomy is the separation of administration and politics in the design of policies and its implementation. The politics-administration dichotomy provides a view on the public service employees who are regarded as “apolitical” or “impersonal” since they do not hold any political interest or political affiliations (Rosenbaum, Bertucci & United Nation, 2007). Politics is a component of administration, and without politics, there is no administration. Wilson argued that when politics is mixed together with public administration, the civil service will be transformed into a business-like activity. The critic on administration and politics was changed later, and Wilson admitted that the two are contemporary.

Issues addressed in the dichotomy

The field of administration is a business field. It is eliminated from the endeavors of politics. It implies that the administration is located outside the sphere of politics. Administrative questions cannot be political questions (Rosenbaum, Bertucci & United Nation, 2007). Even though politics establishes administrative functions, it should not be used to manipulate offices. The primary concern that Wilson is addressing is the interference that corruption and party operations have on administrative affairs.  The congress was inept in the way they were handling legislative functions. Congress policymaking had an oversight which is weak.

Divisions in the politics-administration dichotomy

Public administration is the systematic implementation of federal law. General laws are outside and often above administration. The broad plans of the actions of the government are not administrative since the detailed execution requires the effort of the government (Rosenbaum, Bertucci & United Nation, 2007). Wilson had a change in mind later and was convinced that administration and politics are contemporaneous. Public officials should hence be involved in public administration.

Weberian bureaucracy


Weberian bureaucracy is a bureaucratic ideal that was most adequate for rational management. The theory was developed by Max Webber to explain organization and management. Bureaucracy is a system of administration established to achieve large administrative functions by coordinating the work of several individuals (Rosenbaum, Bertucci & United Nation, 2007). Three types of power are addressed, and they encompass charismatic, traditional, bureaucratic and rational-legal. The modern idea of bureaucracy is on Weberian terms. The administration is the most rational system of management and allows an organization to retain competent staff.


Administrative class – bureaucratic organizations have an administrative class to maintain and coordinate members. Salary and rewards are obtained based on the positions that people hold in the administration (Rosenbaum, Bertucci & United Nation, 2007). Selection of employment is based on how competent a person is to their field.

Hierarchy – there is a hierarchy of positions where an office in the low rank is the subject of supervision and control.  Hierarchy encompasses ranking positions vertically from top to bottom. The hierarchy has a significant purpose of communication and delegation of duties.

Division of work – work is divided on the basis of specialization, and each office has a particular sphere of competence. The incumbent is responsible for carrying out primary office functions. Division of labor ensures that every office has defined department of expertise.

Official rules

The administrative process is controlled, and the rules must be observed to ensure uniformity and coordination of efforts.  The officials must behave ethical conduct since unethical conduct has consequences.

Impersonal relationships – Relationships among individuals are controlled by official rules and authority (Rosenbaum, Bertucci & United Nation, 2007). Decisions are established and managed by objective factors and not personal factors.  The concept is applied while dealing with internal and external relations of an organization.

Official record – In bureaucratic organizations proper official records are maintained. All the decisions and formal procedures are recorded and preserved for future reference.  There is an organized filing with all the activities of the organization and also data on the people within the organization.

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