The comparative case study approach in public administration

Approaches to Public Administration Approaches to Public Administration We have come across a number of times during our exploration of the topic, that it is somewhat difficult to define public administration in concrete terms. It has close association, interaction and influences from several fields of studies like law, political and social science administrative science and human relations and even behavioral science for that matter.

The comparative case study approach in public administration

This is your one stop destination for Public Administration. Based on a work at http: Wednesday, August 15, Comparative Public Administration: Historical and sociological factors affecting administrative systems; Administration and politics in different countries; Current status of Comparative Public Administration; Ecology and administration; Riggsian models and their critique.

Comparative public administration is defined as the study of administrative systems in a comparative fashion or the study of public administration in other countries. Another definition for "comparative public administration" is the "quest for patterns and regularities in administrative action and behavior".

However,it was not taken so seriously due to the the emphasis on conceptualising and structuring as well as defining Public Administration at that time was the top priority. The theorists and administrators as well as governments were busy understanding their own administrative setup before they could set off on a comparison with others.

And lets not forget the beginning of Cold War between the two superpowers USA and Soviet Union which played a big part in this movement where both looked to hegemonise the world politics and economy. The USA was the hub of these studies since the Western countries lacked the institutional and administrative capacities to implement their development plans post world war 2.

The first organisation formally formed to formulate a universal comparative theory of public administration was the Comparative Administration Group CAG in that was a division of the ASPAfunded by the Ford foundation to study methods for improving public administration in developing countries under the chairmanship of Fred W.

They stated that it provided a very good direction but the techniques were not being specified to execute the idea. And so the studies was transferred back to the Department of Comparative Studies. Now we will discuss in detail.

Bureaucratic specifications are studied for reaching conclusions and developing understanding. Under this approach structures of organisations are analysed in terms of their horizontal differentiation,vertical differentiation,span of control,etc.

Procedures and rules are analysed and the framework of functioning is determined. Job specifications and descriptions at various nodes are analysed and some understanding is reached on the basis of elaborateness and degree of specialisation compared in regards to different administrative systems.


The limitations of this approach is that though it has been considered simple but it does not explain the structures and their functions in society and gives a very general observation. It is considered as a very popular approach for comparing various administrative systems and was implemented by Fred W.

This approach analyses society in terms of its various structures and their functions for reaching an understanding regarding their positioning and functioning. Structures here can refer to govt.Jul 25,  · In the comparative public administration approach stimulated by the United Nations, the emphasis is on understanding the problems of administration operating under different socio –political and cultural settings.

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Another approach is to study public administration in relation to political parties and pressure groups. Public Administration, – doi: /jtbx Author Information Paul Carmichael is a Lecturer in the Department of Public Administration and Legal Studies, University of Ulster.

This present study is important because it questions methodological guidelines presented in Brazilian research on public administration, in particular about the use of case studies as a research method.

The comparative case study approach in public administration

Case Study In Public Administration. Case Study #1 How Kristin Died The case study “How Kristin Died” exhibits the obvious problems that come from neglect of the bureaucratic system and what types of tragedy can occur, as a result. This particular case ended with the murder of Kristin Lardner and negatively altered the lives of many .

Approaches in Public Administration

The comparative case study is the most appropriate approach due to the behavioral nature of examining network dynamics (Agranoff & Radin, ).

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