Ecology and administration


The word ecology is derived from biology which suggests the interdependence between animal species and its natural environment.In public administration thinkers like J.M Gauss ,Robert Dahl,Riggs highlighted environmental effects on administrative structure and behaviour. What are the different perspectives of Ecology and administration?

The basic premise is that public bureaucracy may be regarded as one of the several basic institutions in a society.They are continually interacting with each other.Hence knowledge of ecological dimensions can aid in scientific development of public administration.The practical importance of such a perspective lies in the insights it provides in policy formulation.

Administration is culture bound ,There may be similarity in formal organizations among different administrative set up,but their formal and behavioral pattern shows diversity.Riggs fused diffracted and prismatic societies with different features like heterogeneity,formalism,overlapping highlights this.In Nigeria ,political and cultural factors are reasons for north south divide impacting bureaucratic evolution.This is visible even in administrative set up of Germany and Britain.Thus there is close affinity between culture and administrative sub system .They are bound by many thin but strong bounds to their societal values highlighting the importance of Ecology and administration.

The cultural values are however not immutable.The constant interaction between both redefines the role of public administration.Such an influence is not unidirectional. Public administration also influences culture as is seen in Asia and Africa where, in the absence of other institutions public administration playing a modernizing role.Ecology and administration thus influences each other.

There are different levels of interaction between culture and administration.

1.Social environment and Public Administration

Human factors is a product of society,The point of view and attitude he develops in society influences his decision .The parallel between associative and administrative behaviour shows that structure of associational logic have been transferred to public administration. Associational pattern thus shape conduct of administration.

In the areas of recruitment,promotion etc Public administration is affected by the class structure which can be open or closed class system. Society’s attitude towards change ,nepotism,favoritism,corruption influences public administration.For eg, corruption is widely practiced based on social acceptance in a society.

2.Political environment and Public Administration

Political environment is also influenced and influences public administration.This is however not wholly segregated from social milieu. When political set up has low level of national commitment ,its impact is in the form of decision making by bureaucracy.When there is national assimilation ,official and public share same language and value system and the communication becomes easier.

In an environment of social equality ,preference is given in order of rank,everyone strives to establish his hierarchical position so that administrative procedures reinforces rank orders in a society.These differences are noticed in recruitment to public administration in a traditional and modern society.

3.Economic environment and Public Administration

Where there is low economic development,there is low administrative capability.When there is low administrative capability,there is low level of goal achievement in economic life..Low salaries in public administrative services correlate with low level of economic development.Riggs studied American economy in relation to American administration wherein social values as “commodities” and marketization influenced administration.Public administration as well influences economy by regulating it.Economy cannot survive without administrative system.

Thus it can be summarized that public administration does not operate in vacuum .It is influenced by the ecology and inturn influences each other.Ecology and administration thus influences each other.

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