Albert Lepawsky

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Albert C. Lepawsky (Feb. 16, 1908 - June 1992) was an American organizational theorist and Professor of Political Science at University of California, Berkeley, known for his work on public administration and public policy.


Administration, 1949[edit]

Albert Lepawsky (1949), Administration; the art and science of organization and management.

  • Administration is sometimes referred to by specialized words such as management or organization, by particular terms such as executive work, or by general concepts such as public administration. Regardless of the name or nature of this supposedly new science, it is an art and technique which reaches far back into the experience of civilized man. For this reason, we include in this book ideas about administration presented by many authorities ranging from Aristotle and Socrates to Wilson and Stalin. Also included are the contributions of some three hundred other writers less renowned but no less convincing as to the importance of administration and its related subjects of management and organization.
    • p. v: Preface
  • Administration, like other fields of knowledge, may be defined in various ways, but there is wide agreement on the following aspects of the subject:
(1) Certain established practices and techniques in society are recognized as constituting the field of administration or management.
(2) These administrative practices and managerial techniques enable the various organizations of a society — its governments and business enterprises, its social clubs and labor unions —to fulfill their responsibilities and to execute their programs.
(3) These administrative techniques are as significant a part of the end result as the actual programs to be carried out.
Although most persons would admit that social ends are dependent upon administrative means, some insist that the techniques of administration are minor as compared with the human objectives involved.
  • p. 3
  • One motive for Henri Fayol's vigorous defense of administration as a subject for serious scientific study was the fact that he saw France, in the period between the Franco-Prussian War and World War I, disintegrating for lack of administrative ability and managerial efficiency. Hoping to make sounder administrative practices available to French civil and military agencies, he fostered the "Center of Studies in Administration" in Paris, as a kind of French Public Administration Clearing House. Fayol was one of the principal consultants to the French government during the crisis period of World War I and a leading participant in the International Congress of Administrative Sciences. Despite his conservative views about French politics, he was in complete agreement on questions of governmental organization with the rising French socialist of those days, Leon Blum, who, as Prime Minister, was later to try out some of the administrative ideas they both held in common. This is... but one of several such instances of agreement on administrative matters among political opposites, an instance which helps to establish the view Fayol insisted upon, namely, that administration is a subject of universal importance.
    • p. 4
  • Brooks Adams advocated that the chief function of administration should be to facilitate social change, or paradoxical as it may seem, to assure social stability by facilitating social change. Great-grandson of President John Adams, grandson of President Quincy Adams, brother of the "educated" Henry Adams, Brooks Adams produced, during the early 1900'S, a series of unorthodox historical essays. Their titles were more radical than their contents: The Law of Civilization and Decay, "The Collapse of Capitalistic Government," and The Theory of Social Revolutions. The last of these is quoted below; the first was regarded by Theodore Roosevelt as a "melancholy" but "powerful" book with "a very ugly element of truth."
    • p. 9
  • Charles E. Merriam... attributed a decisive position to the managers of a democratic society. As Chairman of the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago between the two World Wars, Professor Merriam inspired a generation of students and practitioners of public administration. As a local political leader in Chicago and as a national adviser to liberal American Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt, Merriam recognized the practical significance of public management. In his overall treatise on Systematic Politics, Merriam devoted the final but perhaps the most significant section of his chapter on "The Organs of Government" to what he calls "the managerial organ."
    • p. 14-15
  • Admitting that business and government are both bureaucratic giants, most authorities take the view that an intrinsic difference separates them. This position was expressed effectively by: (a) Professor Wallace Donham, Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard University; (b) Sir Josiah Stamp, an English businessman and public servant; and (c) Professor Nathan Isaacs, also of Harvard University.
    • p. 194
  • THE MOST ELEMENTARY ASPECT of administration is organization the structure of social institutions and their constituent parts, the composition of economic enterprises and their various branches, the organization of governmental agencies and their numerous departments. As it is mainly a matter of structure, organization bears the same rudimentary relationship to administration as does the science of anatomy or skeletology to the field of medicine. An administrative organization can be sketched and charted just as the human body can be physically depicted. Apart from its graphic convenience and its "teachable" quality, however, what intrinsic relationship does organization bear to administration?
    • p. 219
  • MANAGEMENT involves the concrete practices and the observable techniques of administration. Frequently the term management is used synonymously with administration, and it is invariably assumed that a good manager is a good organizer. All of these usages are justified in the general terminology of administration, but in its more specialized sense management refers to the following specific techniques:
  1. Personnel management (Chapter 14)
  2. Budgeting and financial control (Chapter 15)
  3. Planning and programming (Chapter 16)
  4. Research, reporting and public relations (Chapter 17)
  5. Legal procedures (Chapter 18)
  6. Other management procedures and practices (Chapter 19)
These functions may be exercised directly by managers or executives who are primarily responsible for carrying out subject-matter functions, such as sales in business, production in industry, investment in banking, or welfare in government; or they may be delegated to staff members or service agencies specializing in these managerial functions.
  • p. 417

Quotes about Albert C. Lepawsky[edit]

  • Many scholars who studied at the University of Chicago in the 1930s knew him well, due to his role in the intellectual ferment within political science and the other social sciences at Chicago during these years. At the age of 23 he was already a Ph.D. and a research collaborator with Charles E. Merriam. By the age of 27, he had published three books with the University of Chicago Press: Judicial Systems of Metropolitan Chicago (1932); Movement of the Metropolitan Region of Chicago (1933), (co-authored with Charles E. Merriam and Spencer Parratt); and Home Rule for Metropolitan Chicago (1935). Among the best of his publications was a report of the National Resources Committee in 1939, which helped to launch modern research on local government as a component in tri-level federal system that is the foundation for intergovernmental relations in the United States. During these years, he was an active participant in the New Deal, and the ideals of the New Deal remained a cornerstone of his approach to government and politics.
Once at Berkeley, he built upon his concerns with public administration and resource planning to become a pioneer in the field of natural resource policy and the politics of ecological and environmental issues. Students flocked to his courses from departments across the campus. The focus of his teaching, his many publications, and his policy concerns ranged from immediate choices about land use and environmental protection in the City of Berkeley, to broad ecological issues that were played out at the metropolitan, state, regional, national, and international level.

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