In Mastering Public Administration, each chapter spotlights a significant theorist in the field, covering his/her life, research, writings, and impact, introducing the discipline's most important scholarship in both a memorable and approachable manner. The combination of biographical narrative with explanation and analysis makes abstract theories understandable while showing how subject scholars relate to each other in their work, providing much needed context. The book's chronological organization shows the evolution of public administration theory over time. With the new edition, the authors will be adding mini-chapters that link contemporary scholars and their research to the seminal literature.
Chapter 6: Organizations as Systems of Exchange
Organizations as Systems of Exchange
Photo from Associated Press.
In the works of Chester Barnard, we reach the culmination of the trend, noted in the writings of Follett and Mayo, toward considering authority to be cumulative in nature—that is, arising from below rather than emanating from the apex of the organizational pyramid. At the same time, Barnard provides a conceptual justification for Mayo's assertion that the organization must learn to respond to the needs of subordinates as they perceive them if it is to be effective in accomplishing its objectives. Both considerations are rooted in Barnard's conceptualization of the organization as a system of exchange.
Taking these propositions in reverse order, we can trace the idea that subordinates’ needs must ...