Monday, February 21, 2011

Fred W. Riggs - The Theory of Prismatic Society (III)

To build on these previous posts:

The context of Prismatic Theory was from the Comparative Organization Group (CAG) of the American Society for Public Administration.

During the late 1950's, CAG received a grant of $500,000 from the Ford Foundation to study comparative public administration. The goal was to improve public administration in developing countries. At the time, many probably believed that more effective public administration would stimulate economic growth. Of course, Ford, Inc. perhaps saw this effort as a way to sell more automobiles.

I am not sure that the effort achieved the intended goal. However, I think what is clear is that there are perhaps no specific principles of public administration applicable to all countries.

Further, I am not sure the influence of politics was adequately studied. For example, in China there is only a single political party that permeates both public administration and business. Even businesses that are not "state owned" still have Communist Party members in senior management positions who make decisions based on government (and political party) policy.

I need to reread the work of Prof. Riggs sometime. It is interesting.

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