government. Notable among the scholars and policy-makers who were quick to notice the deficiencies in the government administration of their day, and to urge the need to improve the system, was Woodrow Wilson. In 1887, when he was Professor of Political Science at Yale in the USA, he stressed the importance of studying the administrative institutions of government. He stressed that the task of public administration was to straighten the paths of government, to make its business less un-business-like, to strengthen and purify its organization, and to crown its duties with dutifulness. Therefore, it must be borne in mind that since Wilson’s time, many writers on public administration first in the USA and in recent times in Britain and Europe have sought to emphasize the importance of the concept of efficiency in the functions and processes of governmental administration. We have known from the previous discussions that public administration is a social science and that as a social science discipline, it is closely related to other social sciences. Like other social sciences, it has various approaches to the study of the discipline. However, the emergence of public administration as a separate and independent discipline of study can be traced back to the year 1887, when a young political scientist, Woodrow Wilson published an article entitled The Study of Administration, in which he advocated the need for an independent study of administrative aspects of government. The earlier scholars regarded public administration as a part of study of political science but with the advancement in science and technology as well as the increasing complexities which arose due to greater interference of government in administrative activities, public administration became gradually conceived as a separate independent field and thus an important discipline of separate study and research
6 The study of public administration has been approached from various angles. A brief analysis of the different approaches is as follows: POL 123 INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 48 i. Mechanical Approach: This is the earliest approach to the study of public administration. Its main advocates were L.D. White, W.F. Willoughby, Taylor and Warner. These thinkers concentrated their attention on the question of achieving efficiency in public administration. Taylor believed that the problems of efficiency were alike in private industry and public administration. He held the view that one could discover the best way of principles of managing everything. His method was to break down workers, experiment with different work methods and procedures, and finally adopt those which proved most efficient. He was concerned with mechanical efficiency and viewed administration as a technical problem. The basic idea underlying the mechanical approach is that administration is a mechanical organization and that we can find out certain principles which will make the organization function efficiently.