Public Admin Environment Questions

Public Admin Environment Questions
Instructions: There are five (5) scenarios/prompts on the exam with two
questions related to each scenario. Your responses will be evaluated based
upon how well you justify your answer. Please make your answers concise
and parsimonious. Each scenario is worth 20 points and the exam is due by
midnight on 2/22.

1. Our system of governance is predicated on the separation of powers.
Powers are separated horizontally through separation of powers and
vertically through or system of federalism. Please assess these
separations of power by responding to the following two questions.

a. Please select a program or policy of interest to you. Provide a very brief
description of the program/policy and discuss the roles of the Congress,
President, and Supreme Court in the creation and implementation of this
b. Please select a program or policy of interest to you. It may be the same
program/policy that you discussed in the first question. What roles do the
federal, state, and local governments play in relation to this program/policy?
Do you think the framers would agree with the current roles of the levels of
government in relation to this issue?

2. Our system is both a democracy and a republic. As a democracy, people
participate in their own governance and consent to be governed. As a
republic, we elect representatives to make decisions and represent our
a. Given your knowledge of American democracy, do you believe we are more
of a democracy than a republic? Or, are we more of a republic than a
democracy? Justify your answer.
b. As we know, our system is predicated on social contract theory. Using the
Constitution as an example, discuss three of the limitations on the federal
government in this social contract. Are these limitations stronger or weaker
than in the late 1700s?

Public Admin Environment Questions
3. The term “public” is an important aspect of public administration. It truly
distinguishes what we do from what our colleagues do in the private
a. Why does the “public” aspect of public administration impose heightened
accountability standards upon us as administrators? Why is it so difficult to
impose accountability and ethical standards on the public sector?
b.  Is public administration a discipline? Why or why not? What are the
implications of considering public administration as a discipline?
Public Admin Environment Questions

4. Public and private organizations often have similar responsibilities and
duties. However, there are some important differences as well. Consider
the case of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Fed Ex. These
two organizations have similarities but also differences. Be sure to utilize
the Allison article in responding to the following prompts.
a. Please identify and discuss two (2) similarities between the USPS and Fed
b. Please identify and discuss two (2) differences between the USPS and Fed

5. The organization theory literature demonstrates that the search for one
unifying theory is dead. Determining how to structure and manage public
organizations is a function of context and situation as opposed to any
overarching theory.
Public Admin Environment Questions
a. Discuss the development of classic organization theory. How are the
theories of Weber, Taylor, and Gulick similar? How are they different?
b. Contrast the classical approach to human relations/human resources and
systems theory. How do these theories differ from the classical approach?

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