Public-Private Distinctions Essay

Submitted By ypf0620
Words: 1614
Pages: 7

Public-Private Distinctions

In modern society, an increasing number of public organizations, such as nonprofit sectors and branches of government, become popular in our daily life. At the same time, public administration faces problems in management. So scholars began to compare the difference between public and private organization. Some reformers sought to make public administration” more business-like” and people devoted to this perspective treat management principles as the same whether they were dealing with public agencies or private firms. The business management approach to public administration carries with it a particular perspective, which emphasizes control, performance measurement, objective setting, and the systems necessary to implement them, such as budgeting reforms. However, there is significant difference between public and private organization, like ownership, funding, economic authority and political authority. So the author thinks that the injunction that public managers can learn useful lessons from private managers is worthy of serious, but cautious, consideration.

In the reading materials, Boyne analyzes the concept of publicness and argues the distinctive features of public organization. He pointed that the three dimensions of publicness including ownership, funding and control are not only conceptual but also empirical. Whereas private firms are owned by entrepreneurs or shareholders, public agencies are owned collectively by members of political communities. In other words, the primary constraints are imposed by political system rather than the economic system. We all know that, unlike private counterparts, public agencies are founded largely by taxation rather than fees paid directly by customers. They depend on the taxation and donations from citizens to provide service, as the author said in the materials.

I somewhat agree with the point of the author. At the beginning, public agencies focus on how to get enough funding to survive, rather than how to perform well like attracting more professional and experienced managers, allocating advanced equipment and establishing rational management system. But every organization have life circle. When they get one peak, they will fall quickly until die out. And with the development of society, more and more private agencies, some of which have the similar service with the public ones, arise quickly. In private agencies, owners and shareholders have a direct monetary incentive to monitor and control the behavior of managers. Facing the furious competition, in order to survive, public administration start to draw lessons from the private organization. For example, they create performance measurement to assess the manager and employees. The higher efficiency and quality of work, the more reward people will get. So even though managers themselves do not own company like in private organization, they could benefit form better performance because their pay is also linked to financial success. Obviously, property rights in the public sector are no longer diffuse and vague. They also have motivators to perform better.

Just as Bozaman said in the book:’ all organizations are public’. In other words, no organization is wholly public or private, especially in China, one-party system. As an international student, I am not familiar with the American special circumstance, so I want to take Chinese company and public organization as an example. In recent years, non-public party building is very popular in private companies. The government encourages managers in private organizations establish the public party to learn the policy of the government and political event. Private agencies not only focus on the economic benefit, but also more and more focus on the requirement of the citizen, to satisfy the society’s demands. For public organization, some of which have already make some business to attract more clients to chose their service to get more funding, or