Difference & Similarities between Public Administration & Business Administration

Difference between Public Administration and Business Administration.

Some scholars have highlighted the difference between public administration and business administration. The following outlined point differentiates public administration from business administration.

  • Public administration is governed by public law while business administration is regulated by private, mercantile law.
  • The objective of public administration is different from business administration; public administration embarks on non-economic, socio-political objective, while the business administration embarks on economic objectives and most especially interested in profit making.
  • Public administration implements public policies while business administration implements private policies and minister to private corporate interests.
  • Public administration is financed from the public purse i.e. tax payer’s money and such is subject to public accountability. In contrast, business administration relied on private funding i.e. shares, stocks, bonds, bank loan etc. and its only accountable to its financiers.
  • Public administration pursues non-quantifiable objective such as law and order, political stability and national prosperity. It is impossible to measure its efficiency. While in business administration, the height of profitability of business enterprise can be measured.
  • Method of operation adopted in the public sector is different from those adopted in the private sector. Public administration is excessively bureaucratic and devotes a lot of time and effort to keeping records. While business administration is of course business-like.
  • The external socio-political environment exerts greater pressure on public administration than it does on business administration.
  • In public administration, moral and ethics (e.g. self discipline, probity in office, acknowledgement of individual rights and liberties) are of prime concern whereas they are only incidental to business administration.
  • The theory in public administration is different from the theory in business administration, which then, makes the career in both fields different.
  • In view of the fact that the ends, strategies, tactics and the environment of public administration are different from those of public administration, the conceptual or theoretical frameworks considered applicable in both sectors are different.

Similarities between Public Administration and Business Administration.

Some scholars have highlighted the similarities between public administration and business administration. The following outlined point will enlighten you on the similarities of public administration and business administration.

  • Both types of administration are interested in matter of economic as well as socio-political, although the degree of interest will vary depending on circumstances. The concern with the problems posed by the environmental pollution in particular is tempering the ruthless driver for profits.
  • Contrary to popular belief, a significant number of objectives pursued by public administration can be qualified; this is the whole essence of the efforts being made by some scholars to distinguish facts from value in public administration.
  • There is no doubt that public administration implements public policies, but we must bear in mind that these includes private, corporate policies. If for instance, the collapse of some enterprises triggers of mass unemployment, the government cannot afford to dismiss this as private affairs.
  • Public administration may find itself being regulated not just by public law, but also by private, mercantile law (the enactment on hours of work, employment of women, factory conditions, minimum wages, etc.) apply as much to the public sector as they do the private sector.
  • Employee in both public and business administration need to marshal human and material resources to achieve objectives. At times two may find themselves in competition for the same technologies and the same clientele.
  • Since it takes place within a dynamic socio-political environment, business administration cannot pretend to have nothing to do with the public or with issue of moral and ethical confronting society.
  • As a process, public and business administration take place with formal (bureaucratic) organization. If administrators in both sectors are to avoid the wrong of excessive bureaucratization, they will have to make conscious efforts and apply innovative managerial techniques.

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