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Dwight Waldo (born September 28, 1913) was an American political scientist. He made a great
impact in modern public administration. His most influential work was The Administrative
State which was published in 1948. He was the vice-president (1976-77), then later, president (197778) of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. His other professional
leadership positions have included the vice presidency of the American Political Science Association
(1961-62), editor-in-chief of the Public Administration Review (1966-77), and the vice presidency of
the American Society for Public Administration (1985-86).
In recognition of his long service to the profession, the American Society for Public Administration
established the Dwight Waldo Award, given annually to an outstanding public administrator. To fully
understand and appreciate his contributions, we need to briefly shed into light the important
concepts of Public Administration prior and during Dwight Waldos time.
When Public Administration was first consciously conceptualized, certain conditions were defined:
(1) politics and Public Administration must be separate entities;
(2) its structure and processes are production-oriented;
(3) specialization of work;
(4) centralization in the name of control and coordination (executive decision-making); and
(5) business techniques are applicable in the public sector.
Because of this, the search for Public Administration as an autonomous science and as a specialized
field was encouraged. Since Public Administration is so diverse a subject, there were those who
proposed new ideas.
One of the widely accepted was the Behavioral Approach. It was primarily concerned with
organization structure and management. It sought to modify or eliminate the hierarchical
organizational structures supported by Traditional Public Administration. Its supporters declare:
(1) focus on the study of actual behavior;
(2) Public Administrations structure and processes are employee-oriented;
(3) expanded range of work functions;
(4) decentralization to appeal to a wider range of human needs, and thus effectively motivate man in
the organization (participatory decision-making); (5) multidisciplinary in focus;
(6) fact-value dichotomy; and
(7) full use of scientific procedures.

Its basic difference from the first approach concerns the way organizations should be structured and
managed. Now, Dwight Waldo wanted Public Administration be noticed as a profession that
connected many disciplines, not independent from them. He asserted that the scientific method
failed to harmonize administration with democratic values. Previous ideas held that public managers
should go for a European style of detached, scientific administration, in which policies were to be
implemented objectively. He also said that public servants should become active, informed,
politically savvy agents of change, whose mission is to improve the human condition and strengthen
democracy. He proposed his four central ideas:
(1) There is an innate tension between democracy and bureaucracy that obliges career public
servants to protect democratic principles;
(2) The separation between politics and Public Administration is false. Public servants hold political
positions that require more than merely implementing policy set by elected officials;
(3) Public servants must negotiate efficiencies demanded by the scientific management movement
with due process and public access to government, and that scientific management and efficiency is
not the core idea of government bureaucracy, but rather it is service to the public; and
(4) a government cannot be run like a business. The Constitution and other democratic imperatives
must be honored.


The administrative state (1984).

The study of public administration (1955).
Perspectives on administration (1956).
Idea and issues in public Administration (1953)
Comparative public Administration
Temporal Dimension of Development Administration (1970)
Public Administration in Time of Turbulence (1971)