Public Administration is an institution of central importance in almost all the countries in the world. It has emerged most impressively in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America after they attained independence.
In these countries, the role of government and the nature of its tasks are no longer limited to minimum traditional functions of law and order, defence and revenue collection. The government in these countries are entrusted with developmental and national building activities. Since the developing countries are engaged in rapid socio-economic transformation under the leadership of government.
The Organization is large and sophisticated and its process is more complex. It gets increasingly difficult to coordinate specializations at various policy and operating levels. The PA department performs the vital task of weaving sectional and individual interests and practices in to the matrix of group functioning, that is the organization. Organization had hitherto looked at the Personal department for management of paper work involving hiring and paying people. More recently, organizations consider the human resource better suited for the task. PA plays a significant part in both regulatory and policy planning functions. Though in change, theoretically, of traditional POSDCORB functions, Personnel administration today ventures beyond theoretical postulates. The coverage of HRM has expanded to more enveloping domains in the discipline and profession, throwing open possibilities in the art, science and craft of management theory and practice respectively.
PA administration is therefore understood as the all significant art and science of managing people in an organization. It’s significance lies in the fact that physical and monetary resources cannot and do not sustained increased rates of return on investments, unless complemented and implemented effectively by good human resource practices which reflect in best standards of productivity and service delivery. Increasing research output in behavioural sciences, new trends in managing knowledge workers and advances in training methodology and practices have laid to substantial expansions of scope of personnel administration functions in recent years, besides adding to its understanding as a theoretical area of enquiry.
Historically, the beginning of human resource or personnel administration is traced to Robert Owen and his large spinning mills in Scotland. Charles Babbage and Henry Towde is also associated with it. The latter being more applied and scientific in nature has since then developed along highly specialized lines. It has branched out specifically along the domains of applied psychology and sociology. It has evolved around the concept of welfare state. The theory and practice of personnel management is based primarily in psychology and sociology of human resource. Blunt suggested that in the late 1970’s and even in to the early 80’s , the discipline concern with the human side of the enterprise was largely regarded as covering moribund housekeeping operational activities. Hegg points it out as the contrast between the aspirations of normative model and of the failure to deliver as reflected in the behaviourist model.
All the activities of any enterprise are initiated and determined by the persons who make up that institution. Plants, offices, computers, automated equipment, and all else that a modern form uses are unproductive except for human effort and direction- Rensis Likert.