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 Friday, March 23 2018 1:40am Hongkong Time

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POSDCORB orthodoxy 1926-1946

Approximately forty years after President Woodrow Wilson's The Study of Administration was published, Leonard White [2] published his essay Introduction to the Study of Public Administration in 1926. The essay later became the theoretical foundation for other second-generation scholars like Gulick to re-formulate and re-develop comprehensive, generic theories of administration of public organization (Stillman, 2005, p. 20). Gulick's theory stressed on the use of scientific method, importance of efficiency, professionalism, structural reform, and executive control and he summarized the basic duties of administrators with an acronym: POSDCORB, which stands for planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting.

The main conceptual framework of POSDCORB originates from an objective, logical and rational perspective of public administration as a series of sequential functions of the government. It was thought to be revolutionary because it was the first time that POSDCORB, a then new idea of public administration developed in the early 1940s to view the government in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and also from the perspective of governance. The prompt adoption of this new model was also an immediate result of the Great Depression (1929- 1939) and World War II (1939-1945), which both called for the urgent need of a "military-like government" that is both responsive and effective in nature.

Although POSDCORB was later replaced by other newer ideas and concepts, the quest for a more effective and responsive government had proved to be a very valuable beginning.

Post-WWII to 1970s: Domino effect and the social science heterodoxy 1947-1967

The POSDCORB advocacy, though still being debated, did not manage to withstand public criticism when public expectations rose substantially and expected the government to take on much greater responsibilities in terms of education, science, military, and public works (Stillman, 2005, p. 21). This is especially true at times when the domino effect seemed to have emerged and the U. S. Government had to send its troops to "intervene" into other countries' businesses.

Believed to have first appeared in the 1950s (and up to 1980s), the Domino Theory was an alleged theory promoted at times by the U. S. Government, claiming that if one country in a region falls under the hands of the communists, then the surrounding countries would follow sooner or later, in a domino fashion, as artistically described as in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Illustration of the Domino Theory on a Map of Asia
Illustration of the domino theory on a map of Asia. Retrieved on December 20, 2010 from

With the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, or alternatively, with the "fall of China" into the hands of the communists, U.S. government's belief in the "domino effect" strengthened and hence, among various other reasons, led to its "participation" or "intervention" in the Korea War and the Vietnam War in the early 1950s and the 1960s, trying to keep the "Asian dominos" from falling. However, such intervention, together with the beginning of the Cold War, the massive military buildup, and the space program against the Soviet Union, all triggered the call for a more responsible and transparent government toward the people, especially after World War II when the U.S. had gradually become a world superpower and as the leader of the capitalist free-market model (Stillman, 2005, p. 21).

POSDCORB, which was once believed to be an effective theory for public administration, was then considered by many as insufficient to cope with the needs of the time and so was eventually challenged by a flourishing congregation of new ideas. And POSDCORB, together with these new ideas, was hence left to become the many alternatives in the expanded field of studies of public administration. The new alternatives in the expanded field of public administration were developed to fuse and be in line with multiple directions of development in various other emerging fields like social sciences, political sciences, psychology, cultural studies, business, and economics, etc. and such a post-war period, seemingly characterized by the departure from the accepted old school of beliefs, standards, or the status quo like POSDCORB and Wilson's 1887 essay, was later known by other public administration scholars as the "Social Science Heterodoxy". In fact, some scholars, like Robert Dahl, who emphasized the values of "realism, behavioralism, and science" as a "realignment of governance" (Stillman, 2005, p. 21), challenged the dichotomy of public administration and politics and questioned the value of public administration as its own science. The post-war period, undeniably marked a new era in the studies of public administration.

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Note 2: Leonard White (1891-1958) was a historian of public administration who studied administration in the context of grouped U.S. presidential periods

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COUNT ON THE STATISTICS  100% Towels (c) Daniel Chittka
Photo © Daniel Chittka

This new section contains some interesting statistics in bribe and corruption, please check back for more as we pile up our numbers!

It's statistics time!  Using n-gram: kickback, graft, bribe and corruption - Comparison of their historical occurrences from 1810 to 2009 A.D.

  The word guanxi (collocation) and meanings of bribe: Deeply rooted, disgusting, sad endings

Looking for a good book (c) Doug Logan
Photo © Doug Logan
tagged by area of interestBY AREA OF INTEREST
Pragmatics: Politeness trends from the historical perspective of global trade
Computer mediated communications: Social network – Came riding the waves of amazing coincidences
Language acquisition:
A critique on "A corpus driven study of the potential for vocabulary learning through watching movies"

Grammatical analysis: "When a linguist stumbled upon a Buttonwood"
Lexicon and the corpus: "John Sinclair's lexical items – an introduction"
tagged by regionBY REGION • Anything AsiaUS Presence in Asia
Communist ChinaNationalist TaiwanHong Kong and MacauJapanKoreaSingaporeMalaysiaPhilippinesPakistanIndiaAfghanistanVietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and MyanmarTimor-Leste and IndonesiaMongoliaNew Zealand and Australia
tagged by topicsBY TOPIC • BiofuelRhino and elephant poachingAmerican movies hit China marketChina Internet censorshipChina's outward FDI opportunitiesGlobal rice yield
Island disputes in Southeast Asia | Senkakus-Diaoyu and historical findings | Dokdo-Takeshima | Spratly, Paracel, Scarborough | Kurils

For those you who don't have time to read all our news excerpts about the Asian island disputes (links above), you may find the following video, "The economic impact of a war between Japan and China", very enlightening.

© Minute MBA: More from

Free Pussy Riot!
Free Pussy Riot!

Photo © Igor Mukhin, retrieved from Wikipedia

"This trial is another example of the Kremlin's attempts to discourage and delegitimize dissent. It is likely to backfire." John Dalhuisen, Director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme

 More from Amnesty InternationalFree Pussy Riot

How it started – Pussy Riot Prayers, February 2012

08/17 Pussy Riot imprisoned on hooliganism charges
08/17 The only professionals in sight
08/19 Pussy Riot protesters arrested in Marseille
08/20 NZ PM – Sentence 'disproportionate'
08/20 Pussy Riot fear their kids being put in care
08/22 German supporters face criminal charges
08/22 Pussy Riot – it's carefully calibrated
08/23 Russian church-state corruption unveiled
08/23 Putin's secret weapon: The Orthodox faithful
08/24 Putin-nominated watchdog slams convictions
08/31 'Pussy Riot ritual killing', man detained
09/03 Orthodox deacon speaks over verdict
09/06 Putin denies part in 'Pussy Riot case'
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09/19 Punk group to transfer to remote penal colony
09/21 Aung San calls on Moscow to release RP
10/01 Sentence appeal delayed until Oct 10
10/10 Katya freed, 2 years for Nadya and Masha
10/16 Masha and Nadya sent to remote labor prison

BBC • Pussy Riot women begin life in prison

11/16 Merkel challanges Putin on imprisonment
11/22 Maria Alekhina transferred to solitary cell
11/28 Tolokonnikova's appeal case goes to court
12/24 Extremist videos appeal adjourned

01/15 Masha's sentence deferment denied
02/01 PR civil claim granted right to appeal
02/07 Pussy Riot files complaint with ECHR
03/06 Ombudsman asks court to overturn verdict
03/08 Protesters detained in Moscow
04/13 PR gets reprimand: parole problematic
04/21 PR defense seeks abolition of conviction
07/26 Parole denied, PR remains defiant

The Knife supporting PR at Pukkelpop

08/17 Against verdict on PR – Day of Solidarity
08/23 PR seeks mitigation of remaining sentence
GLUCK ON SOCIALISM AND CHINA Asia (c) Robert Churchill
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Professor Sidney Gluck (c) Sandi BachomI am honored to have obtained Professor Sidney Gluck's (right) permission to allow me to repost here some of his work and interview related to China and socialism. Professor Gluck is professor emertius at the New School University in New York. A classical Marxist, Gluck has been studying China for 60 years in history and modern development. He has lectured all over the U.S. and still welcomes engagement at the age of 94 – photo © Sandi Bachom


Usman Khurshid on Mike McCune's HD Monitor with Paths logo with Maartje van Caspel's Public Space
I am proud to announce that the website is now carrying the technology updates from Usman Khurshid's Usman is a network consultant and works in a mixed environment of Windows and Linux platforms. He likes to study about the latest advancements in computer technology and shares his views on his blog.

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COMING 2014 – COMPUTING CORPUS Active Network Hub (c) Phil Sigin-Lavdanski
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Oh, please do not get me wrong. This new section is not about computers, electronics or any engineering stuff, but rather I am currently constructing a new corpus based on Spectrum, the monthly publication from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers USA, from July 2007 to date. Having been a member for over 20 years since 1992, I am always fascinated by some of the terms scientists use when they talk about or envision their new inventions or methodologies. How many of them eventually come into practice? Could there be some insights we could possibly derive, from the linguistics perspective?


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