Dhaka University Institutional Repository

Women in Public Management in Bangladesh

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dc.contributor.author Kamal, Masuda
dc.date.accessioned 2019-12-10T10:53:43Z
dc.date.available 2019-12-10T10:53:43Z
dc.date.issued 2019-12-10
dc.identifier.uri http://localhost:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/1556
dc.description This thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in The University of Dhaka. en_US
dc.description.abstract Constitutional mandate, quota system women, women friendly rules and regulation as well as education policy of government widening women's access to education from rimary to tertiary, all together, pave a way for women's employment in pu ic service of Bangladesh. Consequently a significant number of women are ptering into the higher civil service and their presence in Public Administration is now a universal in Bangladesh. They are equally working every where both at field and central administration, and some of them are also holding highest position in the different offices and ministries. Despite of all the realities women are new comers in public administration which does mark a shift in women profession in context of Bangladesh but also a cultural shift so far women's behavioral role is concerned. Women have to face difficulties to set in new and unknown work environment outside family and acquire the expertise to effectively and efficiently perform their duties within a formal structure as well as turbulent environmental supra-system. Government's intervention with some policy and institutional measures in this context help remarkably women to sustain in their job in public services. Induced by the process of globalization and encroachment of market economy there is a remarkable shift in the theory and practices of public administration throughout the world, a global level behind paradigm shift in public administration. In addition to that government's commitments to development in the economically backwards countries and prescriptions of donors have already brought about some substantives changes in the approach, structure, process and functions of public administration in the developing countries. The goal of government shifted to development and public administration assumes the role of development administration. Public administration does not have any scope to give up its traditional role; in fact it acts as the foundation for development administration. Development administration in undertaking and implementing different programs and projects accommodating all these realities is to depend on management capabilities that strongly adheres it to management orientation and consequently public administration goes into a paradigm shift to public management. Development administration is better to identify as public management in practice that exposes a complicated management process always accompanied by risk, stress uncertainty and environmental tensions. How female civil servants are coping themselves in the masculine work environment and complying with the requirement of public management and thereby development administration has created a new field of intellectual enquiry. The present study aims at identifying women's role in public management in Bangladesh. The present study is very significant for its relevance to public management and women's involvement in it. It portrays a current picture of upazilla administration from public management perspective in concurrence with the role of a female UNO within it. The main research questions are as follows: (1) How does UNO formulate strategy for development efforts? (2) How are the internal components managed by UNO? (3) What are the problems UNO faces in managing externalities? (4) How does UNO maintains professionalism?(5) How is result orientation ensured? Multiple methodologies inclusive of qualitative, quantitative and mixed approach have been to ensure objectivity, validity and reliability of the research. Seven upazilas with female UNO as the executive head from seven divisions of Bangladesh were selected for the purpose of the study and total 77 respondents were interviewed for the purpose of the study. Public management is a special form of management in public context and public commitment. It offers a new way of looking at and carrying out management functions within the public sectors. Public management in its essence is an open system approach to public administration with emphasis on management for result and performance orientation in public setting. It is the function of public and management for achieving the goal of government. When public administration is viewed as the function of organization and management to achieve government's goal, then organization plays the role of anatomy and management plays the physiological role. Lynn identifies three distinct perspectives of public management such as (i) structure of governance, (ii) craft and (iii) institution. Classical literature understood management to be the responsible and lawful exercise of discretion by public administrators. In this view, public management is a structure of governance. In contrast, recent literature has tended to view public management as a craft, that is, as skilled practice by individuals performing managerial roles. When public managers respect constitutional restraints and routinely evince values that are widely held to be legitimate and appropriate (rather than narrowly partisan or self regarding), then public management becomes even more: an institution of constitutional governance. 'Public management as an institution observes "rules of practice", that is, de facto restraints on or guides to behavior, that ensure their legitimacy within a constitutional, or de jure, regime.' Lynn concludes that in its proper understanding public management is structure, craft, and institution: "management", "manager", and "responsible practice". In other words public management is the function of management manager and responsible practices within the environmental supra-system. Public management is also considered as a profession or vocation that integrates managerial and political responsibilities within a single a framework. It starts with organizational and political analysis both at conceptual and practical phases and becomes functional through organizational and political behavior. Public managers are professional in organizational behavior. They are not politicians any way but they need to understand the political agenda of the government not as like the supporter of the political party in power or of the opposition but from the perspective of citizen's interest. Public management compnses three sets of activities (i) strategy (ii) managing internal components (iii) managing external constituencies. Strategy addresses a crucial concern for positioning the organization to face an increasingly uncertain future. It includes political dimension and creates focus, consistency, purpose for an organization by producing plans, ploys, patterns positions and perspective. It establishes objectives and priorities and formulates plans to achieve the objectives and address the priorities. Managing internal components the second main function involves staffing, setting up structures and systems, directing personnel and controlling with a view to achieving the objectives identified by strategy. Managing external constituencies, the third function of management upholds the open system view of organization where organization is always in interaction with the different units of environment for importation of inputs and/or exportation of output. Functionally it is difficult to single out public administration and public management from each other since the later provides an approach to conducting public administration consisting of new ways and outlook. Likely it is also difficult to find out public management system of a country separated from its public administration system. Bangladesh public administration within the constitutional framework of an independent nation state is assigned with the role of developmental goal achievement alongside its traditional role in maintaining law and order, revenue collection and upholding justice. It started its journey from the British colonial administration in India, went through military dictated authoritarian Pakistani regime and bears the legacy of history. The characteristics of colonial administration like rigidity and hierarchical structure, centralization of authority, isolation from the people, devoid of social obligation, close system attitude, administrative corruption and other vices still constrain the functioning of Bangladesh public administration in many ways. However, complying with its developmental objective that demands positive and planned change in the society and life of citizen it has been undergoing through several changes in its structure, process and approaches over the last few decades after its independence in 1971. The constitution of Bangladesh provides the basic objectives and framework of public administration in Bangladesh. The Part II of the constitution deals with the fundamental principles of state policies .There are 18 articles (from the Article 8 to Article 25) in this part where the Article 15 highlights the objective of state, that are the objectives of public administration too. Public administration system of Bangladesh based on the constitutional provisions consists of the legislative, judiciary and the executive organs of the government and local government bodies. that the constitution of Bangladesh portrays a comprehensive framework Public Administration within a democratic governance system. Guidelines related to the three branches of government, the legislature, executive and judiciary as well as Xl local government that constitute the basic structure of public administration, are clearly spelled out in the constitution. Bangladesh expenences several changes in respect of the forms of government with corresponding changes in the constitution that affect the public administration and management system in the country. The overall administration of the country now can be divided as the central administration and field administration. Including the legislature, the cabinet, ministries, divisions, secretariat, constitute the first tier of central administration. Central administration is responsible for policy decisions and steering the entire administration at the national level. Field administration consisting of divisions, districts, upazila administration and local government bodies is responsible for executing the decisions taken by the central administration. The country is geographically is divided into seven administrative divisions. There are 64 districts and 485 Upazilas in Bangladesh. The administrative units are headed by the Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners (DC) and upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNO) respectively. There are local government units at district, upazila and union levels named as Zila Parishad, Upazilla Parishad and Union Parishad. Besides these local government units Pourashava and city corporations in the urban areas are playing their own statuary role in the state governance. Among all the local government units upazila parishad plays the most significant role in the public administration system of Bangladesh due to its integrative functional relationship with the state bureaucracy at the grassroots level under the headship of an elected chairman. Compared to other organs/tiers of public administration public management is more intensely functional in the upazila administrative system of Bangladesh. Upazila administration as the grassroots level organ of the government has direct interaction with the society and works with the elected local government, the Upazila parishad not only in integrative manner, also under the headship of an elected chairman and in pursuance with the decision of elected upazila parishad and instruction of central government simultaneously and coordinated way. It implements the different development programs of the government managing complicated national and local level socio-political dynamics. Consequently upazila administration through a long process of evolution has emerged as the most vital point of public management in Bangladesh. The practice of public management becomes evident in planning and implementation of development project. The UZP Chairman is the head of the system where UNO plays the role of chief executive within lots of complexities in formulating strategies, managing internal components and facing the externalities. In a male dominated transitional society like Bangladesh it is presumably very difficult on the part of a female civil servant to effectively and comfortably play the assigned role with a group of male intensive working group on whom she does not have any formal controlling authority. Public management in upazila administration is a complex system of three interactive subsystems such as (i) Structural subsystem (ii) Functional subsystem and (iii) Political subsystem that strives to achieve some of diverse and interrelated objectives within the dynamics of environmental supra-system. The objectives are also both national and local in nature having developmental, service and socio-political dimensions. The upazila public management system by its constitution, works under the administrative guidance, supervisions and control of the central government and local authorities. Two sets of actors, political and administrative, act as the driving forces in the upazila public management system. Upazila Nirbahi Officer plays the role of executive head in this system. It is hardly Xl11 possible on the part of any body to play this role without excellent administrative and professional capabilities, political wisdom, social orientation and skill crisis management. Findings of the study explore that women are very much capable of performing their role as public manager. Upazila administration is a very complex and difficult areas to exercise public management approach to public administration. Heterogeneities, conflicts and uncertainties dominate the sociopolitical and administrative realities at this echelon of public administration. Accomplishment of the core functions of public management comprising formulation of strategies, managing internal components and dealing with external intervening factors demand high level professional expertise, spirit and commitment. Professionalism in public management has both organizational and political dimensions. Female UNOs are found to capably formulating strategies and implementing the strategic goals of the central and local government within their functional coverage. They show a noteworthy level of organizational and political expertise. They exercise an open system approach to leadership and make a harmonious balance between political will of the central and local authorities without exhibiting any political cadre like behavior. This expertise enables them to found a wider support base and crop extensive cooperation that make effective in their role. Upazila public administration is a very complex, difficult as well as unavoidable field of public management. He/she, who has capability to conduct public management at upazila level, can be considered as the effective manager at all higher level of public management. Analysis of the findings of the study ascertains this fact. Women in public management in Bangladesh has to cross a number of overlapping stages such as recovering, preparing, entering, harmonizing , performing ,challenging and consolidating stages. Female public managers, XIV from the study are found to discharge their responsibilities successfully in Upazila administration. Analysis of the study shows that gender identity has hardly any influence on their perfonnance. Women still face a number of problems at personal and family levels including dislocations in the family, paradoxically dual responsibilities and security problems. If these could have been solved at a satisfactory level, their perfonnance would certainly become higher in public management. But if the existing problems affecting the personal life are not solved on urgent basis there are every chances of slowing down of their perfonnance. Bangladesh Public administration for achieving its developmental objectives through participation has no other alternative but to exercise public management approach at all levels. On the other hand for the purpose of empowering women and utilizing their potentials in public service is also equally important. Women are new comer in public administration and they enter into public administration when the later is in a transitional phase. The traditional desk oriented as well as the value free politics administration dichotomy approach to administration that has been dominating public administration centuries together does not go with the demand of development democracy and market economy. The public management approach by this time get momentum in administration in a much unplanned way . It is assumed that the part of women the new comers in public administration would hardly be able to hannonize them with the public management approach and steer public management in the country. The findings of the study deny the assumption and uphold the fact that gender identity is not at all a hindering factor for women to have footing in and mastership over public management in Bangladesh. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Dhaka en_US
dc.title Women in Public Management in Bangladesh en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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