Cover: Specialists vs. Generalists --A Miss-Question.

Specialists vs. Generalists --A Miss-Question.

by Yehezkel Dror

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Abstract

A critique of the specialist vs. generalist issue as a meaningless controversy plaguing public administration. It reduces a multiplicity of attributes to two patterns, assuming a necessary internal relationship that excludes other combinations. It may be that in the past, a country's class structure and educational system tended to produce administrators with these clusters of attributes. Now, changes in socioeconomic backgrounds of students and advances in knowledge and teaching of social sciences and systems theory and analysis make it possible to speak of trying to educate professionals who can deal with problems in a broad, innovative and open-minded way--"experts in generalism." Similarly, new patterns of civil service management (e.g. rotation and exchange of position, sabbatical leave) may do away with rigid careers based on and perpetuating specialist-generalist assumptions. The real problem hiding behind the specialist-generalist facade is how to develop new types of public administration professionals and achieve a synergetic mix between a variety of differently qualified persons. 10 pp.

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