Specialists vs. Generalists --A Miss-Question.

by Yehezkel Dror

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback10 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.