Difference Between Public Administration and Private Administration

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Public Administration and Private Administration

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As suggested by the name itself, ‘administration’ means having authority over something/someone and running that particular part effectively. Furthermore, it is categorized into two parts that are public and private administration. These are connected with handling the tasks of a private enterprise and also of a public administration. The companies handle their administration in various ways. Some particular criteria are laid down by every enterprise for their effective code of conduct. The ways that are sorted out for the respective types of enterprise are unique and different in their functioning and conducting ways.

Public Administration vs Private Administration

Public companies generally lay down their code of conduct and rules in such a way to run the non-profit organizations, the management of companies run by the government is taken care of by the public administration. Henry fayol laid down specifically 14 principles that adequately describe the correct way to perform administration in any type of enterprise.

Private companies lay down their code of conduct to run the enterprise run by individuals without government interference, the main aim of such companies is to earn a profit, and generally, these companies are not political.

Both of the administrations are somewhat similar to one another as the similarities were spotted a long time ago. Each of them follows the rules laid down by the government, and the techniques of management are also similar i.e., planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, and directing. They follow the same basic task which is keeping the books of accounts, following the accounting year, paying taxes, etc.

Difference Between Public Administration and Private Administration in Tabular Form

Basis Public administration Private administration
Definition The administration of government-owned enterprises is generally in the non-profit-making firms. The administration of non-government-owned enterprises i.e., profit-making firms owned by individuals for their purpose.
Political influence As these are under the control of the government, they must take and follow the directions provided by them, resulting in no self-inspired task. These have nothing to do with the political direction. They can go unique through self-motivation.
Work motive The motive of these firms is not to make a profit, rather they focus on the welfare and well-being of the citizens. The only motive of these is to make a profit, if the collaboration with any enterprise/ any other task does not earn them a hand full amount of money then the administration prefers to stay out of it.
Nature of work These focus on providing services to the common man, specifying a socialistic point of view. These focus on an economic point of view rather than focusing on the fuss of the common man.
Prestigious position These have a socially prestigious value as they provide services, this is the thing that attracts the common people. These do not receive such prestigious value as they are not serving services to the common people.
Monopolistic They have a monopoly in the market i.e., they do not allow the common people to compete with them in the market, as the railways are a major example. They do not have a monopoly in the market i.e., they allow other individual enterprises to manufacture the same commodity and compete in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.
Costing At the time of rendering service, just the cost of the product is compensated by the implication of tax such that the public can take the advantage of public administration. As the main motive is to earn the maximum, so the urge is to have the greatest possible margin in the cost and selling price.
Financial control The decisions regarding finance and administration are taken by two different authorities. The reason behind this is the money of the govt. must be spent wisely and meticulously. All the decisions of the firm regarding the finance are taken by the firm on their own, no third party has the right to interfere or to get into the decision-making power.
Uniformity The treatment of every consumer is uniform as there will be no personal advantage of any employee into doing the unfair treatment of anyone. There may be unfairness in treating customers accordingly to their status and virtue as there will be no legal action or pressure on them.

What Is Public Administration?

The main objective is to make public policies and codes/ rules. As it is involved in the policymaking process, it can be seen as an integral part of the political processes. While making laws, one should be aware of their implications after implying them. The same task is performed by these companies in their administration by working on each of the three levels that are- judiciary, legislature, and executive.
Being a cooperative grouping, it is also said to come up along with the private companies, thus making up a collaboration type of enterprise. The government strictly and purely initializes the administration in these. Public administration provides adequate rights and funding, whereas the private will contribute the best of the human resource in the administration.

Types of Public Administration

Classical Public Administration

In 1887, ‘the father of public administration,’ Woodrow Wilson, and Max Weber gave this theory, in which he specifically talked about the division of labor and how it is centered. All the factors that are leading to modern times and advancing every single thing should be kept together with a single thread of central bureaucracy. All the functions and systems will thereby be connected and coordinated effectively. The focus was to create an impersonal chain of command to be a bureaucratic yet successful firm.

New Public Management

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom started this movement in the early 1980s. This part was more of a modern approach for mainly getting de-bureaucratization and going towards privatization. It has its core drowned in the motive to get more efficient and to get financially built up. It focuses on giving more authority to the senior-level management such that the decision-making power becomes wiser and firmer. The setting of the target, controlling the financing, and money’s value to one are the main focus of this part.

Postmodern Public Administration

These focus on the antithesis of the relativity of each group of persons belonging to different cultures and traditions. They show their implications on the mindset of the common people. This approach was made to make reinterpretations and to have a modernist approach towards society and lifestyle. It aimed at creating a sense that no single artistic style or approach should be adopted. Rather the top-class lifestyle/ popular people and the general masses must be taken into single account to derive any of the above.

What is Private Administration?

A private company adopts a commercial point of view, with an aim in the mind and heart to fulfill all the personal aspirations of the workers and the owner of that organization. The administrative part, that is, decision-making, setting objectives, and policies, and laying down a code of conduct is done all by the individuals running the enterprise or the ones that are legally been specified the right to do so as the enterprise is non-political, the government has got no right to bulge into the day-to-day administration.

The basic tasks of the firm are planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. These are managerial tasks and must be done with a proper forum, this is all sorted out by the administration. As said above also the private administration has no government control as well as the ownership and control of the enterprise are also private and individualized. The advantages of this administration are many, limited liability, easily transferable shares, owning property on their own, and also have the right to sue and to be sued individually.

The market forces affect the greater part of the private administration as it does not have to bother the governmental executive forces as it is not a part of the civil servant department or any other. The private sector adopts the 3E’s policy to make the bridge of righteous work by their administration, i.e., economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. As the private sector mainly focuses on the advanced level of work system, they generally prefer to outsource their basic task and let the highly-skilled staff focus on high-level research and tasks. Fayol’s principles are strictly followed in these companies to maintain discipline level and decorum.

Types of Private Administration 

Central Administration 

These are the administrative responsibility at the core level, which generally deals with the information technology part of every company in the private sector. This is mainly playing a key role in every firm as the portable computer systems are handled by this only. Handling the technological part is an integral part of every developing and developed enterprise. Not only handling but also maintaining the records and doing digital marketing is the task laid on the central administration. The resources that cannot be utilized fully without the process being done is one of the major tasks of this administration or authority.

Individual Administration 

Getting on the personal level of authority, there is no such computerized base of getting into the task. It all relies on the persons at the higher managerial level or the other officers of that particular organization in power. The day-to-day decisions and even the deadlines/ objectives are to be declared and decided by the individuals, not by the technology. As a result, it is also an undetachable part of the private administration as no enterprise can survive for long without skilled human resources. These individuals are the ones taking the enterprise close to the growth prospects the employees and all other workers have regarding the development.

A Combination of the Above Two

A private enterprise that has both the technological knowledge, skill, and system along with adequate human resources, which can have proper decision-making power and the needed managerial skills, will be powerful and successful. This type of enterprise would be strong and stump in every prospect as they will have all the two types that are to be a strong human power and also be technologically wise. The execution of the central system of the firm will get smoothened with the boosting of non-artificial intelligence skills.


Both administrations are in many ways seen to be similar as well as contrasting at times. The approaches made by each of them are yet to be discovered even till now. The public administration proved to be a boon to many as it provides services for the welfare of the general men, thinks righteous of us, and gives away the goods and services at a nominal price, i.e., just to cover the costs of the finished good/ service. Not denying the fact that private companies have also served us a lot and are trying to get better every moment since the goods/ services provided by them are of unique and great quality but not every person is capable of buying them, and the prices are set according to the cost implied and the profit margin they expect from the consumers according to their goodwill and image in the market, the profit received is not spent into welfare deeds rather it is saved and distributed under the management and employees at every level accordingly. The companies have a different set of authorities as one has one of its main objectives to do public services while the other one focuses on earning a profit. They do their task accordingly to the aim of the deed. Being a citizen, we must be aware of both the administration and the tasks they are undertaking for production.


  • Mohit Bhattacharya New Horizons of Public Administration, New Delhi, Jawahar Publishers and Distributors. Pp 32-38 chapter 3
  • Google Wikipedia 
  • Awasthi Maheshwari Public Administration, Agra, Laxmi Narayan Aggarwal.



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"Difference Between Public Administration and Private Administration." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 17 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-public-administration-and-private-administration-1093>.

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