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Research Articles

The Human Resource Component and the Role of Societal Membership in the Public Administrative Organization in Pre- and Post-Colonial Sri Lanka

Authors:

C.M.Y.S.S. Bandara ,

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
About C.M.Y.S.S.
Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management Studies
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K. Dissanayake

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, LK
About K.
Department of Management and Organization Studies
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Abstract

Public sector management in Sri Lanka has a long history which goes centuries beyond colonial administration. With the introduction of the colonial administrative system, drastic changes were made in the traditional indigenous public management mechanism that existed in pre-colonial Sri Lanka, resulting in extensive modifications in the human resource component. Although both traditional and post-colonial societies have been researched under many aspects, attention paid on the social organization in a human resource management perspective, focusing the human resource component and the role of organizational members in the administrative effort is near to the ground. Thus, this paper aims at distinguishing the attributes of traditional and post-colonial public administrative organization of Sri Lanka, with special emphasis on its human resource component and the role of societal members in the public administrative domain. Further, this paper searches the possibilities of reframing the role of citizens in order to improve the public service in the modern era, utilizing the themes underlying the attributes of the traditional system. This, being a desk research, the secondary data gathered for it from archival sources was comprehensively reviewed and analyzed with the support of memoing and constant comparison, in order to arrive at conclusions. In the traditional system, public administration was organized extending its structure over the entire social organization and all the societal members were acknowledged as direct stakeholders of the public administrative organization, constituting its human resource. In contrast, the colonial administrative mechanism formed a separate organization consisted of officers to manage the public affairs. As a result, the societal members’ role as active members of the public administrative system diminished and the citizens became mere service receivers. Alienation of citizens from direct involvement in public services created a sense of loss of ownership which made ground for less accountability, less responsibility and less commitment in communal matters. Even though the contemporary society is quite different from the traditional context, the shared values arising out of the traditional system may open new arenas for enforcing the commitment of citizens for better management of public resources and services by increasing their involvement.

How to Cite: Bandara, C. M. Y. S. S., & Dissanayake, K. (2018). The Human Resource Component and the Role of Societal Membership in the Public Administrative Organization in Pre- and Post-Colonial Sri Lanka. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Review, 3(1), 42–58. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jsshr.v3i1.5
Published on 01 Mar 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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