Simon takes of salvaging administrative theory because he thinks that “principles of administration” as really only criteria for describing and diagnosing administrative situations. Simon calls it an “impasse” of administrative theory.
Simon declares that before a science can develop principles, it must possess concepts. The first task of administrative theory is to develop a set of concepts that will permit the description in terms relevant to the theory, of administrative situations. These concepts, to be scientifically useful, must be operational that is, their meanings must correspond to empirically observable facts or situations.
The task of an administrative theory is concerned with how an organization should be constructed and operated in order to accomplish its work efficiently.
The Simon’s “Principle of efficiency” is fundamental principle of administration that among several alternatives involving the expenditure that one should always be selected which help to the greatest accomplishment of administrative objectives. Simon shifts his stand and calls it not “principle” but definition of good or correct administrative behaviour.
It may be objected that administration can not aspire to be a science that by the nature of its subject it can not be more that an “art”, whether true or false, this objection is irrelevant to the present discussion. Even an “art” cannot be found on proverbs. Simon is confident of reconstruction of administrative theory.
Simon is full of extreme sense of satisfaction and confidence that he may be able in constructing an adequate vocabulary and analytical scheme. Simon blows hot and cold in the same breath.
To be sure, the Literature of administration has not been lacking in theory any more than it has in descriptive and empirical studies. What has been lacking is a balance between these two, so that theory could provide a guide to the design of “critical” experiments and studies.
Distinction between ethical and factual matter helps to explain the nature of administrative science. Scientific propositions are statement about the observable world and the way in which it operates.
Ethical prepositions are expressions of preferences we are to establish whether principles of administration qualify to be considered as scientific propositions or these are simply ethical is content and character. Science is of two kinds theoretical and practical. Scientific proposition need to be stated in the following form:
“In order to produce such and such a state of affairs, such and such must be done. ” This sentence contains imperative quality. Science is concerned with the factual aspects of meaning, but not with ethical practical sciences differs from theoretical science as those terms have been used here, only in their ethical aspects.
Simon says that, proposition about administrative processes will be scientific in so far as truth and falsehood, in the factual science, can be predicted of them i.e. of truth or falsehood can be predicted of a proposition concerning administrative processes, then that proposition is scientific.
Terms “good” or “bad” do not render in any scientific reasoning to administrative process to be ethical. Procedures are termed “good when they are conducive to the attainment of specific objectives. Factual element in proposition relating to administration makes up the real substance of an administration science.
The task of discovering regularities underlying social phenomenon is much more difficult. Experimentation, two, is not in relation to social objects the same as it is in case of physical sciences because social science deal with conscious human beings whose behaviour, is influenced by knowledge memory, and expectations.
A practical science of administration consists of propositions as to how men would behave if they wished their activity to result in greatest attainment of administrative objective with scarce means.