Thus Riggs attempts at theory building in the field of Public Administration are exercises in the construction of modes adopting structural, functional, systematic and ecological approaches which are designed to help the analysis of development processes throughout the world, but more particularly in the so-called developing societies.
The first typology constructed by Riggs to the administrative system in a comparative context was the “agraria” transit-industrial typology which was formulated during the year 1957.” In this model Riggs differentiated between two types of societies where agricultural institutions dominated. Riggs has identified certain structural features of agrarian societies, which are as follows:
(1) There is a dominance of scriptive, particular and diffuse patterns, (2) The local groups are stable and there is very limited spatial mobility (3) Occupational differences are very simple and stable. (4) A differential stratification by diffuse, impact.
On the other hand, industrial society has various characterisations: (1) There is dominance of universal, specific and achievement norms, (2) The degree of mobility is higher. (3) Occupational system is well developed and cut off from other social structures. (4) Egalitarian class system based on generalized patterns of occupational achievement and (5) Associations are also prevalent which are functionally specific and non-ascriptive in nature.
Between these two ideal, types was the society of “transitia” which represented a transitional state between the agrarian and the industries. Soon after his typology was formulated Riggs realized that there were certain limitations in this typology summarised as:
(1) “Agraria-Industries” typology is not helpful in studying the transitional societies, i.e. those societies which are moving the agrarian stage towards the industrial stage. (2) The system does not provide sufficient mechanism to analyse mixed societies, since modern industrial societies always have some agrarian features. (3) The typology assumes a unidirectional movement from the agraria to the industrial and (4) The model gave very little emphasis to the analysis of administrative system. The major stress was on the environment of the administrative system.