First, the former social and cultural issues must be reconsidered, criticized and corrected. Only in this way can theories claim to improve our understanding of life in public organizations.
Second, public administration is about the general people’s life; it is about the society as a whole. Theorists must address the broad social and cultural issues to avoid take a very narrow or mechanical view of their topic. Addressing broad social and cultural issues ensures that their studies make the general advancement of humanity.
Marx developed his theory based on Hegel’s view of history. Hegel thought that existing circumstances must be removed in order to ensure the continued extension of reason and freedom. Hegel thought that all ideas are produced in the process of conflict and conciliation. Hegel viewed the process of history dialectically. Marx developed his “historical materialism” theory based on Hegel’s view. He thought that human beings make their history under the circumstances given and transmitted from the past. It is important for Marx to address Hegel’s understanding of history to conclude that capitalism is the product of classes’ struggles in history.
Weber addressed Marx’s emphasis on the relationship between economic conditions and patterns of social change. Weber thought that change could be propelled by other non-economic forces–traditions and belief. The interests expressed in changing societies are not merely economic; they relate as well to the world of ideas and ideals.
Marx showed that the world may not be as simple as it may appear. He argued that the complex social processes may be driven by economic relations that are unconscious. Freud developed Marx statement. He thought that our waking life is guided by unconscious desires and repressed memories out of sight and the conscious mind.
In a word, addressing broad social and cultural issues provides these theorists the base and direction of doing their research. For public administration, addressing broad social and cultural issues provides the theorists a broad and general view of the society and the world. As far as public administration, we develop theories rather than create new ideas.