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Under administration is generally understood to administrative activities , associated with the procurement of own or others' affairs, and usually in an institutional framework, such as agencies , public institutions , companies or other associations of persons take place.


The term administration is used inconsistently in many specialist areas , so that a separation into public administration and private administration appears sensible. The public administration can act in the form of public law , then there is sovereign administration . If it acts in private law , one speaks of fiscal administration . Hartmut Maurer defines public administration as the future-oriented and predominantly case-by-case-oriented social structure that is oriented towards the public interest, is based on legal and personal initiative. The term administration is usually associated with public administration, the main activity of which is the handling of foreign affairs. In the case of companies, on the other hand, the administration performs cross-sectional or service functions and largely takes care of the company's own business. The task of organized administration consists of a complex of tasks that realizes the timely, task-related recording, supervision, management, control and responsibility for dynamic systems according to stable regulations. In this sense, all bureaucratically structured companies in politics , religion , economy and culture operate administrations. The science which is interdisciplinary with the management as object of cognition apart sets, is the administrative science .

Sociological basics

The cultural style of an administration depends on its leadership and, in a broader sense, on the respective state and its society . The courts of monarchies (if they are hereditary monarchies ) often had and still have hereditary offices . Church administrations often presuppose ordination . Entry into the administration of the Chinese Empire was only possible after difficult (including literary and calligraphic ) exams. During the Enlightenment (e.g. in France , in the Rhineland , in Bavaria , Prussia and Württemberg ) own styles of " rational " administration were created. Dictatorships prefer administrations with extensive control tasks ("cadre administration") to maintain power and to have docile staff.

Specialist administrations - such as a hospital or the inspector system of an estate administration - always require specially trained staff ( clerks ).

Public administration

Public administration encompasses all activities that the state or another public-law community develops to achieve its purposes under its own legal system and which are neither legislation ( legislature ), jurisdiction ( judiciary ) or government ( gubernative ). Therefore government activity ( governance ) is not part of administration in the strict sense. What remains from the separation of powers is the executive , entrusted with administrative tasks , whose administrative actions are primarily expressed by authorities or other public institutions. The Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG) defines the authority as a body that carries out public administration tasks ( Section 1 (4) VwVfG). The administrative procedure is the external activity of the authorities aimed at examining the requirements, preparing and issuing an administrative act or at the conclusion of a public law contract ; it includes the adoption of the administrative act or the conclusion of the public law contract ( § 9 VwVfG). The forms of action of the administration include (visible) administrative services in that the administration makes payments , issues warnings , sanctions , bans or permits or sets legal norms .

Self-administration exists when state administrative tasks are transferred to legally independent organizations ( legal person under public law ). This self-administration exists at the federal level ( federal administration , Bundeswehr administration ), with the states ( state administration ) and with municipalities ( local administration ). The administrative competence of these administrative bodies consists in the fact that the administration, as the executive branch, executes the laws prescribed for it through administrative action.

Administration is an indispensable part of the power division of the modern constitutional state ( constitutionalism ). In the constitutional state, the administration is bound by law and statute (cf. Art. 1 Para. 3 Basic Law ). The main problem for successful administrative action is the large number of goals that administrative action should fulfill at the same time ( conflicting goals ). Administration is faced with a number of dilemmas, such as the need for openness to participation and efficiency, which cannot be dealt with by the administration, but only through political decisions.

Under spectrum management to any government understands department (public authority), responsible for the measures to fulfill the obligations under the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the International Telecommunication Convention and the Administrative Regulations for the radio service is responsible (Radio Regulations).

The central content of the administration of the national territory is the internal administrative structure , which includes the scope and competence of the regional authorities . In addition, the administration of land as private, legal or public property is regulated in the cadastre and land register .


The private sector administration is part of the organizational structure of companies or other associations of persons. In companies, administration represents a cross-sectional or service function within the operational functions , whereby the functional activity of an administration department comprises a work area with all the tasks that cannot be properly assigned to other operational functions. These administrative tasks are usually a department , the administrative department , transferred . It is a service point that performs central support tasks for all management positions in the company. The administrative tasks usually include all tasks that are usually not to be regarded as typical of the company and can be found in all branches of the economy such as archives , printing , reception , vehicle fleet management , canteen , material management ( procurement of work equipment such as office supplies , machines ), personnel management of commercial staff ( caretaker , House technicians , cleaners ) or post office (inbox, mail distribution, outbox). The administration is in the Cost Center Accounting an indirect cost center , the administrative costs caused.

Some companies perform certain administrative activities for their customers as a business purpose and offer, for example, property management or asset management as a service . In this case you are mainly responsible for administrative work for foreign affairs.

Property Management

Rental properties

The property management company is usually a company that management tasks such as processing of payments running, contact with tenants, service and maintenance of a property on behalf of the owner.


The condominium management is on the one hand a task (the management of the common property), on the other hand an organ that fulfills the aforementioned task. It is subject to the Condominium Act and takes care of all the business that is necessary for the proper management of the property, which may only include common property. These include B. Conclusion of insurance contracts, maintenance contracts, energy purchase and procurement of caretaker staff. As part of proper administration, an annual business plan and annual accounts are also drawn up and an owners' meeting is called at least once a year .

The rules for property management are specified by the owner (s ) , laws and other contractual partners (caretaker, garbage disposal , maintenance company, etc.).

Commercial objects

From a certain complexity commercial real estate no longer be supported by property managers, but by a Facilities Management is understood, by which the administration and management of buildings, facilities and equipment ( English facilities ). This term has also been standardized for use in German through its inclusion in DIN EN 15221-1. Facility management includes the professional handling of technical, infrastructural and commercial tasks that are not part of the core business of an organization, but support it.

Asset management

The asset management (including English asset management ) deals as financial services to the management of foreign assets . In this sector there are asset management companies that are subject to banking supervision (they are correctly called "financial portfolio management" under banking supervisory law) in accordance with Section 1 (1a) No. 3 KWG and non-regulated companies. Management is not limited to advising clients on investment , but investment decisions are also made independently by the asset manager.

Data management

The data management ( English data management has) especially when using microprocessors and microcontrollers extremely complex tasks and decisive influence on their performance in data processing .

GDR administration

In the GDR there was administration and the main administration at department level in the sense of a staff department or main department that is otherwise common in Germany . The name was derived from the translations of the Russian управление uprawlenie for "administration" and Russian главное управление glawnoe uprawlenie for "head office".

National Peoples Army

In the National People's Army (NVA) of the GDR, there were military administrations in the Ministry of National Defense . The administration was a management level comparable to the staff department or main armament department in the BMVg or the chief or main directorate of NATO and was led by a professional soldier of the rank group of the generals, usually major general or lieutenant general / rear admiral or vice admiral .

In addition, the MfNV had the main political administration , which was led by a colonel general or an admiral . In the commandos of the three branches of the armed forces there was an independent political administration , which was led by a lieutenant general / vice admiral.

Ministry of State Security

In the Ministry for State Security (MfS) there was the main department or line in the top organizational structure at department level.

Other administrative activities

The company law meant by the administration, the bodies of the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board of the Company (see. § 120 para. 2 AktG for relief ). The general assembly may ask the administration questions in order to exercise the right to information.

The forced administration is a type of execution for the legal enforcement of claims from creditors against the debtor , in which a sequestrators the yield of affected property of the debtor (rental income, rental income) withdraws the debtor and transfers its creditors to satisfy his demands. The confiscation deprives the debtor of the administration and use of the property ( Section 148 (2 ) ZVG ).

The insolvency administrator has the legal task of carrying out the insolvency proceedings , whereby the administration and realization of the bankruptcy estate is in the foreground. In this case, the authority to administer and dispose of the debtor's assets is transferred to the (provisional) insolvency administrator ( Section 22 (1) InsO ). In order to be able to manage the bankruptcy estate, the insolvency administrator must take possession of it extensively and actually .

See also


  • Bogumil / Jann: Administration and Public Administration in Germany. Introduction to Public Administration. Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-531-14415-4
  • Renate Mayntz: Sociology of Public Administration . 4th edition, 1997, ISBN 3-8252-0765-X
  • Gunnar Folke Schuppert: Administrative Science . Baden-Baden 2000, ISBN 3-7890-6763-6
  • Hans-Ulrich Derlien / Doris Böhme / Markus Heindl: Bureaucratic theory. Introduction to a theory of management. Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 3-531-17816-4
  • Wolfgang Seibel : Understanding administration: an introduction to the history of theory. Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-518-29800-8 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Administration  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Frank Puchert: Decision factors in public administration using the example of wind energy in the Aurich district . 2010, p. 21
  2. Raban Graf von Westphalen (ed.): German government system . 2001, p. 443
  3. Hartmut Maurer: General Administrative Law , 2006, § 1 Rn. 9-11
  4. Otto Model , Carl Creifelds : Citizens' Pocket Book: Everything worth knowing about Europe, the state, administration, law and economy with numerous diagrams . 2003, p. 229
  5. ^ Dirk Ehlers, Martin Burgi: General administrative law . 2010, p. 586