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Bureaucracy

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Bureaucracy

 

Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy is a body or a group of administrators who are non-elective and involve themselves in policy-making of an institution. The body is organized in a way that it has different levels. A client has to pass through one level before he or she can gain access to the next level. It forms its basis on hierarchical aspect of authority and division of labor. Activities within a bureaucracy work in a routine manner. Normally, different levels have different mandates. A level is answerable directly to the one above it and so on. It can be described as having a complicated way of doing things. Some organizations criticize bureaucracy as being inefficient, lacking flexibility and being complex. Max Weber, on the other hand, claims that Bureaucracy has its own efficiency and business of doing things. He further says that the hierarchies are necessary especially when the company is systematic. This is because Bureaucracy has the capability to eliminate favoritism and maintain order. However, many organizations state that bureaucracy is not necessary, and most of its features should be eliminated to improve management. Nevertheless, Max Weber says that if misused, bureaucracy can lead to a lack of individual freedom by means of rational control as told by argumentative essay writing service as well. Bureaucracy is also opposed because it brings a backlash to the development within the government. According to World Trade Organizations, most of what goes on in Singapore and most state universities in the United States are good examples of government bureaucracies.

Democracy, on the other hand, insists on government ruled by the people for the people. It is a state of leadership where social equality prevails in participation and making of laws. The form of government empowers people because it allows them to participate either through elected representatives or directly. All eligible citizens stand equal chances, and after a free electoral system, elected leaders take the mandate of administering leadership upon the subjects who elected them. Representative democratic leadership is very common presently. Democracy means that when one wins, there are laws that one follows when administering justice and it can be broken down into two forms. Representative democracy is very common - where citizens elect the main leader and a number of representatives who represent them in decision making and law drafting. It is evident where in most countries, a number of elected house members who act as lawmaker’s assist the president/ prime minister in running the state. The second form of democracy is direct democracy, where all eligible citizens participate and influence decision-making by the government.

Why is Bureaucracy's Relationship to Democracy So Conflicted?

In the rule of democracy, bureaucracy works in hybrid especially at lower levels. This is where the elected representatives make appointments to leadership positions, and whose holders are expected to enact rules among the citizens. It is because there are so many leadership positions in the state and the citizens cannot hold elections for all especially the subordinate staff whichis mostly in the implementation of rules and laws by most governments. There is no government that is purely democratic. That explains why government subsidiaries and lower level administrators apply bureaucracy in their administration. However, this is exercised in lower levels that do not have a high impact as it would turn out to be in a dictatorship. Bureaucracy employs its rules among the subjects but with a directive from the democratic government. In contrast to a dictatorship, the elected individuals cease acting within the laws under which they were elected and set those of their own. They then delegate most of their duties to a number of their subjects who act as their puppets which means that if delegates fail to administer rule as stipulated by the dictator, then they risk losing their jobs or even their lives. The two aspects bring about the conflict among bureaucracy and democracy. The difference is, technically, the mode in which a dictator or a democracy would implement bureaucracy in their rules.

Another conflicting aspect between the two views is that there does not exist a clear top down authority in bureaucracy. The levels follow merits of importance and the mode of ranking is hierarchical. If a problem arises, it is first handed to the lowest level authority who should attempt to solve the issue. If the lower level management fails to solve, it hands it over to the immediate upper authority step by step until the problem is solved. It is applied to all other areas of management including decision-making. The levels form a chain of command and the upper you are the higher your rank and the netter your salary. Communication from employees to the administration occurs in a bottom to top mode. The vice versa occurs in a top bottom approach. It means that the management takes a lot of time before it makes a decision depending on the levels of command within the company. In the contrast, a democracy may take a shorter time in decision making because the management has been mandated with many powers by their subjects and can make most decisions on their own, provided they do not work outside the set laws. The top management speaks directly to their subordinates, and the reverse is also true. In the United States, for example, the citizens can address their grievances directly to the house representatives whom they elected. The representatives in turn forward the grievances to the house for debating. If it is a major problem and that which touches on lives of many individuals, then it takes more time before they can make a decision as they will have to scrutinize on all available options. Their decision if then forwarded to the office of the president for assent. If it is security matters or those that need an urgent decision, the president makes a decision with advice from the house or the secretaries.

As observed in many states, the top leaders of the state are mostly democratically elected which makes them fully acceptable to citizens and be trusted in the decisions that they make. However, the world is changing drastically, and the changing political and economic environments call for different paths. Non-elected leaders are common in many countries in the past few years. These countries comprise those affected by political or economic instability/crisis. Examples include countries like Somalia and Egypt in Africa, which have occasionally made with makeshift governments including leaders selected by an independent body comprising of people from different countries. In Europe, Greece has at one time worked with makeshift leaders after a financial crisis threatened to divide the country. The Germans and French selected those leaders on behalf of the Greeks. The leaders are technically undemocratic, going with the notion that democratic leaders have to be elected by their subjects. The governments do not last long as they only act for a short while as the countries prepare for elections, which brings about the contradictions on the basis that one should use when differentiating between the two administrative organizations.

Another conflict arises when democratically elected leaders want to raise the status and powers of bureaucrats to levels of democrats. It means that the bureaucrats will appear to function as if they were democrats. They tend to get along at times with the citizens and the loyalty and trust that they had on the leaders that they elected is reflected to these too. It brings the conflict on the two ideas especially if one of the two parties made unworthy decisions and mostly happens when some administrators avoid taking responsibility for a failed program or one that is under risk of failing. In America, for example, most leaders keep off from the Medicare program because it has received both positive and negative feedback from the Americans. There are individuals who have been alienated and the roles that they play are those that an elected leader should play. There should be an elected leader to give directions on how carry out things. Another example is in Greece when the Prime Minister Mister Papandreou suggested that he would implement austerity program which would not have gone smoothly with the citizens. To save this, his French and German counterparts advised to withdraw the submission and to mandate a technocrat with the task, rather than doing it himself as it would have caused much resistance from his subjects. The nondemocratic practices go against the will of the people in disguise. If a program fails, a leader will pull off so that his puppet will receive the blame. The question arises on how the citizens will react if none of the two leaders will accept the responsibility.

The composition and formation of the two organization structures suggests that the two cannot be fully integrated within the same state. It implies that it is hard for the two to work simultaneously under the same umbrella in their pure forms which attributes to the rising changes in government composition among different countries, and the oppositions that they face from their subjects. If a leader tries to integrate both, he will at some point interfere with his ways of decision and policy making. It is due to the struggle of power between his junior elected staff and the high level of bureaucrats. Some leaders also tend to be dictatorial and employ favoritism in their appointments which attributes to the current high number of dictators in the world as well as the rising incident of leaders ousting forcefully by the citizens. Leaders should understand the difference between the two modes. According to Marx Weber, bureaucracy should create the highest levels of organizations in societies. He believed that bureaucracies should form the most effective form of leadership in masses. People always want true leadership and a person who will act according to their will. It means that authority is not always offered through choice. One may be willing, but the subject denies him the chance. Citizens exercise their democratic rights by denying some people the chance and giving the chance to one of them. Working against one’s promises and their will leads to disappointment among the whole mass.

People often use democracy and bureaucracy interchangeably in different occasions under leadership. However, they show a huge difference despite their close association. The two forms of organization structures are equally important in daily leadership because it is hypothetically impossible to implement only one mode. Both should be embraced and implemented in the best way possible depending on the suitability of each one of them. They give a leader powers to appoint other people to assist him in his ruling. He should make decisions so wisely while putting the will of his subjects ahead of his personal wish. He should also balance on the power of mandate that he gives to his nominated leaders with reference to those elected by the citizens. It will help in making his leadership effective, meaning that he be considered a successful leader and a people’s choice.

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