Free «The Good in Our Bureaucracy» Essay Sample

Bureaucracy is one of the most important practices in modern government system which helps to structure administration process and establish formal relations between state institutions. Theorists have defined adaptive tasks in public administration, the mastery of which signals successful adjustment. There are the control-related tasks of managing panic and other problems, dealing with the environment, and preserving adequate relationships with personnel. In this case, strict hierarchical structure of the state apparatus and bureaucracy are important elements of control and management.

Bureaucracy allows effective control systems which have a great impact on professional life determining the main standards and expectations. Control systems will motivate employees to acquire new skills and knowledge and develop themselves. Based on strict bureaucratic organization, management requires adequate resolution of a search for meaning, the ability to retain mastery over one's life; and enhancement of self-esteem. Successful self-management requires sufficient knowledge about the public administration and its management to make informed decisions about health care, the performance of activities to manage the public administration, and the application of skills to preserve adequate psychosocial functioning. Many researchers focus on the individual's experience as indicative of adjustment. For example, the experience of greater fatigue, pain, or nausea compared with others undergoing similar managements would reflect less positive adjustment (Bovens and Hart, 1996).

Functional status and role-related behaviors also can indicate adjustment. Return to work has been used as an adjustment index in many studies of those undergoing cardiac events, for example. Other examples of functional status include mobility, completion of physical rehabilitation, and ability to adhere to management regimens. First, adjustment to public administration is multidimensional, including both intra- and interpersonal dimensions. Within these realms, intraindividual adjustment comprises cognitive (e.g., intrusive thoughts, self-evaluations), emotional (e.g., depression, anxiety), behavioral (e.g., return to work), and physical (e.g., symptom reports) functioning. Interpersonal adjustment often is relevant with regard to both personal relationships (e.g., family, friends) and relationships with health care providers (Daly, 1999).

Planning and control are two crucial parts of modern bureaucracy. The modern management depends upon and is influenced by effective management solutions and strategies. Planning and control are concerned with setting goals, establishing policies and programs, and implementing action for the entire society. Its major tasks are to translate needs, actual and potential, into strategies able to protect millions of people in situation. State administration requires quality improvements and new methods of prevention and intervention. Planning and control play an important part in bureaucratic system as they help management to provide administrative and supervisory activity of an entity. Different types of controls are not simply a limited specialized activity, but rather a perspective for the entire public administration team.

Different types of controls do not function as a separate entity in the scenario planning, nor is it more important than any other primary activity. Bureaucracy allows managers and military personal manage, delegate, and coordinate resources, and they provide a system of incentives to encourage and support behavior. Managers and military personal establish reporting systems, perform evaluations, and allocate accountability. The traditional definitions of bureaucracy have concentrated on and described the management process. What a manager does is vital, but descriptions do not address the function or purpose of management (Drechsler, 2005).

Successful bureaucrats have the gift for inspiring and motivating employees; they have vision and lift the spirit of employees to accomplish great ends. The release of human possibilities is a essential leadership goal. Still, it is significant to differentiate moral and just leadership from the character of despots who, by definition, are effective leaders if they accomplish their goals through persuasion. For the agricultural contracting company, leading similar to leadership, is ethical. Managers mobilize and assign resources; they guarantee the continuing vitality of the staff; they generate and maintain appropriate procedures (Hughes, 2003).

In quality control, it is important to consider not only the valences of adjustment dimensions, but also their duration and interference with one's functioning and goal pursuits. It is recommended that researchers carefully consider their assumptions with regard to what constitutes positive adjustment, tailor their assessments to the theoretical question of interest, recognize that any particular assessment is likely to provide only a snapshot of circumscribed dimensions of functioning, and limit their conclusions regarding adjustment accordingly. Public administration should be based on strict quality standards and principles of health and wellness priorities (Ocampo, n.d.).

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In the broad sense, of course, administrative officials--whether in independent regulatory commissions or in executive agencies (or, mutatis mutandis, in private organizations)--lack the power of ultimate decision. They may initiate and influence the enactment of legislative measures, but they cannot by themselves turn their proposals into law. They may interpret the laws they are to administer, sometimes in such a way as substantially to modify them; they may even enact subsidiary regulations that have the full effect and force of law; but their acts and their interpretations remain subject to legislative and executive, not to speak of judicial, review. In a real sense, too, the bureaucracy, by virtue of its fears of legislative investigation and budgetary curtailment, no less than by its own innate pride and its allegiance to the values of the larger community, cannot always be said to be unresponsive to the popular will (Drechsler, 2005).

Nevertheless, there is a sense in which the remoteness of the bureaucracy--or of certain portions of the bureaucracy--from both the indicated superior officers and from the public that is affected by it is in some cases such as effectively to remove it from ready direction and control.

This is especially true where the bureaucratic unit--which seeks not simply to achieve the ostensible purpose for which it was created, but also to increase the power and prestige of its officials--successfully surrounds itself with an aura of secrecy, so that few know or can feel competent to judge what that particular unit does. It is a first fact of politics, after all, that whatever the administrative charts may show concerning the hierarchical or pyramidical structures of power, the lines of responsibility are informally rather than formally determined In some cases, indeed, they are so convoluted and successfully hidden as to make it almost impossible for the outsider to discover whether they exist at all. Con- sequently, for a president or a cabinet minister, for example, merely to enunciate a policy is sometimes a most ineffectual thing. His subordinates, if they disagree with it, may sabotage it. If they are carrying on an activity in a manner disapproved of by that superior, his official instructions to them to cease such activity may meet with verbal acquiescence but actual neglect. And where bureau chiefs, division heads, and members of regulatory commissions find that they are largely ignored, or that they are not being held strictly to account, they often tend to go off in directions of their own choosing, or, what is sometimes worse, not to move at all. In effect, then, the bureaucracy can and at times does act independently of, even in opposition to, the popular will. And to the degree that it does so, it limits or defeats the principle of political responsibility (Daly, 1999). Consequently, whether state leaders identify the principle of responsibility with absolute majority rule or with a majority system that provides for some form of qualified majority rule, the problem of oppression remains. There are some respects in which majorities cannot, in any absolute sense of the term, be formed. But there are others in which, by contrived and customary means, state leaders keep majorities from being formed (Daly, 1999).

Thus, the idea of responsibility, which is by all odds the central principle of democracy, is in some measure corrupted. The people do not rule, at least not in the sense that a simple majority can have its way and not in the sense that the lines of political and administrative responsibility are unimpeded and readily susceptible to popular control. To the extent that they may be said to rule, to the extent that a majority (or a qualified majority) can be said to have succeeded in translating its will into law, the people have not always ruled democratically; they have sometimes upheld rather than dismissed the despots who acted in their name. But if such institutions are established, the people (or the majority of the people) no longer rule, in which case it is hard to see what claim the state has to being called democratic. State leaders cannot logically have it both ways. This is not to say that those limitations have staved off none of them. It is quite possible to argue that in the absence of legislative and judicial checks, the executive in America might have proved--in some cases at least--to be no less oppressive than an absolute monarch, and that in certain instances it was only a judicial veto that prevented the despotic impulse of a Congress and a President (when acting in concert) from becoming law (Peters, 2001).

The American system attempts to combine both principles, which is logically and (in the strict sense of the term) factually impossible. Consequently, what the American system does is to espouse both but to practice neither. It vests a measure of responsibility in the people, not because the people are held to be infallible, but because there is, in democratic terms, no suitable alternative. But it also vests an effective power of restraint in variously formed minorities; it accepts, even if ambivalently, the principle of minority checks on majority rule (Peters, 2001).

This is all the more true when state leaders recognize that bureaucracy is a principle of government that looks primarily to a method or process through which conflicts in moral and political ideas can be negotiated. It establishes a procedure for the tentative resolution of disagreements; it does not formulate an answer to such disagreements. Consequently, the appeal to democracy is an appeal not to a fixed and final solution but to a method through which a solution--admittedly tentative and experimental in nature--can be obtained. It is true that majorities do not always decide wisely, and that the right method can therefore be said at times to produce a wrong result. But so long as the integrity of the method is respected, that result remains subject to continuing inquiry, to criticism, and to the possibility of change. The appeal to tradition is in one sense improperly included here, for it is not, fundamentally, an appeal to principles at all. By substituting tradition for principle, it denies that principles --or the search for principles--can provide a rational guide for political conduct (Thompson and Miller, 2003).

Bureaucracy begins with the assumption that the institution is a uniform, intractable structure directed in minutiae by control. Although very much authoritarian, the personal nature of real authority gives way to impersonal "policies" and "procedure. Bureaucracy becomes not a set of specific plans to be realized but a continuing desperate attempt to write enough regulations to control every aspect of the organization, to be enforced by the guardians of the establishment. And the control is strictly top-down, issuing in mandates without commensurate resources or authority; there is no bottom up, except the accountability for carrying out dictates. Bureaucracy not only takes on the characteristics of the institution, it reinforces them. Rather than changing the system, planning is adapted to the defense of the system. Customer and supplier wants and needs are central to the marketing concept.

Bureaucracy must use research findings and concepts that will help in determining actual and potential wants and needs as a basis for guiding decisions. Strategy is the process of deciding how to best position the organization in its competitive environment in order to achieve and sustain competitive advantage, profitably. Others include networks, consortia, leadership councils, and citizen panels. Regardless of its form, strategic alliances generally share certain characteristics. Usually, they work well when members gain access to new information, ideas, materials, and other resources; when duplication of services and competition is minimized and consensus decision making is maximized; when the potential for each member to maximize power and influence is achieved; and when responsibility for addressing complex or controversial issues is shared across member organizations (Kilcullen 1997).

In sum, the bureaucratic structure is very effective as it stipulates strict division of powers and controls over state administration. Bureaucracies are forestalled when members' resources are diverted unduly to the alliance, when the alliance focuses on issues that are not of core concern to members, or when the alliance delays in taking action due to a slow and cumbersome process for reaching consensus finally, coalitions that evaluate their mission, goals, objectives, and activities regularly are more efficacious than coalitions that are not privy to such self-evaluation data. Organizations that achieve high levels of each of these processes and outcomes are more likely to create a favorable organizational climate, such as greater group cohesiveness, which in turn has been shown to be related to greater satisfaction, participation, and performance. Likewise, there is a body of research illustrating that citizen participation in the research and intervention process not only has the potential to improve the quality of life for communities and individuals but it can also increase the quality of data collected by researchers.


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