What is Bureaucracy?
Bureaucracy is a term used to refer to an administrative way of arranging huge numbers of persons who have to work together. Public and private organizations such as governments and universities depend on bureaucracies to operate. The literal meaning of the word bureaucracy is ruling by offices or desks. This definition emphasizes the impersonal nature of bureaucratic systems. Thought bureaucracy appears to be wasteful and inefficient, bureaucratic systems help in ensuring that thousands or hundreds of people are able to work together in harmoniously by defining each person’s role within a hierarchical structure. Bureaucrats in governments undertake a wide range of tasks. Besides paper work, they conduct tasks related to monitoring federal funds, firefighting, teaching and much more. In government, the work of a bureaucrat is to execute government policies by taking up decisions and laws crafted by elected leaders and implementing them. In some cases, they do so by developing rules and regulations and in other instance, they execute the policies directly, for instance, disseminating business loans or offering treatment to veterans in hospitals.
Importance of Bureaucracy
Though the disadvantages of bureaucracy standout most of the time, bureaucratic systems are not necessarily bad. For instance the bureaucratic rules ensure the Food and Drug Administration takes the necessary precautions in protecting the health of citizens in America when it looks into issues relating to approval of new medications. The bureaucratic process that documents have to go through ensures that there is sufficient data to analyze and correct a problem if or when it arises. The impersonal nature of bureaucracy also has its benefits. For instance, an applicant is required to provide a huge amount of documentation in order to qualify for a student loan from the government. Though it is a long process and can be frustrating, such a process ensures that all applicants are treated equally which means every person has a fair opportunity to access the loan. In such process, bureaucracy discourages personal favors and in well managed organizations, political affiliations and friendships do not influence funding outcomes.