The word “bureaucracy” stems from the word “bureau”, used from the early 18th century in Western Europe not just to refer to a writing desk, but to an office, i. e. a workplace, where officials worked. A system of government in which most of the important decisions are made by state officials rather than by elected representatives. A state or organization governed or managed according to such a system. An administrative or social system that relies on a set of rules and procedures, separation of functions and a hierarchical structure in implementing controls over an organization, government or social system.
Large administrative staffs are most common in large organizations that need standardized rules and procedures or consistency across a wide range of business activities. “Characteristics of Bureaucracy” Bureaucracy refers to the management of large organizations characterized by hierarchy, fixed rules, impersonal relationships, rigid adherence to procedures, and a highly specialized division of labor. Weber suggests the characteristics of bureaucracy as following : There is the principle of fixed official jurisdictional areas, which are generally ordered by rules, that is, by laws or administrative regulations. The principles of office hieararchy and of levels of grade authority mean a firmly ordered system of super and subordination in which there is a supervision of the lower offices by the higher ones. The management of modern offices is based upon written documents (“the files”), which are preserved in their original or draught form. Office management, at least all specialized office management – and such management is distinctly modern – usually presupposes thorough and expert training.
When the office is fully developed, official activity demands the full working capacity of the official, irrespective of the fact that his obligatory time in the bureau may be firmly delimited. The management of the office follows general rules which are more or less stable, more or less exhaustive, and which can be learned. Bureaucratic Form According to Max Weber — His Six Major Principles Before covering Weber’s Six Major Principles, I want to describe the various multiple meanings of the word “bureaucracy. ” A group of workers (for example, civil service employees of the U. S. government), is referred to as “the bureaucracy. ” An example: “The threat of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings cuts has the bureaucracy in Washington deeply concerned. ” 2. Bureaucracy is the name of an organizational form used by sociologists and organizational design professionals. 3. Bureaucracy has an informal usage, as in “there’s too much bureaucracy where I work. “
This informal usage describes a set of characteristics or attributes such as “red tape” or “inflexibility” that frustrate people who deal with or who work for organizations they perceive as “bureaucratic. As you read about the bureaucratic form, note whether your organization matches the description. The more of these concepts that exist in your organization, the more likely you will have some or all of the negative by-products described in the book “Busting Bureaucracy. ” In the 1930s Max Weber, a German sociologist, wrote a rationale that described the bureaucratic form as being the ideal way of organizing government agencies. Max Weber’s principles spread throughout both public and private sectors. Even though Weber’s writings have been widely discredited, the bureaucratic form lives on.
Weber noted six major principles.
- A formal hierarchical structure Each level controls the level below and is controlled by the level above. A formal hierarchy is the basis of central planning and centralized decision making.
- Management by rules Controlling by rules allows decisions made at high levels to be executed consistently by all lower levels.
- Organization by functional specialty Work is to be done by specialists, and people are organized into units based on the type of work they do or skills they have.
- An “up-focused” or “in-focused” mission If the mission is described as “up-focused,” then the rganization’s purpose is to serve the stockholders, the board, or whatever agency empowered it. If the mission is to serve the organization itself, and those within it, e. g. , to produce high profits, to gain market share, or to produce a cash stream, then the mission is described as “in-focused. “
The idea is to treat all employees equally and customers equally, and not be influenced by individual differences.
Employment based on technical qualifications (There may also be protection from arbitrary dismissal. ) The bureaucratic form, according to Parkinson, has another attribute.
The role of bureaucracy in the politics of Bangladesh In the modern state bureaucracy plays very significant role. With the expansion of the government’s duty and responsibility the duty of bureaucrat increases. As modern states are welfare states, so they are to complete a great number of works. And for this the government is to depend upon the bureaucrat. Both in developed and UN developed country bureaucracy plays a very important role. Regarding this professor finer says, “The function of the bureaucracy is not merely an improvement of government, indeed. Without it, government itself could be impossible. Efficiency and anonymity are the two main characteristics of civil service. But among the bureaucrats of many countries these qualities are not seen. In a democratic country after every five years election helds. So government changes. But the bureaucrats are not changed. Here we will discuss detail about the role of bureaucracy in the politics of Bangladesh.
Determining Policy: In our country, other country also, bureaucrats particularize the policies of the government and ministers only sign. Government polices are very complex. So for this work artistic skill is must.
- Bureaucrats are those who have this skill.
- Framing Legislation: In Bangladesh enact any law bureaucrat play a very important role. Important bills presented in the parliament are prepared by the bureaucrats. They justifying and out of the bill and then it’s presented in the parliament.
- Influencing the legislature: they supply necessary information regarding different govt, department and organizations. Sometimes they influence the conference committee according to their own interest.
- Carrying out routine work of government: bureaucracy execute daily routine work of government.
- Education, public welfare, social security, police, judiciary, tax, law and order etc, are included in these works.
- Implementing legislation and policies: bureaucrats not only draw up laws and principles but also substantiate them. Indeed the bureaucracy is more influential in this regard. They can repeal or enact any law according to their necessity
Keeping contract between the public and government: in Bangladesh bureaucrats play the role of liaison between the government and public. They inform the people about the government activities and people inform them about their problem and want solution. Development works: Success of various development activities largely depends upon the bureaucrats. They devote in nation building work and plan and materialize them timely. 8. Implementing social change: bureaucrats play vital role in social change. They help the governments to understand the changing social demand s and find out the way to fulfill them.
Non-political role: bureaucrats should play non political role. But it is a matter of regret that bureaucrats in Bangladesh, to a large extent are derailed, very often they are found in liaison with ruling political party.
Sometimes ruling party oppresses the bureaucrats who do not submit themselves to the whim of the ministers on leaders. We have witnessed such quarrel between ministers and bureaucrats. In fine we can say that the role of bureaucrats can not be ignored in Bangladesh, a developing country. They play very significant role in our social, political and economical change. if they can avoid corruption, nepotism and work with patriotism and impartial political attitude, Bangladesh will improve faster.