Bureaucracy stands for an administrative body or non-elective body of officials in the government that is responsible for making policies. Initially, this acted as a type of government administration whose management was under different departments controlled by a group of officials who were non-elected (Wilkins, & Williams, 2008). In the modern times, bureaucracy stands for systems of administration governing large institutions under the ownership of private or public officials. The public administration form of bureaucracy is common in various countries, but is also a representative of the hierarchical structure of business firms. Since the term began to be used, it has developed negative connotations. Bureaucracy is criticized for its being inefficient, inflexible and so much convoluted towards the people. The dehumanizing outcomes of bureaucracy have become a significant theme among various writers such as Max Weber, Franz Kafka who was a German writer and is a key topic in their books (Bradbury, & Kellough, 2007). The Brazil film is a form of dystopian work that represents the world as having governmental bureaucratic processes with insignificant and small errors that develop into maddening and tragic after-effects. Thus, the managerial theory in the current world takes it as a primary concept of eliminating unnecessary bureaucracies.
The term was put into use from 18th century though organized and consisted administrative systems had existed (Sowa, & Selden, 2003). The systems of administration needed to be developed through writing and application of written documents. The first time the term was publicly defined was during the ancient Sumer when the scribes who were an emergent class made use of clay tablets to record harvest as well as allocating the relevant spoils. The group was also significant in Egypt, and had a hereditary form of administration that involved the civil service. Still, the Roman Empire had regional proconsuls as an administration with a hierarchy of several deputies. There was doubling of the administrative districts through the Diocletian reforms leading to the roman bureaucracy expanding significantly in large scale. According to the Lactantius who represented the first Christian groups, this form of expansive reforms caused economic stagnation as a result (Weber, 2015). This was caused by the fact that the province got divided into small portions with many leaders and incompetent officers controlling the territories. When this empire got split a new form of empire rose up referred to as byzantine that developed a notoriously complicated administrative hierarchy. Byzantine refers to a form of bureaucratic structure that is highly complex. The modern forms of bureaucratic systems that emerged in the 18th century involved training examining and recruiting, regulated pensions and salary, promotions done on merit and other procedures that have been standardized (Dolan, & Rosenbloom, 2016). The systems are subject to efficient and technical methods that emphasize on strict hierarchy during the collection of tax.
Characteristics of bureaucracy
The primary characteristics of these systems include labor specialization, clear forms of hierarchy, and a set of principles of rules that follow formality. The term hierarchy involves a chain of command with workers in some form of chain with a place of operation with leaders in another level who oversee what they do. Power has been known to start at the top and diminishes downwards (Wilkins, & Williams, 2008). Specialization is a case whereby, specific jobs are done by specific people leading to them developing some form of an expertise. The labor division involves the division of the various tasks into many component parts and workers operating the various tasks. Maximum job efficiency is obtained through this form of job execution. Thus bureaucracies have standard operational procedures which have high levels of clarity that have been written to control specialized tasks in the various levels of hierarchy. The standardization determines how the people should carry out specific tasks and how they relate with one another (Sørensen, 2007).
The levels of national governments
In many countries governments are composed of the federal, the state and the local forms of government. They all operate at different levels under the same leadership umbrella in the society. The U.S. is the best known country with the three forms of government.
This is the lowest administrative unit that controls areas below the province, state or a region. The leadership is not very common to many countries but applies to many municipalities. People who work under this form of bureaucracy have values such as gender, sex, political ideologies, race, and age and have these values being shared across the various citizenry areas (Krislov, 2012). This is not an independent form of administration but has its control being done under set of rules that are same given in the constitution. The federal government usually controls issues such as financing but has officials who get elected to foresee all the activities under the administration.
The administrative level lies between the local and the federal governments. To some degree, this form of administration has an agency heads setting the tone of the organization that is responsible for controlling the institutional and cultural agendas. They set the mission and objectives of these institutions (Merton, 2003). This control is done by regions of larger sizes that are referred to as states and that make a country. At the national levels the leaders in the state make up the governments. The state administration takes care of regions for which they have advantages of the areas and to confirm that all issues that relate to the authorities and citizens in the areas get solved from a local perspective for efficiency and effectiveness.
This is the highest form of rank of administration which is responsible for problems that affect the people in the country at national levels. The federal government finances the other two levels of bureaucratic administrations below it (Selden, 2015). The resources get shared among the various states or local regions so that running is done in a far better way. All the issues that affect the people and cannot be solved locally get dealt with in this top level.
Bureaucracy involves passive and active representations. It involves officials in the government and public administrators conducting or representing duties that concern the various groups or individuals that they represent or serve (Lim, 2006).
The administrative form concludes that the people who get represented in the authority have to benefit from the leadership. It believes that policy makers are influenced by the acts of representation and implementation (Keiser, Wilkins, Meier, & Holland, 2002). The bureaucracy functions on behalf of all the given societal counterparts. For example, the women have been known to deal with problems that affect fellow women in the population better than the man in the same leadership.
The social needs in the people being served get reflected by the social characteristics of the bureaucracy. Thus, the composition of the leadership system solves the issues affecting the entire population. The demographic elements of the people are represented by the bureaucracy.
Repetitive systems are known to promote the relationships among people sharing some common characteristics like employees and their relevant employers. These characteristics may include age, ethnic backgrounds, status related to economy, demographic elements and many more. Sometimes ethnicities can be discouraged from benefiting and applying for help (Meier, and Nicholson?Crotty, 2006). To avoid this from happening, there are checks and balances that get provided to help control favoritism. Bias gets prevented to control discrimination against the people with same characteristics.
Sometimes bureaucracies focus much on the representing aspect compared to productivity. The focus on equal representation causes lack of quality services in fear that this may not get achieved. Focusing on specific representation leads to racism that breeds hatred and negative ethnicity.
Gender representation across the various departments in the police helps improve the general performance, transparency, trustworthiness, of the various agencies (Andrews, Boyne, Meier, O'Toole & Walker, 2005). The women control discretions that relate to enforcement of policies protecting them on issues such as sexual assault. This ensures that negative bureaucracies get checked. Gender mainstreaming helps to enforce laws and policies that protect the represented people.
Impact of education
Education controls representative bureaucracy. Education is responsible for the learning of people and their equal representation. Greater outcomes and benefits are normally achieved through this aspect especially for the minority groups (Dolan, 2000). Education helps execute discipline in the society and in educational allotment. Education helps solve discrepancies in the bureaucracy to ensure fairness in representation.
From the above analysis, it is quite clear that bureaucratic representation is the idea of administrative systems representing groups of people or individuals in the society. It promotes fairness, trustworthiness and transparency when dealing with issues that affect the people in the entire population. Passive representation covers the general public while active representation focuses on specific groups or individuals. Laws act as elements of balancing and checks to ensure that there are no cases of favoritism and biasness.
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Bradbury, M. D., & Kellough, J. E. (2007). Representative bureaucracy: Exploring the potential for active representation in local government. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18(4), 697-714.
Dolan, J. (2000). The senior executive service: Gender, attitudes, and representative bureaucracy. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 10(3), 513-530.
Dolan, J., & Rosenbloom, D. H. (2016). Representative Bureaucracy: Classic Readings and Continuing Controversies: Classic Readings and Continuing Controversies. Routledge.
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Meier, K. J., & Bohte, J. (2001). Structure and discretion: Missing links in representative bureaucracy. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 11(4), 455-470.
Meier, K.J. and Nicholson?Crotty, J., (2006). Gender, representative bureaucracy, and law enforcement: The case of sexual assault. Public Administration Review, 66(6), pp.850-860.
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Selden, S. C. (2015). The Promise of Representative Bureaucracy: Diversity and Responsiveness in a Government Agency: Diversity and Responsiveness in a Government Agency. Routledge.
Sørensen, J. B. (2007). Bureaucracy and entrepreneurship: Workplace effects on entrepreneurial entry. Administrative Science Quarterly, 52(3), 387-412.
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Weber, M. (2015). Bureaucracy. In Working in America (pp. 29-34). Routledge.
Wilkins, V. M., & Williams, B. N. (2008). Black or blue: Racial profiling and representative bureaucracy. Public Administration Review, 68(4), 654-664.