Bureaucracy


A Bureaucracy is “a body of nonelective government officials” and/or “an administrative policy-making group.”Historically, bureaucracy referred to government administration managed by departments staffed with nonelected officials.In modern parlance, bureaucracy refers to the administrative system governing any large institution.

Since being coined, the word “bureaucracy” has developed negative connotations for some. Bureaucracies are criticized for their complexity, their inefficiency, and their inflexibility. The dehumanizing effects of excessive bureaucracy were a major theme in the work of Franz Kafka, and were central to his masterpiece The Trial. The elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy is a key concept in modern managerial theory, and has been a central issue in numerous political campaigns.

Others have defended the existence of bureaucracies. The German sociologist Max Weber argued that bureaucracy constitutes the most efficient and rational way in which human activity can be organized, and that systematic processes and organized hierarchies were necessary to maintain order, maximize efficiency and eliminate favoritism. But even Weber saw bureaucracy as a threat to individual freedom, in which the increasing bureaucratization of human life traps individuals in the an “iron cage” of rule-based, rational control.

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