Bureaucracy  

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 +The term '''bureaucracy''' may refer both to a body of non-elected governing officials and to an [[Administration (government)| administrative]] policy-making group. Historically, a bureaucracy was a government administration managed by departments staffed with non-elected officials. Today, bureaucracy is the administrative [[system]] governing any large institution, whether publicly owned or privately owned. The [[public administration]] in many jurisdictions and sub-jurisdictions exemplifies bureaucracy, but so does the centralized hierarchical structure of a business firm.
-'''Bureaucracy''' is the collective [[organizational structure]], [[actions|procedure]]s, [[protocol]]s and set of [[regulations]] in place to [[management|manage]] activity, usually in large organizations and government. As opposed to [[adhocracy]], it is represented by standardized procedure (rule-following) that guides the execution of most or all processes within the body; formal division of powers; hierarchy; and relationships, intended to anticipate needs and improve efficiency. +Bureaucracy in a political theory is mainly a [[centralized]] form of [[management]] and tends to be differentiated from [[adhocracy]], in which management tends more to [[decentralized|decentralization]].
-A bureaucracy traditionally does not create policy but, rather, enacts it. [[Law]], [[policy]], and [[regulation]] normally originates from a [[leadership]], which creates the bureaucracy to put them into practice. In reality, the interpretation and execution of policy, etc. can lead to informal influence. A bureaucracy is directly responsible to the leadership that creates it, such as a [[Executive (government)|government executive]] or [[board of directors]]. Conversely, the leadership is usually responsible to an [[electorate]], [[shareholders]], [[membership]] or whoever is intended to benefit. As a matter of practicality, the bureaucracy is where the individual will interface with an organization such as a government etc., rather than directly with its leadership. Generally, larger organizations result in a greater distancing of the individual from the leadership, which can be consequential or intentional by design.+Various commentators have argued for the necessity of bureaucracies in modern society. The German sociologist [[Max Weber]] (1864-1920) argued that bureaucracy constitutes the most efficient and rational way in which human activity can be organized and that systematic processes and organized hierarchies are necessary to maintain order, to maximize [[efficiency]], and to eliminate favoritism. On the other hand, Weber also saw unfettered bureaucracy as a threat to [[individual freedom]], with the potential of trapping individuals in an impersonal "[[iron cage]]" of rule-based, rational control.
 +Modern bureaucracy has been defined as comprising four features:
 +
 +* hierarchy (clearly defined spheres of competence and divisions of labor)
 +* continuity (a structure where administrators have a full-time salary and advance within the structure)
 +* impersonality (prescribed rules and operating rules rather than arbitrary actions)
 +* expertise (officials are chosen according to merit, have been trained, and hold access to knowledge)
 +
 +==Etymology and usage==
 +The term "bureaucracy" originated in the [[French language]]: it combines the French word ''bureau'' – desk or office – with the Greek word κράτος (''kratos'') – rule or [[political power]].
 +==Bureaucrat==
 +A '''bureaucrat''' is a member of a [[bureaucracy]] and can compose the administration of any organization of any size, though the term usually connotes someone within an institution of [[government]]. Bureaucrat jobs were often "desk jobs" (the French for "desk" being ''bureau'', though bureau can also be translated as "office"), though the modern bureaucrat may be found "in the field" as well as in an office.
 +==The arts==
 +* ''[[Bartleby, the Scrivener]]''
 +* ''[[Bartleby (2001 film)|Bartleby]]'' (film)
 +* ''[[Brazil (1985 film)|Brazil]]'' (film)
 +* ''[[One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (disambiguation)|One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest]]'' (novel and film adaptation)
 +* ''[[Hermes Conrad]]''
 +* ''[[Ikiru]]''
 +* ''[[The Trial]]''
 +* ''[[The Memorandum]]''
 +==See also==
 +*[[Bureaucrat]]
 +* [[Politics]]
 +*''[[The Unknown Citizen]]'' (poem)
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The term bureaucracy may refer both to a body of non-elected governing officials and to an administrative policy-making group. Historically, a bureaucracy was a government administration managed by departments staffed with non-elected officials. Today, bureaucracy is the administrative system governing any large institution, whether publicly owned or privately owned. The public administration in many jurisdictions and sub-jurisdictions exemplifies bureaucracy, but so does the centralized hierarchical structure of a business firm.

Bureaucracy in a political theory is mainly a centralized form of management and tends to be differentiated from adhocracy, in which management tends more to decentralization.

Various commentators have argued for the necessity of bureaucracies in modern society. The German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) argued that bureaucracy constitutes the most efficient and rational way in which human activity can be organized and that systematic processes and organized hierarchies are necessary to maintain order, to maximize efficiency, and to eliminate favoritism. On the other hand, Weber also saw unfettered bureaucracy as a threat to individual freedom, with the potential of trapping individuals in an impersonal "iron cage" of rule-based, rational control.

Modern bureaucracy has been defined as comprising four features:

  • hierarchy (clearly defined spheres of competence and divisions of labor)
  • continuity (a structure where administrators have a full-time salary and advance within the structure)
  • impersonality (prescribed rules and operating rules rather than arbitrary actions)
  • expertise (officials are chosen according to merit, have been trained, and hold access to knowledge)

Contents

Etymology and usage

The term "bureaucracy" originated in the French language: it combines the French word bureau – desk or office – with the Greek word κράτος (kratos) – rule or political power.

Bureaucrat

A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration of any organization of any size, though the term usually connotes someone within an institution of government. Bureaucrat jobs were often "desk jobs" (the French for "desk" being bureau, though bureau can also be translated as "office"), though the modern bureaucrat may be found "in the field" as well as in an office.

The arts

See also




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