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Bureaucracy for Dummies June 8, 2012

Filed under: General — Shoaib @ 5:25 am

“Bureaucracy has demolished and distressed the image of our nation”

“These Bureaucrats have derailed the economy of Pakistan”

“Bureaucracy is a corrupt and fraudulent structure”

These are some common statements and proclamations that we listen and conquer everyday on media and surroundings. The general conception among masses is also not very different. People censure bureaucracy for the downslide of this nation’s progress.  Repeatedly bloggers and columnists taunt and mock them as the diseased “bureauc-RATs” or “bureau-tards” of the nation. Furthermore the entire bureaucratic system is blamed and apprehended responsible for the mayhem, annihilation and despotism caused in the republic. It is usually interlinked with the red tape culture. All the Govt. establishments, institutes and organizations follow the footsteps and doctrine of bureaucracy. Citizens are now fed up of this system and hence they look towards alternatives & here comes the Private sector.

But is bureaucracy really a flop and fail system? What is it actually?

Here it goes. Bureaucracy was evolved in the 19th century by a German theorist named Max Weber. He developed a systematic approach of management which can be implemented on organizations for an effective and efficient outcome. Since then the concept of “bureaucratic organizations” came into existence. It works on six main principles:

  • Division of Labor – allocate the labor into groups of specific skill set.
  • Hierarchy of Authority – Proper allocation of heads on a specific department.
  • Promotions on Merit and Qualifications
  • All acts and decision must be recorded in writing – Recordkeeping is essential.
  • Management must be separate from the ownership of organization
  • Managers are subject to rules and regulations.

These 6 rules ensure a solid structure of an organization. Promotions on merit brings quality and eminence staff on the top. Recordkeeping of every act guarantees the minimal chances of corruption and hence a person can be held accountable. Management must be separate from the owner and take decisions in favor of the firm disregarding nepotism and favoritism. When all the employees would be bound to follow rules and regulations then all would be treated on equivalent grounds.

Here are few examples of bureaucratic styled organizations working efficiently. National Highways and Motorway Police is one of the prime illustrations. In 2002 it was reported by NAB, NHMP being the only corruption free department in the country. National Bank of Pakistan is another fine example, it is the most established and stable bank among other private banks. Just because of its bureaucratic structure. There are other numerous examples.

Have we ever noticed that why the corrupted fraudulent cases and scams that appear in media are mostly from govt. institutes? Why there isn’t any case from Private sector as compared to the govt. sector? Is the private sector free from greedy contamination? Don’t they enjoy corruption? Are they all liberated and pure from sin? No, it’s the structure of the organization which doesn’t allow accountability in there segment. No justification or liability is expected; neither has it hit the main stream.  Where as in govt. sector every act is written and recorded and therefore they are straightforwardly wedged.

Therefore if we see legitimately there is nothing majorly erroneous with the system’s structure, it’s with the people. The moral values, ethics and character of our society have deteriorated so badly that it has infected every system.  The problem is with the attitude and psyche of our nation. We are so immune to corruption and fallacy. So instead of blaming a system we need to understand that the problem lies within ourselves.

Bureaucracy is a system based on rational principles and elements. It has its repercussions in the form of slow paced procedures and time taking dealings. But it eliminates the remaining chances of any error. If implemented properly and executed with utter devotion this ideology can terminate the base of corruption and dishonesty. So next time when we hold bureaucracy responsible, let’s not criticize the system but the personnel’s.

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