Beuracratic Culture

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BUREAUCRATIC CULTURE

The word ‘Bureaucratic Culture’ is derived from the word bureaucracy. Bureaucracy means an organization of non elected officials of a government or organization who implements the rules, laws and functions of the institution. Bureaucratic culture is characterized by primacy of procedures and rules, hierarchy, distant and impersonal relationship. The bureaucratic culture has an internal focus and consistency orientation for a stable environment. This type of culture supports a methodical approach to doing business. Symbols, heroes and ceremonies reinforce the value of cooperation, tradition and following established policies and practices as ways to achieve goals. Personal involvement is some what lower here, but that is outweighed by a high level of consistency, conformity and collaboration among members. This organization succeeds by being highly integrated and efficient. Today most managers are shifting from bureaucratic cultures because of a need for greater flexibility. Some people like the order and predictability of a bureaucratic culture, where as other people would feel stifled and constrained by too much discipline and would be happier in some other type of culture. Under the bureaucratic culture pattern, life is conceived life is conceived in term of belonging to a hierarchy entrusted with the management and administration of the affairs of the organized community. Pecuniary values are obtained through manipulation into a position carrying pecuniary emoluments. Education serves only the end of making better bureaucrats, and since commitments to liberalism and civilization necessitate the maintenance of school system, the educated population ultimately increases beyond the number of positions available and occasion arises for political revolution. The most effective influence in decreasing political revolution has been the parliamentary system as it functions in the bureaucratic countries, a system more properly described as parliamentary oligarchy shading off into oligarchical dictatorship. It enables the state to absorb on part time a double number of office seekers, one group of bureaucrats leaving office as a new group enters. A vigorous leader may seek to retain his office by incorporating into his organization all possible rivals, by more through centralization of all state offices in his own hands, thus enabling him to create new posts, new activities, and new functions, and by inducing foreign capital to come in and exploit more systematically the country’s natural resources. But the avalanche of oncoming bureaucrats increasing beyond the capacity of state treasury makes revolution ultimately inevitable, and the accumulation of other social issues given grater force and motive to the upheaval. We shall analyze how public administration may improve the service it offers to citizens through a suitable organizational culture; for this purpose, we shall start by studying the specific features of the culture of public administration. In this respect, we shall analyze the origin of shared values and the existing taxonomies in public administration, the role of culture in these agencies and how a diagnosis of such culture is made. Then, we shall describe the problems of bureaucratic culture, typical of many public agencies, and we shall briefly describe the features of a public service, citizen-oriented culture. Finally, we shall propose a specific methodology for the modification of a bureaucratic culture into a culture based on the notion of serving the citizen, together with an analysis of when modification is suitable and the likely problems that may arise therefrom.

When Weber (1979) listed the positive characteristics of bureaucracy (hierarchical structure, task division, formal rules and regulation), he surely did not mean that they should result, in public administration, into a specific culture with negative characteristics like the ones pointed out by Savas (1982), for whom...
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