The Nature of Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is the name given to a large organization that is structured hierarchically to carry out specific functions. They are generally characterized by an organization chart. Public bureaucracies are basically any organization. They do not have a single set of leaders; they serve the citizenry. Private bureaucracies are those that have a single set of leaders-it’s board of directors. Government bureaucracies are not organized to make a profit.
The Weberian Model of the modern bureaucracy which was developed by the German sociologist Max Weber, who viewed bureaucracies as rational, hierarchical organizations in which decisions are based on logical reasoning.
The Acquisitive Model of bureaucracy that views top-level bureaucrats as seeking to expand the size of their budgets and staffs to gain greater power.
The Monopolistic Model is a model of bureaucracy that compares bureaucracies to monopolistic business firms. Lack of competition in either circumstance leads to inefficient and costly operations.
Administrative Agencies are a federal, state, or local government unit established to perform a specific function. Administrative agencies are created and authorized by legislative bodies to administer and enforce specific laws.
The Size of the Bureaucracy
Excluding the military, the federal bureaucracy includes approximately 2.7 government employees. Since the 1970’s the growth of bureaucracy has been mainly at the and local levels.
The Organization of the Federal Bureaucracy
The executive branch, which employs most of of the government’s staff, has four major types of structures: Cabinet Departments - One of the 15 departments of the executive branch (State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Energy, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs). They are the major organizations of the federal government. Each department is headed by a Secretary and has several levels of undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, and so on. President’s theoretically have considerable control over these departments, however, sometimes they fail to follow the President’s wishes. Independent Executive Agencies - are bureaucratic organizations that are not located within a department but report directly to the president, who appoints their chief officials. Independent Regulatory Agencies - are typically responsible for a specific type of public policy. Their function is to make and implement rules and regulations in a particular sphere of action to protect the public interest. It is an agency outside the major executive departments charged with making and implementing rules and regulations. Members of regulatory agency boards are appointed by the president with the consent of the Senate. The President can influence them by appointing people of their own parties or individuals who share their political views when vacancies occur., in particular when the chair is vacant. Government Corporation - an agency of government that administers a quasi-business enterprise. These corporations are used when activities are primarily commercial. It differs from public and private corporations. Private corporations have shareholders who elect a board of directors, who in turn choose the corporate officers, such as the president and vice president. When it makes a provide, it has to pay taxes. A government corporation has a board of directors and managers but not stockholders. We cannot buy shares of stock under this. Profits remain in within the corporation under the government corporation.
Capture is the act by which an industry being regulated by a government agency gains direct or indirect control over agency personnel and decision makers.
Challenges to the Bureaucracy
The federal bureaucracy is both complex and very specialized. Every...