Bureaucracy has been defined as a system of administration based upon organization into bureaus, division of labour, a hierarchy of authority, et cetra: designed to dispose of a large body of work in a routine manner (Collins English Dictionary, 2011). Bureaucracy has also been looked at as a management style first developed by Max Weber (1864-1920) a notable German sociologist, political economist and administrative scholar, who had contributed immensely to the study of bureaucracy and administrative discourses and literatures, during the mid 1800s and early 1900s, and his works are still popular, even till today. Max Weber belongs to the Scientific School of Thought, who among others, discussed intensely on subject-matters, such as, specialization of job-scope, merit system, uniform principles, structure and hierarchy, to name a few. Among the scholars of his contemporaries are; Frederick Taylor (1856-1915), Henri Fayol (1841-1925), Elton Mayo (1880-1949), and later scholars, such as, Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001), Dwight Waldo (1913-2000), and others. (Chun, 2007).
The nature of Bureaucracy
According to Weber bureaucracies arise out of the need for efficiency in organisations where there exist: growth in space and population, complexity of administrative tasks and presence of a monetary economy. They are characterized by hierarchical organization, delineated lines of authority in a fixed area of activity, action taken on the basis of and recorded in written rules. In addition bureaucratic officials have expert training, rules are implemented by neutral officials, and career advancement depends on technical qualifications judged by organization and not individuals. (Swedberg et al, 2005 and Allan et al, 2005).
Bureaucracy in the real world
In the contemporary world bureaucracy has been looked at with a pinch of salt; there is the good kind of bureaucracy and the bad one. The good kind makes sure there is organization, there is smooth running of affairs smoothly, people get what they have paid for and can enforce business deals. A good bureaucracy supports the productive activities of the people, provides guidance and clarifies responsibilities thereby easing role stress and helping individuals to feel more effective A bad democracy on the other hand denotes red tape in public affairs, inefficiency, insensitiveness of organisations to their clients and complex rules which people don’t understand. It has also been known to stifle creativity in organisations, fosters dissatisfaction and demotivates employees. (Paul and Bryan, 1996).