Brief Essay on Bureaucracy and Development

Bureaucracy as an organization is expected to play a pivotal role, in process of development. The concept of Development Administration had originated in U.S.A. and as such bureaucratic systems are expected to be effective instruments to achieve objectives of development.

With their emphasis on rules and regulations, division of labour, hierarchy, role specialists, rationality, impersonally and neutrality, bureaucracy was expected to ensure smooth process of development.

In fact, bureaucracy played a key role in stability standard of integrity and professional competence. Bureaucracy supported industrialized developed nations to achieve their objectives.

But the capacity of bureaucracy to adopt to change is rather low. In developing countries where temporal dimensions play a key role in process of development, according to some thinkers, bureaucracy is a misfit.

The Weberian model is subject to the dysfunctional consequences of failing to take into consideration the individual or behavioral aspects of people who work within organizational system. It has been observed that in an unstable environment it cannot take up the challenges of situation.

Stalker identified two distinct systems of management namely mechanistic and organic and found that mechanistic system of management which relied heavily on Weberian norms cannot function in an unstable environment whereas organic system of management with its emphasis on individuals, downward and lateral communication, continuous interaction and participatory management would be suitable for unstable environment.

Much of the bureaucratic pursuit was directed towards activities other than achievements of goals whereas the need was to fulfill development programs. According to Warren Bennis, bureaucracy is likely to go out of use in changed socio-economic environment.

In Indian context bureaucracy, who emphasized on maintenance of law and order and generation of revenue has failed to fulfill developmental functions.

It has generally been criticized as an authoritarian organization which emphasized on monopolization of power. It has also been criticized for its elitist background. It has been assumed that members of bureaucracy who are urbane in outlook cannot sympathize with problems of rural people.

. Indian bureaucracy has also been criticized for its lack of commitment to developmental needs and programs. While development calls for progressiveness and dynamism on the part of bureaucracy, bureaucracy always took shelter under conservative neutrality.

(i) Weberian model of bureaucracy with its in-built impersonality, inflexibility and hierarchical structure is not suited to process of development.

(ii) Bureaucracy as a form of organization is a fit agency for stability and conservation and not for change and development.

(iii) Bureaucracy is a power group and as such it is basically inward looking and self-aggrandizing. (Maximizing its own welfare).

(iv) As a power group, bureaucracy competes with politician and in developmental situations; conflicts are inevitable between bureaucracy and political executive.

(v) Bureaucracy with its status quoism and value-neutrality cannot be expected to play the role of a change agent.

On Other Hand Bureaucracy has been both Efficient and Effective in Crisis Management. On the Positive Side it has been argued that

(i) Bureaucracy is not necessarily bad what is required is developmental bureaucracy and this can be achieved through motivation and training.

(ii) Conflict between bureaucracy and political executive need not be dysfunctional. This conflict can help in finding new solutions to existing problems through the process of integration.

(iii) Hierarchical organization forms of bureaucracy can be transformed into people centric institutions through innovation, structural and procedural reforms.

(iv) Bureaucracy should not be burdened with all kinds of activities. If it were to perform developmental activities it should be left alone to perform these activities only. It cannot be overturned with regulatory and revenue generation functions.

The bureaucracy, broadly defined, is that apparatus of government designed to implement the decisions of political leaders. Political leaders make policy, the public bureaucracy executes it. If the bureaucracy lacks the capacity to implement the policies of the political leadership, those policies, however well intentioned, will not be implemented in an effective manner

It is one thing to promise development, it is quite another to achieve it. Viewed in this light, the role of public bureaucracy in the process of economic, social, and political development looms large indeed. The role of bureaucracy is critical to all areas of the development process in developing nations.

Public bureaucracy is a very vital element of the development process. Bureaucratic capacity determines what will get done, when it will get done, and how well it will get done. The greater the capacity of the bureaucracy to implement complex economic and social development plans, the higher the development potential of that society.

This is not to suggest that bureaucracy is the only force in the development process. This clearly is not the case. Bureaucratic capacity is not a sufficient condition for development, but it is most assuredly a necessary condition.

Public bureaucracy is used to refer to the administrative machinery, personnel of government at the federal, state and local levels and the corpus of rules and regulations that govern their behaviour.

The structural problems besetting the civil service in developing nations fall roughly into four basic categories, namely: Personnel regulations, Personnel qualifications, Organisational structure, and Work environment. Each plays its role in diminishing the administrative capacity in public bureaucracy.

The personnel regulations state the requirements for entry into the bureaucracy as well as procedures for promotion and dismissal. Public service in developing nations stipulates a long list of requirements for entry. Theoretically, positions are supposed to be filled on the basis of merit. However, political, family, ethnic, and religious factors are important considerations in achieving bureaucratic appointments.

Recruitment, however, is only part of the problem. Once ensconced in a bureaucratic position, officials are promoted primarily on the basis of seniority. Rules for promotion fail to distinguish between productive and nonproductive workers. Dismissal is rare except under extreme circumstances.

As regards personnel qualifications, employees entering the public and civil services through the use of political or family influence may lack the required technical skills for their positions. Moreover, on-the-job training programmes are weak and ineffective. Poorly trained individuals remain poorly trained. Also complicating the skills problem is the emphasis on filling slots rather than matching employee skills with the needs of the position. Thus, many of the skills that public bureaucrats possess are wasted.

This is not to suggest that bureaucracy is the only force in the development process. This clearly is not the case. Bureaucratic capacity is not a sufficient condition for development, but it is most assuredly a necessary condition.

Public bureaucracy is used to refer to the administrative machinery, personnel of government at the federal, state and local levels and the corpus of rules and regulations that govern their behaviour.

The structural problems besetting the civil service in developing nations fall roughly into four basic categories, namely: Personnel regulations, Personnel qualifications, Organisational structure, and Work environment. Each plays its role in diminishing the administrative capacity in public bureaucracy.

The personnel regulations state the requirements for entry into the bureaucracy as well as procedures for promotion and dismissal. Public service in developing nations stipulates a long list of requirements for entry. Theoretically, positions are supposed to be filled on the basis of merit. However, political, family, ethnic, and religious factors are important considerations in achieving bureaucratic appointments.

Recruitment, however, is only part of the problem. Once ensconced in a bureaucratic position, officials are promoted primarily on the basis of seniority. Rules for promotion fail to distinguish between productive and nonproductive workers. Dismissal is rare except under extreme circumstances.

As regards personnel qualifications, employees entering the public and civil services through the use of political or family influence may lack the required technical skills for their positions.

Moreover, on-the-job training programmes are weak and ineffective. Poorly trained individuals remain poorly trained. Also complicating the skills problem is the emphasis on filling slots rather than matching employee skills with the needs of the position. Thus, many of the skills that public bureaucrats possess are wasted.