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Bureaucracy is a different arrangements employed by people to plan their activities. This approach was several centuries ago, and assisted in addressing the issue of governance, which was becoming more complicated as time passed. Bureaucracy has been perceived to have both positive and negative effects on governance. As Draft (2009, p. 346) explains, despite the fact that bureaucracy has been perceived as a threat to basic personal liberties, it has also been recognized as the most efficient possible system of organizing. It is applied in various ways to govern the organization. Draft (2009, p. 346) continue to explain that bureaucracy has ability to ensure more efficient functioning of organizations in both business and government settings.
Bureaucracy has been branded the name; "the fourth branch of government," due to its complication and enormous. This system has been applied for long by all government at the local, state, and national levels to achieve the routine tasks needed to keep government programs in course. As Barrington, Bosia and Bruhn (2009, p. 294), due to the fact that government has assumed greater responsibilities in increasingly complex societies, bureaucracy have developed primarily to implement government policy. The need to apply bureaucracy in governance has increased following the growth in size and scope, and responsibilities of government. "Although a central task of the legislative branch is to oversee actions of the bureaucracy, the size of almost bureaucracies today makes this difficult" (Barrington, Bosia & Bruhn 2009, p. 294).
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The fact that, many legislatures like delegating responsibility to their juniors, bureaucracy finds its way and continues to dominate in most of the organizational governance. Barrington, Bosia and Bruhn (2009, p. 294) continues to argue that, as a result executive law developed by the legislature and top officials of the executive branch, bureaucracies play an increasingly important role in policy creation. People who work for bureaucracies are referred to as bureaucrats. Most common institutions, which operates in bureaucratically in government includes; local policemen, teachers, and social employees to clerks and senior-level government officers. To demonstrate how bureaucracy is used in governance, I will use the United State as an example in this paper.
Although there is need of bureaucratic forms organization for proper monitoring and control of democracy in U.S. government, bureaucracy and bureaucrats have frustrated this, by using too much power over the governance of the people. According to Pierre (1998, p. 166), "In the USA, states have a high degree of political and functional independence from the federal government and local government have a high degree of autonomy within the individual states." Bureaucracy is practiced in the USA governance as whole, which means that state governance adheres to the overall governance. As Pierre (1998, p. 166) explains, within local government, there is frequent fragmentation, and reform-type structure gives extensive autonomy for individual agencies, weakening political control and discourage the aggregation of social interests.
Maidment (1998, p. 128) politician may be recruited from the bureaucracy, or they may join politics as a means of enhancing their social status after growing wealthy from business activities. In executing their role or offering their services, these politicians have a bureaucratic channel, which is followed by citizens. As Maidment (1998, p. 128) continue to argue, this has provided a practical template for both economic policy and elite governance in many regions.
Bureaucracy mode of governance experiences challenges of making decision, because it applies linear model where the top management needs to be consulted and approve everything. Decision making is a process of choosing from several options or ideas and taking an action. Linear decision- making model undergoes five steps, which includes; problem identification, alternative identification, evaluation of alternatives, making decision, and implementation of made decision. As Martin (2006, p. 76) argues decision making models are based on cost-benefit analysis, which implies that values associated with benefits of a decision are added up and then subtract the cost. Although this model is relevant to some extent because it helps in determining which decision is viable in terms of the profitability, but it very time consuming..
According to Martin (2006, p. 76) linear decision-making model uses an analytic method for making decisions and is the most effective in addressing simple decisions. Linear decision making models involves the following steps; Problem definition, Information gathering, Considering priorities, Considering options, Listing solutions, Evaluating solutions and consequences, Decision implementation, and Reevaluation.
i. Define the Problem - This is the core need of making decision, the need of making some decision is established. This is done through problem analysis.
ii. Gathering relevant information - The next step after identifying a problem is getting the details of that problem and how it can be solved, finding the possible options.
iii. Consider priorities - This is where priority is given to the most important issues which must be addressed. It is important to sort items in order of their priorities so that; the crucial issues are addressed first.
iv. Consider Option - With the list of items which need to be handled, the next step is to establish the find the best options to be taken while solving the problem.
v. List Solution - The possible solution in solving the problem are listed for consideration.
vi. Evaluate Solutions and Consequences - Each possible solution is analyzed (evaluated) and the consequences of implementing each solution are predicted and find the most appropriate one.
vii. Implementation - This putting the real solution into application. After evaluation and assessment of the various possible solution, the one which is perceived to be most appropriate is adopted.
viii. Reevaluation - following the implementation, the next step is reevaluating to see how well the implemented solution solves the problem and find out any adjustment which might be needed.
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Linear decision could have of great help to me when I was deciding on the project which was viable for me to invest in. Using linear approach model I could have analyzed all the possible option and be in a position of determining which is more promising.
It is important to understand the bias of others when making decision. This helps in avoiding conflict during the process of making decision. There are many force towards being bias to our own ideas when it comes to decision - making. However as Cremer (2009, p. 39) explains this bias perspective can be very dangerous to the extent of hindering considerations of interest obligating to serve outside our own. This has been the basis ground of the reason why bureaucracy has continued to exist in many organizations. They argue that, it is important to check and controlled every step taken, which can have impact to the organization.
Through accommodating views of other in decision making, the quality of the decision made is also improved. This is a challenged posed to those organizations, which are yet to do away with the bureaucratic model of governance. It is also true that different situation needs requires different decision making strategies and thus incorporation others view throughout the process can really be of great help. It is therefore true that proper mechanisms of decision making are needed tom tackle different situations according to their characteristics.
In a group setting it is always important to consider the views of others when making a decision. This is because different persons make different observation and is advisable not ignore suggestions before they are proved to be void. Therefore, we can argue that contribution of every person is significant in decision making and every individual should be given an opportunity to share their views.
According to Terry (2003, p. 6), a scholar known as Meier said that bureaucracy has been changed into a political institution, and the transformation resulted to several factors, including the nature of American politics, which forced the legislative branch to share its policy-making powers with career servants; the fragmentation of political power among government institutions; the task demands and organizational requirements of modern public policy; and the nature of the bureaucratic function that gives administrative officials considerable discreation in implementing public policy. He continues to argues that, Meier contends that because the bureaucracy is indeed a fourth branch of government, its enormous power should be controlled and monitored similarly to that of the other branches of government.
In conclusion, I concur with Bowles (1993, p. 233), who argues that the "separation of powers combined with Federalism renders bureaucracy complicated, dispersed, decentralized, and its accountability to representative politicians problematic." The difference among bureaucratic types federal government is huge. Choices are determined by a complex of tangible and intangible factors reflecting divergent views about the proper sphere of government activity, politics, institutional folklore, program significance and status, visibility, political and administrative autonomy, and, most important, who should exercise control (Bowles 1993, p. 234).