Advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy
Advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy

Bureaucracy or the Advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy civil Service constitutes of the permanent and professional part it plays in the public sector. Bureaucracy consists of the key executive organ of government which works together with public administrators to effectively execute the policies. This article, articulates Advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy usually to described the non-political or politically neutral and cons of bureaucracy today, its permanent benefits, and professionally need it enhances in the civil service.

The terms bureaucracy, civil service, public servants, public service, civil servants, government service, government servants, officials of government, According to Max Weber, bureaucracy refers to government officials, executive and non-political executive are used to describe all such persons who carry out the day to day administration of the state. The terms ‘Bureaucracy’ and ‘Civil Service’ are popularly used as synonyms.

It runs the administration of the state according to the policies and laws of the government political executive. Upon the qualities and efficiency of bureaucracy depends the quality and efficiency of the state administration. It, however, works under the leadership and control of the Political Executive.

Characteristics of bureaucracy by Max Weber

According to Germany socialist and founder of  bureaucracy Max Weber, defined 6 main characteristics of bureaucracies listed below which include.

1.Hierarchy

Hierarchy is a type of system that shows arrangements or departments from above and below. These can also be at the same level, giving or receiving instructions. Hierarchy allows for employees to understand and follow the chain of command from top to bottom.

Serves as an important decision, making point with reference to who has more legitimate authority. Managers and administrators need hierarchy in order to effectively carry out there duties. Another important reason companies need hierarchy is that it helps managers to hold employees accountable.

2. Job Specialization

Job specialization defined as a process and knowledge employees gain through education, training and experience to enable them become professionals at on particular job. Job specialization is important in an organization because it provides skilled workers who are able to fulfil there daily activities.

3. Division of Labor

Division of labor is important and essential for economic progress. Promotes efficiency and effectiveness in an organization and reduces total cost of products due to its element of specialization. Each employee has a specific task and target hence enhancing productivity, promotes efficiency by dividing separate tasks and responsibilities.

4. Procedures 

Procedures are important to any organization and its processes. Procedures can be in form of policies and together provide direction for daily operations. In United states, bureaucrats help senate in policy making, reforms and monitoring. Procedures enhance good conduct in an organization, regulate employee performance, provide for terms of service and improve decision making, while boosting internal processes.

Organizational and work place procedures outline key specific required action plans among employees. Workplace procedures and policies are very important for informing employees process on how to handle certain issues and compliance measures.

5. Recruitment on merit

The recruitment on merit process been consistently applied in an organization increases professionalism. Its a notion which promotes fairness, brings about diversity, and demands for integrity among managers in there duties.

Recruitment based on merit means decisions to employ and selection must be solely based on qualification criteria. This produces a good system more efficient, human resource managers in executing there respective roles, must advocate for reduced biasness through effective process, fairness, and an open structure with dedicated employees.

6. Fairness

Bureaucracy brings about exemplary impartial and just treatment among employees. Through bureaucracy, people’s behavior and conduct is regulated without favoritism. TODAY on what are the characteristics of bureaucracies, fairness among bureaucratic process is important because it reduces discrimination by treating each individual in a similar manner. Same rules and punishment applies to everyone, despite there position and status.

Top 20 Advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy in organizations

Advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy by Max Weber can be noticed almost everywhere in government buildings. Especially in bureaucratic management, Importance of bureaucracy in public administration is that it ensures all regular tasks are performed and classified as official duties and in the public sector by imposing of rules and regulations to everyone without favoritism.

Bureaucracy also introduces rules that delegate authority of the management distinguishing top and lower management to improve efficiency that’s one of the major importance of bureaucracy in an organization. Bureaucracy increasingly demands people working as bureaucrats to be highly disciplined and abide by the rules, upholding ethical values.

Advantages of bureaucracy by Max Weber

1. Running of Administration duties:

To run the day to day administration in accordance with the policies, laws, rules, regulations and decisions of the government is also the key responsibility of the Bureaucracy. The political executive simply exercises guiding public functions, hence bureaucracy is very important for controlling and supervising functions.

2. Division of labor:

Makes work easier; leads to specialization. One can not discuss advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy without discussing the need for division of labor. Organization charts which show and ensure efficient flow of information in an organization and such as helping employees know who report, depend on division of labor so people get to know each other across the organization.

3. Efficiency:

Competency increases; work is efficiently performed under the supervision of immediate managers in the hierarchy.

4. Accountability and answerability:

Common citizens can hold government officials and bureaucrats accountable for the actions performed by them in the course of dispensing their duties. The organization is answerable in case something goes wrong.

5. Decision-making:

Decisions are generally handed over to the employees by their immediate managers, and to the managers by the ones above them in the hierarchy.

6. Rules and regulations:

The set of rules and regulations that are clearly stated in most cases makes obedience to them a prerequisite in the bureaucratic structure, thereby reducing the scope of non-adherence to the framework of rules and protocols.

7. Efficiency in administration:

Makes administration easier; the organization is more rationally arranged in a structural hierarchy. In a bureaucratic structure, maintaining control of the management, making necessary adjustments as and when required, and the introduction of a new set of rules, as per requirements from time to time, are easier owing to the large size of the organization.

8. Role in Legislative Work:

The civil servants play an important but indirect role in law-making. They draft the bills which the ministers submit to the legislature for law-making. The ministers provide all the information asked for by the legislature by taking the help of the civil servants.

9. Role in Public Relations:

The era of modern welfare state and democratic politics has made it essential for the government to keep close relations with the people of the state. The need for maintaining active and full public relations is a vital necessity of every state. The civil servants play an active role in this sphere.

They are the main agents who establish direct contacts with the people. They serve as a two way link. On the one hand, they communicate all government decisions to the people, and on the other hand, they communicate to the government the needs, interests and views of the people. Thus, Bureaucracy plays a vigorously active and highly important role in the working of the government.

 10. Collection of government Taxes:

The civil servants play a vitally important role in financial administration. They advise the political executive in respect of all financial planning, tax-structure, tax-administration and the like. They collect taxes and settle disputes involving recovery of taxes. They play a vital role in preparing the budget and taxation proposals. To conclude advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy, its that they carry out the function of granting of legally sanctioned financial benefits, tax reliefs, subsidies and other concessions to the people.

Disadvantages of Bureaucracy of bureaucracy by Max Weber

1. Poor efficiency of services and goods.


A bureaucracy creates numerous rules and laws that must be followed to the benefit of all which make the process and system to be slow. Additional rules and laws can be added at virtually any time to cause delay, hence complicating the workloads that people must endure.

This may include additional forms to fill out, new filing regulations, or new evaluations that must be conducted. It is a process that fosters safe productivity, but limits the true productive potential of individuals and departments.

2. Expenditures determine projects.


A budget cycle for a bureaucratic structure is an annual event. Money is available for the current cycle only. If it is not used, then the expenditures will not be accounted for in the next budget cycle. This creates a policy where people and departments spend money so they can have it in the following budget. It is an incentive to waste money by spending it on needless things so a budget increase can be guaranteed.

3. Huge difference in employee salaries:


Worker, from the top of the chain of command to the bottom, is considered an equal member of the team, but they do not get paid same wages and salary. Bureaucracy has one major problem and its that equal pay does not occur. Those at top management get greater than what the average worker salary has been in that year. CEO salaries are averaged in the US higher and more than 100 times salary of a junior worker.

According to reports relapsed in 2021 for wages in USA, People higher up on the chain-of-command are typically paid more about $50,000 per month, while the average US worker made $3,000.

4. Consists of Red tape:

Bureaucracy, by its very character, follows a certain set of rules and regulations. This imparts a lack of flexibility and can often lead to inefficiency. Government bureaucracies have become inefficient mazes of red tape that waste taxpayers’ money. the whole, government bureaucracies are no longer characterized by expertise and industriousness. They have become inefficient mazes of red tape that waste taxpayers’ money, thwart accountability and act against the public interest. 

5. Bureaucratic delays in delivery of services:

The complicated set of rules in a bureaucratic system often causes long delays.

6. Nepotism:

Nepotism in bureaucracy is often a problem. The managers sitting on top may favor their own people and help them rise quicker than more deserving individuals.

7. Bureaucratic corruption:

Corruption in the higher rungs of bureaucracy can be very disastrous to the economy.

8. Paperwork increases cost of material:

A lot of paperwork may be required even for very simple work. The process of getting work done in a bureaucratic system is costly because it relies on the old traditional model of administration and not modernized methods. Hence every annual budget must comprise of material cost for papers, printers, ink and computers which are disposed at least after a certain period of time. Hence bureaucracy is said to be cumbersome and the set of rules and regulations often are given greater pressure on annual budgets than the end result.

9. Compartmentalization:

As the jobs are divided across categories, it restricts the opportunities for collaboration and people performing tasks in other categories. Compartmentalization is a psychological defense mechanism people working in bureaucracy tend to have which makes them to be placed in a place of which thoughts and feelings that seem to conflict are kept separated or isolated from each other in the mind.

10. Decision-making:

Decision-making in bureaucracy is based on a certain set of rules and regulations. This rigidity often leads to opting for programmed decisions while newer avenues are not explored.

READ: Public administration(Woodrow Wilson)

10 Examples of a Bureaucratic Organization

The command structure of a in a bureaucratic organization takes the form of a pyramid with a high degree of formality in the way it operates. Organizational charts generally exist for every department, and decisions are made through an organized process. Examples of a Bureaucratic Organization have strict command and control structure present at all times to ensure good government and service delivery. Bureaucracies are meant to be orderly, fair and highly efficient that’s one of its key Advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy. Here’s real examples of Bureaucratic organization:

1. Government

2. Colleges and Universities

3. Police Departments

4. Motor Vehicle Departments

5. The registrar’s office

6. Fire Department

7. Health Institutions

8. Power Authorities

9. Correctional Facilities

10. Schools

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