Types Of Bureaucracy
Types Of Bureaucracy

Easily defined, the term bureaucracy refers to an entity that has intricately layered systems such that there is a long protocol as far as control and the maintenance of uniformity within the organization in question is concerned with Types Of Bureaucracy includes Weberian Model, Acquisitive Model, Monopolistic model, Enabling type of bureaucracy and Coercive type of bureaucracy. .

Decision making is not a monopoly and consequentially the processes and systems involved make it slow. Typical bureaucracies are, ministries, government departments, public service, parastatals, independent executive agencies and even some private corporations. Usually bureaucracies are put in place to carry out specific tasks.


Let us explore the types of bureaucracy there are so thus far.


There have been attempts to categorize bureaucracies, and some have grouped them according to their affiliation to the government, public service and/or private sector. In the quest to understand types Of Bureaucracy how bureaucracy works, sociologists then drew us closer to home and cultivated a number of models which can translate to, or qualify as types of bureaucracy.

A closer look at these models reveals almost accurate characteristics which subsequently illuminates the relationships within a particular type of bureaucracy. These can also be common in the private sector and even Non-Governmental Organizations.

Here’s Different types of bureaucracy


Weberian Model


This is the classic type of bureaucracy named after its developer, Max Weber. The early German sociologist accurately predicted the high demand by citizens for government services. His submissions are, the “increasing complexity of life” is the sole cause for this surge in service delivery demands. Weber’s model then supports the existence of apolitical agencies where hierarchy is clearly defined with adherence to formal procedures. Bureaucrats are placed in positions on merit such that logic can be adequately applied when solving problems.


Such a bureaucracy aims at eliminating abuse of office by those in positions of authority, patronage, among other toxic decision making processes. Present day governing systems could benefit a lot from adopting the fundamentals of the Weberian Model.

Issues around corruption, among a host of crises, which consequentially birth poor service delivery could be alleviated if everything was not so politicized in today’s governments. Africa has been at the center of the corruption topic for a long time. Perhaps a step back in study types Of Bureaucracy and sincere attempts at implementation of this and other models could mean a thousand steps in the positive direction.


Acquisitive Model


Later sociologists are of an alternative view, in that, they perceive bureaucracies as naturally flawed because of hunger for power by bureaucrats. Legislators are responsible for working out respective budgets for types of Bureaucracy and due to the competition for limited resources, bureaucrats in the highest positions would want to accumulate more for their own principles of bureaucracy without minding the negativity it has on others.

An example of bureaucracy is when a budget is allocated to a particular department and the authorities decide to exhaust every penny, this leaves no room for downward adjustments of budgets in the future. The result is unnecessary growth of a bureaucracy which then births bureaucratic waste.


Monopolistic model


A third view developed the monopolistic model, where the problem is not the existence of competition for scarce resources but actually the insight of how bureaucracies work lies in absence of competition. To an extent this is very applicable to modern bureaucracies.

When you look at African bureaucracies like, power companies, water regulation authorities, which have, for a long time been accused of poor service delivery, poor response to problems and a whole host of foul cries by citizens. Competition induced efficiency is prominent in the private sector industries where organizations are competing for the same market.

On the other hand, two special types of bureaucracy have been developed in the form of, “Enabling” and “Coercive” bureaucracies which are best explained by Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management principles.

Enabling type of bureaucracy


In Taylor’s concepts, workers were perceived as machines which need to be utilized efficiently and effectively. Offensive as it may be (that a human being can be reduced to a mere machine) enabling bureaucracies can justify this notion by results and benefit for the organization and worker respectively.


In trying to fully utilize human resources, management scientifically determines the easiest and most efficient way of doing the job, puts in place foremen to train their subordinates and monitor them to follow the best way. This reduces the amount of energy needed by the worker for a job while on the other hand saving the bureaucracy time.


Financial incentives are means by which workers are motivated to do better. Workers are always seeking ways to supplement their wages and if it comes as easy as levelling up performance in something that one has been doing already, open arms can only receive the initiative.


Enabling bureaucracies aim at developing their workers such that they do not feel exploited or taken advantage of over and above being regarded as “machines.” In a way this supports the productivity objectives of the Weberian model, where bureaucracies emphasize on collective productivity as a result of collective effort.


However, most people perceive this as colorful means by which bureaucracies exploit workers because the incentives are no match for the productivity invested. This is an unfair and judgmental approach, given that countless business owners acquired skill from on-job trainings and ended up implementing in their own private corporations.


Coercive type of bureaucracy


In autocratic bureaucracies, exploitation of subordinates is commonplace. Bureaucrats sought individual growth at the detriment of workers’ well-being. These are the kind of bureaucracies which give weight to the acquisitive notion that bureaucracies are “naturally competitive and power hungry.” Here, workers are not incentivized, and they are characterized with frequent stripping off of benefits.

A general overview of the attempts at categorizing bureaucracies into types reveals there are two angles from which one can approach the subject. One can decide to zero-in on the two types in the form of whether a types Of Bureaucracy is either “enabling” or “coercive.”

Another can decide to look at the sociological models of bureaucracy. For the purposes of this article, we looked at both and how the latter feeds into the processes of the former and the other way round.

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