ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bureaucracies and Individuals

Updated on June 29, 2012

Many social scientists have written on the effects of bureaucratic structures and organizations on the individual members of society. Although bureaucracy is meant to promote efficiency and effectiveness in organizing large scale tasks, it has rather come to be associated with inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Rules and regulations, characteristic of bureaucratic organizations, make things slow and often impossible or frustrating. Red-tapism and official rigidity are common expressions used to described bureaucratic operations. On this premise bureaucracy is causing "trained incapacity" This regards to the situation where the training of the bureaucrat in performing specified roles, according to specified patterns, turn out to incapacitate the bureaucrat in a different or changed circumstance. This is a state in which a worker can only respond in one way regardless of what the condition may be, simply because he is specifically trained to carry out a specific task. Training therefore create a a vacuum which no other person can fill except the trained specialist for that specific operation. Also in a different occasion other than their areas of operation, specialist cannot respond and as such training becomes unfit, by being fit, in an unfit fitness.

Bureaucracy may encourage behavioral patterns which hinders the realization of organizational goals. The situations arise which are not covered by the rules, this training may lead to inflexibility and timidity. He has not been taught to improvise and innovate and in addition he may well be afraid to do so. In certain circumstances, breaking of official rules may increase organizational efficiency, but since bureaucrats lack initiatives, owing to obedience to the rules, they do not break such rules otherwise it might amount to disobedience of official rules stipulated. Thus, obeying the rules is beneficial to the official and disobedience is not. In fact it amounts to risking the future of his career, even if it will enhance productivity. thus the bureaucrat becomes a stickler to the rules, even when it's breaking is necessary.

Again, the emphasis on formalistic impersonality in the performance of bureaucratic services, tends to produce specialist without spirits. For example, job seekers in a job center or pregnant women in a maternity clinic maybe expecting concern and sympathy for their particular problems. The business like, impartial and unemotional treatment they might receive can lead to Bureaucrats being seen as cold, unsympathetic, abrupt, and even arrogant. With the increasing, complexity and bureaucratization of modern organizations all power is concentrated at the top, in the hands of organizational elite that rules in a dictatorial manner. The decision making machinery is removed far from the rank and file and concentrated on top of complex and large organizations. Leaders, use the instruments of power at their disposal to consolidate their power positions and direct the affairs of the organization as it suits them and their personal interests. They will usually jeopardise or throw overboard the interests of the rank and file whenever it clashed with their privileges. In this way the interests of the leaders are more than the interest of the masses, are served by organizations.

Leaders labor to preserve the organization and maintained the status quo and not to achieve organizational goals, but to continue to enjoy the perquisites of their offices. By the time, they keep on gathering experiences that makes them look indispensable, their power positions make it almost impregnable. It is the organization, which gives birth to the dominion of the elected over the electors, the mandatories over the mandators, and of the delegates over the delegators. Therefore who says organization, says oligarchy.

Bureaucratic organizations discourage hard work and competition, as they encourage youngsters to join corporations and then settle down to a life of security, togetherness and conformity to laid down principles. They sell their individuality to business and become "organization men". creativity and individualism are possible within organization life, although these qualities may be harder to develop because of emphasis on uniformity and other bureaucratic characteristics. The dilemma of modern man is how to maintain his individuality within over organized mass society.

It is equally necessary to point out here that there is the other side of the relationships between bureaucracies and individuals. Organization has provided an incredibly high standard of living, supermarket chains in large urban cities, by their capacity for rapid and efficient distribution of goods and services, have made such available nationwide through out the year. Highly organized manufacturing firms and multinational corporations, turn out automobiles, television sets, work-saving appliances and a vast array of other necessary goods and services which are distributed around the world. Rapid transportation and communication depend on high degree of organization. Crucial medical services are organized to respond to any emergency. These and other forms of organization life undoubtedly contributes to the general physical well-being of our society.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)