Critique of the Theory and Practice of Bureaucracy

  • Л. Д. Демченко Київський національний університет імені Тараса Шевченка
Keywords: bureaucracy, government, public administration, informal organization,, post-bureaucratic model, critique, shortcomings, rationality


The article examines the critical views on the bureaucracy of political philosophers and experts in thefield of public administration, from the end of the eighteenth century to the present day. The emphasis is onthe fact that phenomenon and concept of bureaucracy is one of the most discussed and analyzed within thescience of public administration. Despite the historical stability and evolution of the theoretical foundationsof bureaucracy, the latter is increasingly criticized by researchers. The analysis of critical sources ofbureaucracy as a scientific model and the practical organization of a public administration confirms the ideaof the non-relevance of bureaucratic management mechanisms in the context of modern, dynamic socialtransformations.The goal of the paper is to comprehensively analyze critical assessments of the bureaucracy at the levelof theory and practice, to systematize the dysfunctional characteristics of the bureaucracy as a form ofadministration.The analysis of the papers of such scholars as Ch. Barnard, Ch. Goodsell, R. Hummel, R. Merton, M.Meyer, etc. shows that the disadvantages of the bureaucratic model of public administration include itsmechanistic character, absoluteness of rationality, antihumanism, and formalization of procedures. Today,most scholars recognize the need to establish a post-bureaucratic (postmodern) model that recognizes theprimacy of a person (citizen) over the state apparatus, the need for his / her active involvement in publicpolicy, efficiency and effectiveness as the main criteria for the quality of public administration activities, etc.Another form of critique of bureaucratic practice is the researches of gender scholars. These criticalremarks, above all, are due to the rejection of the rationalist-modern form of organization, as a definitelymale center.


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How to Cite
Демченко, Л. (2019). Critique of the Theory and Practice of Bureaucracy. Public Administration Aspects, 7(5), 5-11.