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The Bureaucracy. America’s alphabet soup. McDonald’s vs. DMV. Rules of Operation Workers Goals ( measuring those goals) Acquiring and Using the Factors of Production External vs. Internal factors. The Weberian Model of Bureaucracy . The five characteristics of bureaucracy.

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Presentation Transcript
the bureaucracy

The Bureaucracy

America’s alphabet soup

mcdonald s vs dmv
McDonald’s vs. DMV
  • Rules of Operation
  • Workers
  • Goals (measuring those goals)
  • Acquiring and Using the Factors of Production
    • External vs. Internal factors
the weberian model of bureaucracy
The Weberian Model of Bureaucracy
  • The five characteristics of bureaucracy.
    • Division of labor
    • Hierarchy-pyramid
    • Formal rules
    • Maintenance of files

and records-Freedom of Information

Act (1974)

    • Professionalization
    • Goals-promote the “public good”, but how is that measured? This causes many people to believe the bureaucracy is wasteful.
cost vs benefits
Cost vs. Benefits



  • Hierarchy: can speed action by reducing conflicts over decisions
  • Specialization: promote efficiency because workers focus on one job (become skill)
  • Formal rules: workers act with speed and precision because decisions based on rules
  • They are large unwieldy organization that can create endless paperwork and delays (red tape)
  • Bureaucrats are unelected public-policy makers
  • Bureaucracies are expensive and sometimes uncontrollable
neutral competence
Neutral Competence
  • The idea of neutral competence
  • Despite stereotypes, most government employees work efficiently and inexpensively.
  • Roughly 2.9 million people work for the government bureaucracy-2nd to Wal-Mart
  • The bureaucracy is largely staffed by people hired for their skills, not their political leanings.
the merit system
The Merit System
  • The spoils system
    • Assassination of Garfield
  • The Pendleton Act
  • merit system and

the civil service

functions of bureaucracy
Functions of Bureaucracy
  • Policy Implementation
  • Making Policy-delegated legislative authority because what Congress passes is to vague to be effective
  • Regulation-establish standards and impose restrictions on violations of those standards
  • Collecting Data and Doing Research
  • Provide Continuity-elected officials come and go, bureaucrats never leave which provides for continuity and professionalization
organization of the u s government
Organization of the U.S. Government

No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth! Ronald Reagan, 1964

the structure of american bureaucracies
The Structure of American Bureaucracies
  • The Executive Office of the President (President’s closest advisors)
  • White House Staff (the “nerve center”)
  • Cabinet Departments-directly responsible to President, but also responsible to their department
  • Independent Agencies-not part of Cabinet, report to President, perform specialized functions (NASA, CIA, EPA); or they regulate the economy and protect the public (FED, SEC, FCC)
  • Government Corporations-work off its profits, not funded by Congress (Post Office, TVA, FDIC, AMTRAK)
  • Other Bureaus
privatization advantages and disadvantages

Less red tape and bureaucracy

More competition

Can obtain special skills

Improve service quality

Ideology-less government is better

More choices for people (school vouchers)


Incentives to reduce quality

Reduced access to service for the disadvantaged

Resulting cost savings directed away from taxpayer

Privatization-Advantages and Disadvantages