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Bureaucracy definition by authors.

Definition of bureaucracy:

The word bureaucracy is derived from the French word bureaucratic which is again derived from bureau. The dictionary meaning of bureaucracy is a system of government in which most decisions are taken by state officials rather than by elected representatives. This definition of bureaucracy is somewhat exaggerated because in most of the modern states the representatives take majority decisions and top government officials act as advisers to the representatives.

The definition given by Hague, Harrop and Breslin appears to be more relevant. “The bureaucracy is the institution that carries out the functions and responsibilities of the state”.

In another definition the bureaucracy has been termed as a government run or managed by permanent officers, In other words, it can be said that bureaucracy is that type of government or administration which is primarily manned by some permanent officers recruited by a body which acts independently. Though this definition does not embrace all aspects, it conveys the real situation.

We can further say that bureaucracy is a government of permanent officers. They act as the advisers to the ministers but bear the burden of policy-making and policy implementation and they are responsible to their immediate boss. The boss may be a bureaucrat or a minister or any other person appointed by the government.

Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy:

Origin and Definition:

Marx said that the modern state was the outcome of capitalist development. But Weber does not agree with this view of Marx. The State existed and even developed before the development of modern capitalism. But there is an important contribution of capitalism. It created a huge machinery for the management of public and private administration. Before the advent of capitalism this gargantuan administrative structure did not have any existence. It is the considered opinion of Weber and today many share this view of Weber.

Marx said that bureaucratic organisation was parasite in the state. He did not regard it as an integral part of society. But Weber here again differed. He said that centralised bureaucratic administration was an integral part of modern state structure and it is inevitable. Weber has clearly stated in his Economy and Society: Vol. II that  “The growing complexity of the administrative task and the sheer expansion of the scope increasingly result in the technical superiority of those who have had training and experience and will thus inevitably favour the continuity of at least some of the functionaries.

Hence, there always exists the probability of the rise of a special, perennial structure for administrative purposes, which of course means for the exercise of rule” (emphasis added). Weber has clearly stated the origin and inevitability of bureaucratic organisation and rule. The increasing complexities of modern admi­nistration only could be tackled by bureaucracy.