What's so Bad About Bureaucracy in Your Opinion?

Some of the drawbacks of bureaucracy include disorganization, inefficiency and conflict between different agencies within the bureaucracy. A bureaucracy is a hierarchical administrative system that governs any large organization, such as a government agency, corporation or university.

Bureaucracies are frequently characterized as inefficient, disorganized bodies that are overly concerned with rules. The hierarchical structure of the organization is almost entirely undemocratic, with lower-level employees having little to no say in how the organization functions. The size of operations typically makes it difficult for the organization to recognize single voices, and bureaucracies are often accused of treating people as data rather than as individuals. Bureaucracies also operate based on thoroughly prescribed regulations, which can limit employee input and creativity. A focus on paperwork combined with restrictions and rules often limits a bureaucracy’s ability to accomplish its goals efficiently.

The nature of any large bureaucracy means that it must split administration of its different functions between different sections or agencies, which often creates internal conflict. For example, in the United States, the Department of Commerce, which promotes business and economic growth, is often at odds with the Environmental Protection Agency, which attempts to limit corporate damage to the environment. Different agencies or even different factions within the same agency may have dramatically different agendas, which can lead to conflict and a slowdown in bureaucratic function.