Bureaucracy involves division of labor which is normally practiced in any administration. ‘Bureau’, is a French word which means a desk, or by extension, it normally means an office; therefore, ‘Bureaucracy’ means ruling through an office or desk. Hence, this is a form of organization which carries out its activities by the use of written documents. Therefore, Bureaucratic management may be described as a system of administration differentiated by its well defined hierarchy of authority, rigid division of labor, written rules and regulations, and impersonal relationships .
The three systems of bureaucratic management
The three systems of bureaucratic management are the patronage, merit and executive-leadership systems. The patronage system of bureaucratic management is the one whereby the people are given favors, support and protection, or are appointed to office or position as a reward for political services they have delivered and because of their partisan loyalty. The main advantage of this system is that it normally promotes campaign contributions within the organization which practices it. Its common disadvantage involves promoting incompetence, leaving out the more qualified personnel to secure a post.
A merit system is an approach to managing the bureaucracy by appointing persons to the government posts on the basis of academic qualifications, professional training or required skills. The main advantage of this system is that, it provides equal opportunity to every individual. Therefore, the system allows women, the disabled people and others to be involved in an equal manner by getting opportunities in public and private sectors. The problem with this system is that, once practiced, bureaucrats can easily get a powerful political ground in their own right.
The bureaucratic management by executive leadership can be described as a system which involves an approach that is based on presidential leadership and presidential management skills, like the president’s annual budget proposal. Its main advantages are, its effective and efficient and it also has personal satisfaction in a job well-done.The disadvantage of this system is that, the president may abuse his/her power by appointing wrong people to the various posts.