Post Weberian Models of Public Administration

In the previous section we read about the Weberian Model of Bureaucracy and its various aspects, however like all models this one too has its share of criticism and dissection performed by scholars and subject matter experts. The critics of the Weber model said that his theories of bureaucracy heavily discounted the human aspect in theories and that it could work only in a controlled and ideal environment and was removed from reality.

The standard structures and code of ethics which were the characteristic of the public administration studies carried out in the beginning of the last century underwent major changes after the Second World War. The Weberian models and the change in attitude towards the public administration had brought many welcome changes in the bureaucracy in the early half of the century. The authoritative, corrupt and unresponsive bureaucracy was made to turn around.

As Warren Bennis the social scientist had emphatically prophesized that every age evolves its own administration and bureaucratic functions in accordance with its needs, customs and traditions and which remains relevant for them and for only that time. When a new age arrives, the systems, traditions, administrations and bureaucracies are recreated, realigned and reorganized to suit the changes. A very good example was Riggs approach to the Weber model, he was aware of the fact that the Weber model shall not work for the developing countries which came up after the Second World War. The administrative structures in the developing countries did not enjoy the autonomy assumed in the Weberian model. Also, that in developing country, the realm of the work of public administration extended much beyond mere administration and involved a lot of work in the areas of development and upliftment of the society. The Governments were now working more as the Welfare state which cannot fit within the limitations of the Weberian model.

In the present times with the advent of technology in all realms of life, it has become a commodity which can be exchanged for tangible goods. The shrinking time and distance ensures that the information travels around the globe within seconds and the organizations both Government and private, across the globe do not live in rigid walls anymore. The technical and managerial skills and expertise required at various level of public administration and bureaucracy has changed manifolds. The increasing education, the internet and the social media, the globalization has ensured that everything is transparent and under spotlight for all times.

Bureaucracy is becoming more and more efficient with lesser response time despite of being added with array of responsibilities and duties. The organizations are restructured to ensure greater autonomy and mobilization within organizations. The inter-departmental transactions; coordination and cooperation are being improved using technologies like ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning.

The way the government functions in many modern democracies has also changed. The structures and roles have become flexible; the democratic administration has found its way into public institutions and organizations, the inclusion of people and their opinions and ideas etc are some of the new developments.


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