Although bureaucracy as a phenomenon has gained a rather negative coloring in the everyday use of the word, it is, in fact, supposed to describe a neutral phenomenon. Traditionally, the notion of bureaucracy is expected to imply strict adherence to rules and regulations, which, in itself, is a positive and even important part of organizational performance. However, in most of its iterations, bureaucracy poses a threat to democracy when implemented (Meier et al. 1577). Therefore, one will need to introduce control tools to contain the side effects of bureaucracy while amplifying the positive ones.
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By using bureaucracy as a control tool for preventing instances of unfairness, dishonesty, and fraud from taking place and restricting the influence of bureaucracy to the specified area, one will be able to make it coexist with democracy. Moreover, the specified step will allow making bureaucracy serve one of democracy’s primary goals, namely, the promotion of justice and equity (Meier et al. 1578). When executed as functionally balanced notion, bureaucracy can become a rather powerful tool for maintaining the status quo and avoiding key risks. Moreover, when implemented as professionally competent, bureaucratic measures contribute to the effective functioning of democracy (Meier et al. 1561).
Overall, the reconciliation between bureaucracy and democracy is possible once the former is perceived as a control tool and not as a philosophy for officials to adhere to when implementing relevant goals. Moreover, bureaucracy can offer a way of maintaining the current system in order and keeping it sustainable so that it could remain effective in the future. Therefore, with the focus on the advantages that bureaucracy provides, one can reconcile it with democracy even if some of their aspects are quite contradictory.
Meier, Kenneth J., et al. “Bureaucracy and the Failure of Politics: Challenges to Democratic Governance.” Administration & Society, vol. 51, no. 10, 2019, pp. 1576-1605.