The Effects of Reinventing Government on Bureaucracy

| July 25, 2015

Organizations can be structured in many different ways, each offering certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, some organizations may have a strict management hierarchy and specific procedures for communication and decision making. These organizations often are called “tall” organizations because there are many levels of management (e.g., a president, a vice president, department heads, assistant department heads, supervisors, assistant supervisors, and workers), and power generally flows from the top to the bottom. Other organizations may have more flexible structures and fewer rules and regulations. These organizations sometimes are referred to as “flat” organizations, because power is more evenly distributed and there are fewer “middle management” levels.

Bureaucracy is another type of organizational structures, and is the most common structure for most U.S. government organizations. The roots of bureaucracy can be traced to ancient Rome, where the ideas of a merit system and a chain of command were used in the Roman army. Bureaucracy has evolved since then, and as your textbook points out, has taken on many different meanings in today’s world. Not all of these meanings are favorable. In fact, many people associate bureaucracy with “red tape,” or inefficiency and wastefulness. This reputation has inspired many reform efforts over the past decades, including the reinventing government movement. Based on the ideas of David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, this movement began in earnest in the early 1990s. Its ideas are aimed at fixing some of what is wrong with government bureaucracy in order to save valuable money and time. In this Discussion, you examine your personal understanding of bureaucracy and consider how the reinventing government movement is changing traditional notions of this structure.


Submit by Thursday June 11, 2015 a brief description of bureaucracy. Then explain how the reinventing government movement is changing traditional notions about bureaucracy. Be specific.


Support your work with specific citations from the Learning Resources. You are allowed to draw from additional sources to support your explanation, but you must cite using APA standards. All quoted material must be identified, cited, and referenced per APA standards.



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Application: The Civil Service System
Federal & State Programs

Category: Government

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