Premium Essay

Decentralization in Zambia's Bureaucracy

In: Business and Management

Submitted By kabwe88
Words 2420
Pages 10
INTRODUCTION
This essay aims at discussing decentralization, types of decentralisation, decentralization in Zambia and Uganda and it will discuss the most progressive decentralization between Zambia and Uganda.
Decentralisation has various comprehensive definitions. The UNDP (United Nations Development Program) (1998) defines decentralisation as “the restructuring or reorganization of authority so that there is a system of co-responsibility between institutions of governance at the central, regional and local levels according to the principle of subsidiarity, thus increasing the overall quality and effectiveness of the system of governance, while increasing the authority and capacities of sub-national levels”. The UNDP definition emphasises two critical aspects of decentralisation – its practical outworking in restructuring of Government functions and its aim – increased efficiency. Similarly, the concept is defined as a transfer of competences from central government level to elected authorities at the sub national level. Rondinelli. (1992) defines decentralisation as the transfer of responsibility for planning, management, and resource raising and allocation from the central government to sub units. In this definition, units listed include field units of central government ministries or agencies, semi-autonomous public authorities or corporations, and other authorities such as Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Basically decentralisation is the act of distributing power and authority to lower levels of governance. Some of the key aims of decentralisation are; enhanced efficiency and accountability, increased community participation and improved service delivery at lower implementation levels. The need for decentralisation in Africa has been attributed to the spread of multi-party political systems that have created demand for greater citizen voice and…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...| A bureaucracy is the most effective organisational structure The bureaucracy consist of a suffix cracy which derives from Greek word kratis, means power or rule which is exercised by bureaucrats who sit behind their bureaux, or desks making and administering the rules that are to guide organisation activity. In bureaucrats organisation the highest position has ultimate power to running the organisation (Morgan, 2006). Weber a German sociologist, studies the bureaucracy structure and mainly on power and authority. He pointed out definitions of tasks and responsibilities within the structure of management gives rise to a permanent administration, regulation of work procedures and change in the actual holders of office. The term of bureaucracy has been criticised as official rules and processes that seem unnecessary (red tape) and cause delays although, it only applies to certain structural features of formal organisations. Weber analysed it as idea type which is the most characteristic feature of all known organisations. He saw the development of bureaucracies as a very important part in human social life. In bureaucratic organisation the tasks are allocated as official duties among the various positions. A hierarchical authority applies to the organisation of offices and positions. Uniformity of decisions and action is achieved through formally established systems of rules and regulations. Together with a structure of authority, this enables the co-ordination of......

Words: 2045 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...The bureaucracy is an agent for the fulfilment of the policies of the government. Rigid neutrality and rigorous impartiality regarding political issues are the basis of official conduct. Democratic objectives would be impossible to attain in modern society without a bureaucratic organisation to implement them. Bureaucratisation usually concentrates power in a few men and curtails the freedom of the individual, which is essential for democracy. Bureaucracy endangers democratic freedom but at the same time it serves important functions in a democratic society, which must not be ignored. Whatever the present state of administration, it seems clear that the art of administration implies democracy, which must be built on understanding of hierarchy as the structure of responsibility. The bureaucracy is an instrument to carryout public will, and this is expressed by parliament in the form of law. The principles of Weberian bureaucracy seem to be in use in the Bangladesh bureaucracy. Our bureaucratic institutions are centralised and hierarchical, they are professional and impersonal, and the staff is chosen on the basis of examinations. These principles might have worked well in Weber's day when the tasks were relatively simple and straightforward. But the world has changed rapidly: the situation is characterised by technological revolution, global economic competition, free markets, educated workforces, demanding customers and severe fiscal constraints. Bureaucracy has become......

Words: 1030 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...Introduction Bureaucracy today is an integral part of most modern organizations. Whether public or private, organizations all across the world implement systems and regulations in their daily procedures which are enforced by appointed employees. Although bureaucracy has existed in some form or another for hundreds of years in human society, our point of departure will be the definition presented by Max Weber. In short, Weber defined bureaucracy as an organizational system with a clearly defined chain of command, where employees set aside their own personal opinions in favor of neutrality and impartialness. Rules are clearly defined and followed, to ensure the elimination of nepotism and the employee is required to adhere to the orders of their superiors who in turn have to operate under the structure and rules of the organization (Weber, 1946). When looking at how bureaucracy is used and implemented across the globe, it is clear that there are huge differences in how efficiently organizations and governments are being run, despite the fact that they are all working within a bureaucratic structure. In this paper we will look at public administration and question whether or not the bureaucratic ideal of the impersonal worker is still valid today. Is the strict adherence to regulations and formalities a concept which is no longer needed in our modern society? Traditional bureaucracy To many, bureaucracy is seen as a very stringent and almost soulless system, which......

Words: 1683 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...A bureaucracy is an organization made up of many departments and divisions that are administered by lots of people. The administrative structure of any large organization, public or private. Ideally bureaucracy is characterized by hierarchical authority relations, defined spheres of competence subject to impersonal rules, recruitment by competence, and fixed salaries. Its goal is to be rational, efficient, and professional. Max Weber, the most important student of bureaucracy, described it as technically superior to all other forms of organization and hence indispensable to large, complex enterprises. However, because of the shortcomings that have in practice afflicted large administrative structures, the terms bureaucracy and bureaucrat in popular usage usually carry a suggestion of disapproval and imply incompetence, a narrow outlook, duplication of effort, and application of a rigid rule without due consideration of specific cases. Bureaucracy existed in imperial Rome and China and in the national monarchies, but in modern states complex industrial and social legislation has called forth a vast growth of administrative functions of government. The power of permanent and nonelective officials to apply and even initiate measures of control over national administration and economy has made the bureaucracy central to the life of the state; critics object that it is largely impervious to control by the people or their elected representatives. The institution of the ombudsman......

Words: 459 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...MGMT 610 Professor Scanlan Feb 3, 2014 Originality score: 5% Bureaucracy According to the term, “Bureaucracy”, as coined by Max Weber, initially he felt it was a threat to personal liberties, but then realized this type of systematic structure was the most effective form of organizational functioning within the government and businesses. Weber spoke about six characteristics that determine success within a bureaucracy. The first characteristic is called rules and procedures. Every business has a standard code of conduct which is a guide on the do’s and don’ts of the work place. The second characteristic is specialization and division of labor, which means that each employee will have their own individual tasks they are responsible for completing within the allowed time. The third characteristic is hierarchy of authority. This gives each department an authoritative figure to maintain productivity and control. Characteristics of Bureaucracy The next characteristic is technically qualified personnel, which means being hired based on who best meets the criteria, not through favoritism or because you know that person. This gives all applicants an equal chance. Separate position from position holder is the fifth characteristic meaning that no employee is above another within a department. All employees were treated as equal, forcing them to work harder for promotions. The last characteristic is written communication and records. This gives the organization a written......

Words: 1011 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

... The Effect of Horizontal Differentiation of the Organization Spencer Meek Unit lll July 12, 2014 Centralized organizations are those in which most of the decision making occurs by a few people at the top of the hierarchy which is why the hierarchy begins to emerge when signs of problems with coordinating and motivating employees within their organization. This will then create a top-down management structure where the managers strongly control the direction of the workplace by using their quick decision skills and supervision. However with an organization that has a decentralized structure, this will allow greater decision-making along with authority at a lower organizational level. With decentralization there will be less direct managerial supervision that will be needed. It does not eliminate the need for so many hierarchical levels within large complex organizations but rather assisting to tall structures to be more flexible while reducing the amount of the direct supervision that may or may not be needed. Horizontal differentiated organizations are divided into subunits that have a variety of hierarchies and each division has its own hierarchy. It is also the principle way in which an organization will control their employees without raising the number of its hierarchical levels. Standardization will reduce the need for levels of management mainly because its rules will substitute for direct supervision gaining control over employees. By doing this it will make the......

Words: 742 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...ABSTRACT Bureaucracy is all about the rules and regulations to manage a particular activity in the organization. This paper is about how bureaucracy used in old organizations and how it affected the processes of new organizations. It explains how bureaucracy is not applicable in today’s business environment because of many facts. As years went through there was a drastic change in the operations of the organisation. The concern moved from organization to customer service, so the bureaucratic organizations changed their strategy from bureaucracy to customer service, this include government organizations also. Different authors thought about issue the issue different and this is explained in a very lucid language in this paper. INTRODUCTION TO BUREACRACY In the 18th century, officials of the French government demoted bureaucracy as desk cloth cover. Bureau means the official body which is engaged in the office which is public. This body uses the required implemental material and files. The term bureaucracy derived from the word bureau. (Reinhard Bendix,1968) According to Blau(1965), bureaucracy is defined as “The type of organization designed to accomplish large scale administrative tasks by systematically coordinating the work of many individuals.” However, Weber(1958) defined bureaucracy in a very scientific and systematic way. This means that technology became an important reason for the growth of organizations where bureaucracy is used. In the strict......

Words: 1420 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...Max Weber on Bureaucracy I. Merriam Webster’s Definition of Bureaucracy: 1 a : a body of nonelective government officials b : an administrative policy-making group 2 : government characterized by specialization of functions, adherence to fixed rules, and a hierarchy of authority 3 : a system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation II. Background and Description Max Weber was born 1864 and died 1920. Weber asks how is it a leader can give a command and have actions carried out? He answers the question by classifying claims to the "legitimacy" in the exercise of authority. His observations on bureaucracy were heavily influenced by his experiences in the United States. While traveling there, Weber was struck by the role of bureaucracy in a democratic society. The problem, as he saw it, was that modern democracy required bureaucratic structures of all kinds in the administration of government and even in the conduct of professional party politics. Handing over the reins to a class of unelected "experts," however, threatened to undermine the very basis of democracy itself. In particular, Weber stressed two problems: the unaccountability of unelected civil servants and the bureaucratic tendency toward inflexibility in the application of rules. Weber's interest in the nature of power and authority, as well as his pervasive preoccupation with modern trends of rationalization, led him to concern himself with the operation of modern......

Words: 1957 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

The Bureaucracy

...The Bureaucracy This report is based upon the topic bureaucracy being compared to the course textbook. This book breaks down what is a bureaucracy, the federal bureaucracy, becoming a bureaucrat, the bureaucracy and policymaking, and also reforming the bureaucracy. A bureaucracy is a way of administratively organizing large numbers of people who need to work together. As the textbook goes more in depth defining bureaucracy as a form of organization that operates through impersonal, uniform rules and procedures. Also, stating that bureaucracy actually at one time in history meant fast, effective, and rational administration. Organizations in the public and private sector, including universities and governments, rely on bureaucracies to function. The term bureaucracy literally means “rule by desks or offices,” a definition that highlights the often impersonal character of bureaucracies. Even though bureaucracies sometimes seem inefficient or wasteful, setting up a bureaucracy helps ensure that thousands of people work together in compatible ways by defining everyone’s roles within a hierarchy. Government bureaucrats perform a wide variety of tasks. We often think of bureaucrats as paper-pushing desk clerks, but bureaucrats fight fires, teach, and monitor how federal candidates raise money, among other activities. The job of a bureaucrat is to implement government policy, to take the laws and decisions made by elected officials and put them into practice. Some bureaucrats......

Words: 1522 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...A bureaucracy is defined as a form of organisation that centres on precision, speed, reliability, and efficiency achieved through the creation of job specialisation, hierarchical structure and detailed rules and regulations. (Visitchaichan, n.d. p.5) Bureaucratic organisations have been around for a very long time. They began as primarily the structure for just a few political and religious organisations (e.g. the US Government and the Roman Catholic Church). But by the second half of the 19th century, businesses were becoming larger and more complicated, and there was a move from small, primarily family run organisations to huge companies with hundreds or even thousands of employees. It became clear that a new form of organisation was required to deal with the increasing administrative problems of these larger companies. (Volti, 2008, p.80) Max Weber created the idea of bureaucratic structure of organisation that he believed would counteract these issues. His theory, however, is permeated by scepticism. He describes the bureaucracy as the most dominant form of modern control, both positively and negatively. Although he describes bureaucracies as the fairest and most efficient method of control, he was alarmed by their rapid spread through state, business and institutions and concerned about the effect that they would have on the people within the bureaucratic structure. He argued that due to their technical superiority, bureaucracies would come to dominate all forms of......

Words: 2222 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Decentralization

...the suitable process of choosing the service to peoples. Scott Anthony (2012) the famous author of The Little Black Book of Innovation had shares he precious ideas on predicts the services which could be used by the local government of Malaysia the inspiration sources in providing effective and efficient services. Get the context is an ideas where the top officer could extracts information as the author had wrote’ it is importance to top officer to spend hours of precious time seating with customer, have a chat and from that the voice of wanting the appropriates service will be heard and the responsibilities of officer is to bring it to knowledge of Local Department Of Malaysia. However by relates into the benefit reached from the decentralization, the higher officer had right to so, and it gives more opportunity to local government to serve the people with a reliability and satisfies services. Another intelligent thought by him is watch for workarounds, the local government has its own power in term of govern it structure of organization, as they can used a lot of approach to in getting sources of ideas to provide the better services which will reaches all people whom lives in the regional governance. Besides that, the local authorities also had collaboration with other agencies to hold any program such; Gotong Royong with villagers, health and care program collaboration with ministry of health and more. Besides that, in order for local government or authorities to......

Words: 2637 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Decentralization

...Introduction Day by day, the decentralization of decision making in present-day organizations is rising. It is an undeniable fact that the decision making tactics have evolved through time and they are beneficial not only for modern day global organizations but also for the employees’ productivity. It is an inevitable approach for that type of organizations as they have several departments across the world, and as for employees, autonomy at making their own decisions leads to motivation and empowerment. Main body International contemporary organizations operate across the world with several departments or divisions and they certainly require a more decentralized structure. A new unit opens in a different geographic region and in order to perform with success, it operates as an independent entity. The reason for this independence comes with the idea that the needs in every region differ. Zoghi and Mohr (2011, p.688) state that ‘as the size and the scope of the business grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to possess and process all the relevant information and make decisions.’ Top managers of a national firm choose to distribute the decision control among employers with lower business position, as these employers know at firsthand what the needs of their working area are. The assigned group of workers can efficiently decide what the best solution to a problem is, what changes need to be made, and adapt to the consumer needs of their area. As far as the employees’......

Words: 561 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...UREAUCRACY: WEBER’S THEORY The literal meaning of bureaucracy is “rule by desks or offices, or government with a small desk.” A bureaucracy comprises of a great number of non-elected government officials that are concerned with administrative work and policy-making. Many big organizations and governments depend on bureaucracies to operate; they need consistent rules and procedures. Governmental agencies such as homeland security demonstrate best how bureaucrats function and what they do. (Blau, 1956) During the time of the great German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920), organizations were run in a casual manner. Max Weber searched for means to create a more official structure in organizations. According to him, organizations that were run like families were less successful because authority was misplaced. He believed that workers were loyal to their superiors as opposed to organizations. Organizations that are more structured, authoritative, and rigid were Max Weber’s ideal of a fully rational bureaucracy; he imagined them to be that way. His ideal organizations were those that were able to turn regular workers into coherent decision makers that will serve clients with fairness and competence. According to Weber, the following are characteristics of a fully rational bureaucracy: (Weber, 2009) Hierarchy: a clear-cut chain of command characterizes the level of power within organizations. People who occupy positions of authority will oversee and guide those who hold......

Words: 1252 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Decentralization in Zambia's Bureaucracy

...community. She also said that a decentralised system of governance is a very important aspect of development. “It is only through a decentralised system of governance that the citizenry are able to effectively influence and participate in the management of national affairs. The case for decentralisation becomes even stronger in a democratic context,” she said in an interview. In the case of Zambia, the policy of decentralisation was only adopted in 2002. Of course, the country has been experimenting different models of local governance but within a highly centralised system of bureaucratic and political management. It was only in 2002 that the Government, under the leadership of the late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, adopted a comprehensive decentralization policy. Clearly, various stakeholders have identified decentralisation as both an urgent and most appropriate solution to enhancing both the governance and development systems in Zambia. To a large extent, it is this consensus that propelled Government to come up with specific commitments. SACCORD strongly believes that, if properly implemented, decentralisation would facilitate the participation of the local communities in the governance of their development affairs. The overall goal of the Decentralisation Policy is to devolve decision-making, authority and functions from the Central Government to lower levels of Government.. The policy was accompanied by an implementation plan for a period of 10 years at the time of......

Words: 1622 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Decentralization

...of the future and point out that decentralization is usually conducive to superior patterns in decision-making In a centralized organization , all decisions come through a single chain of command . The manager always knows who to report to and in what hierarchy this or that question will be resolved , at least ideally . This clear pattern is fuzzier at a decentralized organization where decision-making is dispersed through a number of different channels and occurs in a less strictly regulated manner . This difference has also to do with information management as information can rise up a single line as in centralized organizations , or flow according to a more complex pattern , according to the decentralized one . Centralization is connected with a narrow span of control and a tall hierarchy in contrast decentralization is associated with a flat hierarchy with a wide span of control (Simon 1994 , .34 This will argue that decentralization is a visible trend in modern organizations , although it cannot be expected to replace all centralized organizations in the short run . Corporate revamping is a slow and painstaking process , and centralized governance does have advantages However , the `fashionable ' customer focus and the need for flexibility that come to the fore in today 's business as well as other trends give managers reason to switch to decentralized patterns . The first sections deal with advantages brought by decentralization and the factors that lead to the...

Words: 561 - Pages: 3