Article

Bureaucracy in the Twenty-First Century

Kenneth J. Meier and Gregory C. Hill

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Management

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226443
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199226443.003.0004

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Bureaucracy in the Twenty-First Century

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Although numerous scholars claim the eminent demise of bureaucracy, this article argues that bureaucracy will not only survive in the twenty-first century but will flourish. The core of the argument is that the large-scale tasks that government must perform—national defense, a social welfare system, political monitoring of the economy, etc.—will remain key functions of governments in the twenty-first century and that bureaucracies, likely public but possibly private, will continue to be the most effective way to do these tasks. Bureaucracy has weathered other calls for its demise before; current efforts are likely to meet similar fates. After a brief discussion of definitions and the meaning of bureaucracy, the major sections of this article deal with six challenges to bureaucracy. Some of these challenges are intellectual; others are part of real-world ongoing reform efforts in a variety of countries.

Keywords: bureaucracy; twenty-first century; national economy; bureaucratic reforms; social welfare system; governmental tasks

Article.  8928 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Public Management and Administration ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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