Bureaucracy is one of the oldest forms of leadership and it is a commonly used tool of management. Quintessential bureaucratic organizations operate in accordance with fixed official duties under a hierarchy of authority and by applying a system of rules to be used in decision making” (Peters 76).
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Bureaucracy as a system of governance and leadership has been effective in some organizations although it is often criticized for suppressing creativity among individuals. This opinion personal reflection is a discussion on how bureaucracy influences my leadership experience.
Bureaucratic organizations can ensure success because they eliminate instances of collision between several centers of power. For instance, the success of the military depends on how orders travel from the commander-in-chief to the foot soldiers. Consequently, without a bureaucratic system this goal would be difficult to achieve.
Another benefit of the bureaucratic system is that it is very easy for the leaders to institute and implement policies. Leaders who operate under bureaucratic systems have the opportunity to bring change to their organizations faster than those who operate under democratic or hybrid models.
After exploring the bureaucratic systems, I have come to realize that my leadership competencies would align better with a hybrid system that incorporates both bureaucracy and democracy. Modern democratic systems are trailing behind when it comes to progress and implementation of policies (Choo 330).
Consequently, a system that allows leaders to exercise bureaucracy can be valuable to my progressive form of leadership. In a bureaucratic environment, the actions of a leader depend on the validity of his/her policies. Consequently, to be successful within a bureaucratic system I would invest in research and other fact-finding tools.
This would ensure that my actions are beyond reproach by both my seniors and my subjects. To remain relevant in a bureaucratic system, a leader would need to have excellent negotiation and persuasion skills. Two advantages of embracing a formal system are that it is more inclusive and it is able to dilute the effects of poor leadership. On the other hand, formal leadership creates too many policy-bottlenecks in an organization and it lacks a clear sense of direction.
One of the new realities that leaders are facing involves conflicting parties taking hard-line stands during disagreements (Janis 87). On most occasions, institutions that bear the power to change policies appear ‘aloof’ to the junior and often ‘wronged’ parties.
In an article that appears on the “GP Online” magazine, junior doctors and medical students in the United Kingdom are protesting against the actions of the National Health Service (NHS). On the other hand, the NHS is taking a low-key approach to the demands of the students (Singer 1). The only practical solution to the protests in the UK is to have both parties come to an agreement about the concerns of the leaders.
There are various strategies that can be used in meeting a variety of different challenges. The problems in the UK were sparked by a bureaucratic order that imposed new contracts for all the doctors in training. On the other hand, the committee that represents the doctors walked out of negotiations.
It is clear that both conflicting parties are ruthlessly seeking for their survival (Forrester 45). Consequently, the situation presents a challenge that is common in modern leadership where the needs of opponents are barely considered. Another strategy for meeting challenges is by eliminating the element of ‘selfishness’ in leadership. Without selfishness, it is easy to realize the benefits of well-structured negotiations.
Using the knowledge that I have acquired in this course, I can be able to realign leadership with the view of ‘softening’ it thereby eliminating hard-line stances in cases of conflicts (Starcy 11). The mission of higher education and training is often influenced by government officials. However, in cases where student leadership and government leaders cooperate, incidences of conflict are minimal.
Choo, Wei. “The knowing organization: How organizations use information to construct meaning, create knowledge and make decisions.” International journal of information management 16.5 (2006): 329-340. Print.
Forrester, Jay. “Policies, decisions and information sources for modeling.” European Journal of Operational Research 59.1 (2012): 42-63. Print.
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Janis, Irving Lester. Crucial decisions: Leadership in policymaking and crisis management, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2009. Print.
Peters, Guy. Bureaucratic politics and the institutions of the European Community, Washington DC: Brookings Institution, 2002. Print.
Singer, Ron. “Viewpoint: Government must not Ignore Historic Junior Doctor Protests”.
GP Online, 29 September 2015, Web. <https://www.gponline.com/viewpoint-government-not-ignore-historic-junior-doctor-protests/article/1366365>.
Starcy, John. “Changing theories of leadership and leadership development.” Leadership in organizations: Current issues and key trends 6.5 (2004): 11-12. Print.