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The Impacts of the Bureaucracy in “Catch-22 Explained” Essay



The video clip “Catch-22 Explained” narrates the story of a World War II bombardier who is already fed up with the insanity of the upheaval. He is trying to escape this kind of madness by using every strategy to leave the army. However, Catch 22 clause reveals that a soldier’s concern for his own safety during the war exhibited the rationality of his mind (Ghenghy, 2012). The clause, therefore, depicts the nature of a mentality that is developed by individuals in bureaucratic environments. The video shows that insanity is the only viable way of dealing with every crazy situation. This discussion gives a detailed analysis of the impacts of the bureaucracy depicted in the video.

Analyzing the Issues Emerging from Bureaucracy

Description of Rules and Policies

Catch-22 is a term used to illustrate the nature of command in many military systems. The video indicates that rules have to be followed by every person within the hierarchical structure. Those at the lowest levels are usually on the receiving end (Ghenghy, 2012). Catch-22 is a clause that compels soldiers to obey or follow orders from their respective commanding officers. This means that a given order contradicting another one given by a superior should be disregarded immediately.

The video demonstrates how topmost commanders present instructions and policies that must be followed instantly. These policies are embedded without considering their implications on the followers. This is a clear representation of bureau pathology. The excessive bureaucracy is usually characterized by means-ends inversion whereby every duty becomes a critical goal that must be pursued. The soldier portrayed in the video is forced to change his mind if he is to survive the conditions associated with the ongoing war (Ghenghy, 2012).

Hierarchical Decision-Making: Means-End Inversion

Hierarchical decision-making is a practice that has gained the attention of many scholars and organizational theorists. The process is applied by specific leaders to dictate the behaviors and actions embraced by those in lower levels of the hierarchical structure. Some decisions are made without considering their implications or impacts on different followers (Ghenghy, 2012). The presented video clip shows how such decision-making processes can result in disastrous outcomes.

It is agreeable that hierarchical decision-making processes can result in means-end inversion. This is a scheme whereby the method was undertaken to complete a specific duty or unconditionally (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2015). Consequently, the approach displaces the ultimate goal or result that was anticipated from the very beginning. The strategy can be described as an operation of massive power and influence that affects both followers and beneficiaries negatively. In a given organizational setting, the process can have negative impacts and eventually affect overall performance.

Personal Experience

There is a time I worked in a manufacturing firm that was characterized by a bureaucratic leadership model. Instructions had to be received from the company’s managers. Persons in the lower levels of the hierarchy were required to implement every order without question. According to these topmost leaders, the main goals were to maximize productivity and reduce wastes. This kind of scenario resulted in means-end inversion (Hitt et al., 2015). Workers were monitored and supervised to ensure every function was completed in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, most of the employees were unhappy with the working environment. This situation compelled most of us to quit our respective positions. Some of the major challenges included the inability to pursue personal goals, lack of creativity, and reduced employee participation (Hitt et al., 2015). Emerging challenges were left unaddressed since most of the workers did not have time to come up with meaningful decisions. The concept of a work-life balance was disregarded in the organization. The workers became less passionate and unwilling to support the company’s goals.

This situation supports the ideas presented by different managerial analysts. For instance, Cable (2012) argues that top-down and bureaucratic controls in firms are usually toxic to creativity and innovativeness. The working environment was making it hard for me to come up with accurate decisions and solve emerging problems amicably. Consequently, the company was not in a position to achieve most of its objectives and aims.


This discussion outlines the major issues associated with excessive bureaucracies. For instance, Catch-22 is a satirical piece of art that exposes the officialdom that defines many government agencies and organizations across the world. This kind of leadership results in a negative environment, thereby making it impossible for different workers to pursue their personal or organizational aspirations (Hitt et al., 2015). The emerging means-ends inversion results in negative behaviors, unending challenges, and ineffective problem-solving approaches.

In order to deal with these negative effects of hierarchy, organizations can use better managerial models characterized by minimal levels of leadership. The models should foster better cultures and practices whereby employees are equipped with the right resources to pursue their personal and organizational goals. Organizations can also promote conducive, passion-filled, and creative environments to support innovation (Cable, 2012). Companies that consider these suggestions will realize their goals much faster, deal with emerging challenges, and eventually remain competitive in their respective sectors.


Cable, J. (2012). . Industry Week, 261(6), 1-2. Web.

Ghenghy. (2012). Catch-22 explained. Web.

Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Hoskisson, R. E. (2015). Strategic management: Concepts and cases: Competitiveness and Globalization (11th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

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IvyPanda. "The Impacts of the Bureaucracy in "Catch-22 Explained"." March 27, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-impacts-of-the-bureaucracy-in-catch-22-explained/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "The Impacts of the Bureaucracy in "Catch-22 Explained"." March 27, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-impacts-of-the-bureaucracy-in-catch-22-explained/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Impacts of the Bureaucracy in "Catch-22 Explained"'. 27 March.

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