Diverse Perspectives on Bureaucracy: A Comparative Book Review
Intellectual History of Public Administration
PADM 6610, Fall 2014
Instructor: Matthew S. Mingus, Ph.D.
The Assignment of Comparative Book Review
Li Cheng, Ph.D. Student in Public Administration
Western Michigan University
October 28, 2014
Diverse Perspectives on Bureaucracy: A Comparative Book Review
Ackoff, L. R., & Rovin, S. (2005). Beating the System: Using creativity to outsmart bureaucracies. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 144 pages, $14.95 softcover, ISBN: 978-1-57675-330-9.
Goodsell, T. C. (2004). The Case for Bureaucracy: A public administration polemic (4th ed.). Washington, DC: CQ Press, SAGE, 2004, 208 pages, $33.81 softcover, ISBN: 978-1-56802-907-8.
Since Max Weber first endorsed bureaucracy as a necessary feature of modernity, bureaucratic forms have spread from government to other large-scale institutions for a long time (Beetham, 1996). Max believes that bureaucracy is an efficient and reasonable way of forming institutional structure, especially for the large institutions (Swedberg & Agevall, 2005). As bureaucracy develops, the problems of inefficiency, incompetence, corruption, and waste exist within the government and the system (organization). The problems amplify the dissatisfaction of citizens about bureaucracy.
The Case for Bureaucracy and Beating the System, one published in 2004 and the other published in 2005, addressed the recent polemic and debate of bureaucracy. The Case for Bureaucracy, published in 2004, is more academic than the other book. It demonstrates that the quality of the public services in America has been underestimated with positive literature. The author believes that bureaucracy is not the cau...
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... System, focuses on teaching audiences the methods of fighting back the abusive bureaucratic system. True stories and experiences of citizens make this book readable for majority audiences, not only those with academic backgrounds. Understanding different perspectives will be of benefit for the comprehension of the whole picture of bureaucracy. Regardless their flaws in their methodologies and approaches, they provide diverse perspectives on bureaucracy which are worth reading.
Beetham, D. (1996). Bureaucracy. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-10-16.
Lipsky, M. (1971). Street-Level Bureaucracy and the Analysis of Urban Reform. Urban Affairs Review, SAGE, 6(391). doi: 10.1177/107808747100600401
Swedberg, R., & Agevall, O. (2005). The Max Weber dictionary: key words and central concepts. Stanford University Press, 18–21. ISBN 978-0-8047-5095-0.
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