Bureaucracy and Professionalism Essay

1. Introduction The main purpose of this paper is to comment on the concept of bureaucracy and professionalism. This paper firstly introduces the advantages of bureaucracy and explains why bureaucracy is generally applied in government and large organizations. Next, the paper will highlight the concept of professionalism and describes its advantages. Following this, I will express my views to point out how a mix model of bureaucracy and professionalism is far better than either bureaucracy or professionalism.

Last but not the least, I would like to draw up a conclusion to further elaborate why the mix model of bureaucracy is widely adopted and how such mix model significantly contributes to the successful governance. 2. 0 Advantage of Bureaucracy The definition of bureaucracy is explained in Appendix A for reference. Using bureaucracy can make administrative region a clean, faithful, quality society. For instance, Germany has been setting a good example in playing a good role of leader in managing the civil service. Bureaucracy can make administration more effective and efficient.

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Ever since the sudden resignation of the former Chief Executive – Mr. TUNG Chee-Hwa in March 2005, the Central Government is determined to find a way to interpret the Basic Law and to appoint the next Chief Executive who is widely guessed to be the incumbent Chief Secretary for Administration – Mr. Donald Tsang to serve only the remainder of Tung’s current term, until 2007. Any resignation of the CE will not affect a bit the existing strong bureaucratic system. Hong Kong government is well versed in deploying officers at all levels who have been selected and trained to take up specific jobs.

Persons chosen and appointed to fill the top positions in bureaucratic organizations are often subject to postings in different bureau and departments in order that those officers can widen the horizon of practical working experience in coping with various kinds of administration and operational problems. Their successors are also subject to this different posting system. To illustrate, Mr. Donald Tsang, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong, has been posted to different posts before. Mr. Donald Tsang joined the Civil Service in January 1967 as Executive Officer. Before becoming the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr.

Tsang was the Financial Secretary in the HKSARG in 1997. He was appointed to take up the Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) on 1 May 2001. 2. 1 Disadvantage of Bureaucracy Disadvantages of Bureaucracy include too many red tape procedures and limitations as well as different spectrum of hierarchies. The organization just moves forward according to the complicated procedures and rules. Every staff working in such bureaucratic organizations will easily hamper their creativity and innovative ability.

Also, the organization is slow and inefficient in making quick response to environmental changes. Furthermore, there are more disadvantages of bureaucracy, such as more unnecessary paperwork, more routine procedures, task- oriented and impersonal officials working to a fixed routine. As a result, many politicians recommend via professionalism model to improve bureaucratic administration. 3. 1 Advantages of Professionalism The definition of professionalism is explained in Appendix B for reference. Professional skills of officers may encourage civil service to cultivate professional skills through direct work experience.

They will give profession idea to their clients. Dr Yeoh Eng-kiong (Ex-Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food) Dr Yeoh Eng-kiong, who is a professional medical practitioner. Dr Yeoh has played a key role in raising the standard of medical services in Hong Kong over the past 33 years. But, wearing the hat of the minister responsible for the government’s overall response to SARS as the result he resigned in July 2004. This issue embodies the spirit of the accountability system 3. 2 Disadvantage of Professionalism

Although Professions can be provide lots of professional knowledge and expertise to our clients but they are lacking the necessary skills/knowledge/experience for policy making and defending their policies as well as to solve the social problem skillfully and smoothly. For example, Dr. York Chow, GBS, JP, Secretary for Food and Health is professionalism who serves as a good example for handling emergency cases in an unsatisfactory manner. In 20 Dec 2008, Caritas Medical Centre (CMC) handled an emergency case where a 56-year-old man who collapsed just outside the hospital while waiting for an ambulance.

Very soon, the man died. For handing this case, Negative remarks have been received from the public about the careless, perfunctory. Dr. Chow in handling this case of had fallen short of public expectations. 4. 0 In what sense is professionalism a better alternative to bureaucracy? As chapter 3 mention those professionals have much profession skills. However, they do not totally understand policy making & government system so that a small number of citizens will fully support professionalism. 4. 1 Using professional to replace bureaucracy criteria 1.

That professionalism not only has their profession knowledge but also have fundamental of public administration knowledge. 2. Under the professionalism accountability, such as following a critical Legco report about the Hong Kong government in handling the SARS outbreak, the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong did a poor job and then resigned. Frankly speaking, a quality Civil Service should be clean, efficient, effective and responsive. 5. Do you think a professionalist model of social administration should be endorsed by the Hong Kong government in its civil service reform?

Mix model (bureaucratic & professionalism) are suitable for Hong Kong situation. In the past, for profession department Organisation Chart -Some department head is not a professional. -All decision making should be made by both the professional & bureaucratic organisation managers. For the non-profession department, SECURITY BUREAU Organization Chart Mix Model Using the mix model not only enjoys having the professional views and solutions in tackling the problem but also suits HK situation. Indeed, mix model will make HK government to formulate and execute the policy in a more skillful and smooth manner.

It will also fulfill public aspiration and protect public interest. The Principle of Utility “By the Principle of Utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question; or what is the same things in other words, to promote or to oppose that happiness. ” Classical Utilitarianism-the theory defended by Bentham and Mill-can be summarized in three propositions:

First, actions are to be judged right or wrong solely by virtue of their consequences. Nothing else matters. Right actions are, simply, those that have the best consequences. Second, in assessing consequences, the only thing that matters is the amount of happiness or unhappiness that is caused. Everything else is irrelevant. Thus right actions are those that produce the greatest balance of happiness over unhappiness. Third, in calculating the happiness or unhappiness that will be caused, no one’s happiness is to be counted as more important than anyone else’s.

Each person’s welfare is equally important. Utilitarianism can be further divided into two schools-Act Utilitarianism & Rule Utilitarianism. Rule Utilitarianism: evaluated on ‘whether they can bring the greatest happiness to the majority’. Since Rule Utilitarianism is not enough flexibility but also is for making long term policy, so I will not mention at all. Act Utilitarianism: An action (type) is right in so far as maximizes happiness in a particular situation. . Act utilitarianism depends on different situation have different policy.

Compare with Rule utilitarianism elasticity. It can apply to transition period. Using Act utilitarianism applies to mixed model. Example The Integrated Elderly Community Project (IECP) of the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) will bring new economic impetus and create employment opportunities in Tin Shui Wai. With a size of around 60,000 square metres in Tin Shui Wai Area 115, the proposed project will provide about 1,000 residential units for the elderly, a wellness centre, residential care home for the elderly, a hotel as well as various training and recreation facilities.

Regarding to this case, just hear some opposition voice of the five organisations that submitted proposals, most think there are no good business opportunities, because the five-year lease was too short and the investment too big, Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said. Act utilitarianism maximizes more people happiness is the right policy. It is not only provide a quality living environment for the elderly but also bring spending and job opportunities (300 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the IECP and not less than 1,200 jobs will be provided when it is in operation. ) to Tin Shui Wai.

It can reduce the unemployment rate in Tin Shui Wai. I hope this can change the citizen’s mind ‘Tin Shui Wai is a ‘city of sadness’. Appendix A – Bureaucracy Definition Weber’s View of Bureaucracy In the 1930s Max Weber is best known as one of the leading scholars and founders of modern sociology, wrote a rationale that described the bureaucratic form as being the ideal way of organizing government agencies. Weber stressed that the rational-legal form was the most stable of systems for both superiors and subordinates — it’s more reliable and clear, yet allows the subordinate more independence and discretion.

Subordinates ideally can challenge the decisions of their leaders by referring to the stated rules — charisma becomes less important. As a result, bureaucratic systems can handle more complex operations than traditional systems. (all above Scott p. 41-42). 1. Jurisdictional areas are clearly specified, activities are distributed as official duties (unlike traditional form where duties delegated by leader and changed at any time). 2. Organization follows hierarchical principle — subordinates follow orders or superiors, but have right of appeal (in contrast to more diffuse structure in traditional authority). . Intestinal, abstract rules govern decisions and actions. Rules are stable, exhaustive, and can be learned. Decisions are recorded in permanent files (in traditional forms few explicit rules or written records). 4. Means of production or administration belong to office. Personal property separated from office property. 5. Officials are selected on basis of technical qualifications, appointed not elected, and compensated by salary. 6. Employment by the organization is a career. The official is a full-time employee and looks forward to a life-long career.

After a trial period they get tenure of position and are protected from arbitrary dismissal. Appendix B – Professionalism Definition Main criteria for professional include the following: 1. Academic qualifications – A teaching degree (University doctoral program) theological, medical, or law degree – i. e. , university college/institute. 2. Expert and specialized knowledge in field which one is practicing professionally. 3. Excellent manual/practical and literary skills in relation to profession. 4.

High quality work in (examples): creations, products, services, presentations, consultancy, primary/other research, administrative, marketing or other work endeavours. 5. A high standard of professional ethics, behaviour and work activities while carrying out one’s profession (as an employee, self-employed person, career, enterprise, business, company, or partnership/associate/colleague, etc). The professional owes a higher duty to a client, often a privilege of confidentiality, as well as a duty not to abandon the client just because he or she may not be able to pay or remunerate the professional.

Often the professional is required to put the interest of the client ahead of his own interests. 6. Reasonable work moral and motivation. Having interest and desire to do a job well as well as holding positive attitude towards the profession are important elements in attaining a high level of professionalism. 7. Participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs b: having a particular profession as a permanent career c: engaged in by persons receiving financial return .


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