Bureaucratic Structures

All questions must be answered in short essay format. Strategic advice: remember to include an introduction, body and conclusion and address all relevant parts of each question. Write in short paragraphs, I recommend one main idea per paragraph. Use an introduction to identify the key argument you will be making and concepts. Use a conclusion to summarize your main arguments and any questions that should guide further discussion.

General Instructions

Length and Formatting

Answers to each question should be 1-2 pages in length. This total is for pages of text and does not include such elements as a title page, bibliography. Papers should be typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins on all sides, and use 12-point font. Failure to meet all format and length requirements will lead to a reduction in your grade.


I will be grading these by looking at your answers: the clarity of your thoughts, your use of specific the text and slides to support your ideas and your ability to clearly explain how your examples relate to the question I have asked (where appropriate). However, numerous grammatical and/or proofreading errors will interfere with my ability to follow your argument and will result in a reduction of your grade, so please edit carefully.

Citations and References

Written assignments must conform to Chicago Manual of Style guidelines.

You must answer ALL of the questions below.

Question 1: Is the saying that “politicians decide and public servants do” just a heuristic (a saying or idea that allows us to see how things ideally work, even though they don’t always do so) or is it an important division of labour that we should strive as best as possible to achieve so as to ensure accountability? Why or why not? Use examples and evidence to support your answer.

Question 2: Max Weber saw bureaucracy as a technically superior form of organizing. Robert Merton, on the other hand, believed that bureaucratic structures are inherently dysfunctional.

Discuss how it is possible that bureaucracy is technically superior or dysfunctional or both? How do you reconcile this apparent paradox?

a) Why is bureaucracy claimed to be technically superior? b) Why does Merton say bureaucracy is dysfunctional, c) Is it possible for bureaucracy to be technically superior while also dysfunctional?

Make sure to provide at least one real-world or hypothetical example to support your discussion.

Question 3: Ted Turner, a public servant sings a folk song that was critical of the Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Do you feel that Turner violated the Code of Ethics that mandates public servants must be impartial? What parts of the Code did Turner violate and why? Be specific and detailed in your answer. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei50lM6ab1c

For more information on Bureaucratic Structures read this: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureaucracy#

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