Pakistan: Bureaucratic Structure And Personality – Analysis

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In bureaucratic structures and personality, Robert Merton asserts that the organizational structure of bureaucracies create a specific set of values norms and incentives that shape the behavior of individuals working within them, he believes that bureaucratic structures as characterized by Weber influences the behavior and personality of bureaucrats towards trained in capacity and to develop a bureaucratic personality (B Bozeman, 1998). These are marked by traits such as impersonality a focus on rules and procedures a lack of creativity and a strong adherence to authority.

Burton describes this as over conformity a situation where because of the way salaries promotions and other incentives are based upon strict discipline to the rules that bureaucrats tend to Value following rules and regulations for their own sake impartial to their own thoughts or feelings on the work, this disconnects their own personality from the regulations but also can disconnect the rules from the organizational goals, the thought process is that there ought to be a rigid adherence to the rules even if there’s a better way to achieve the organizational goals.

There are lots of examples of this where bureaucrats insist on following procedures and regulations even when situations arise that those procedures and regulations clearly didn’t account for Merton suggests the need to be aware of the potential impact of bureaucratic structures on their behavior and personality and the need to cultivate a sense of autonomy and creativity to counteract these effects Merton’s work has implications for the organizations as well as the individuals who work within them for organizations (P Monteiro, 2022). The study highlights the importance of recognizing the impact of bureaucratic structures and even implicit incentives on employees’ behaviors and personalities and the need to balance the demands of organizational predictability and stability with the needs for creativity and Innovation to foster long-term development and adaptation of the rules and regulations.

Dysfunctions of Bureaucracy in Pakistan

What are the main failures or dysfunctions of bureaucracy in Pakistan? Well, there are three types of bureaucracy failures in Pakistan.

Figure 1.1

The first is the “trained incapacity”. The second is the “occupational psychosis” and finally the third is the “professional deformation”. (Figure 1.1)

First we want to describe what the trained incapacity is and for that I need to understand about how bureaucrats or public servants will behave if they are suggested a new technology that will ease their work and they could work effectively? Mostly their Response will be like this,

Okay, No, we have our standard operating procedures, and we are accustomed to them. We know the traditional ways of doing our job and we don’t accept the innovations and changes.  This is clearly described the first dysfunction between the capacity in this case the bureau cracked  who are accustomed to their previous kills the results of false responses under changed conditions in Pakistan.

Let’s talk about the second dysfunctions types called Occupational Psychosis, as we know bureaucrats have a great experience and they have different likes and dislikes at work time, For example, their response will be like this, “I never accept to my workplace young girls/boys they are doing everything bad and They are spoiling everything on their way, i think they can never get trained and besides I never answer the calls from mass media, newspapers or journals! They want to manipulate my words and extract them in another way, they are bastards.” Now this is clearly described the second dysfunction of a bureaucrat- that is the “occupational psychosis”. As a result of their day-to-day routine these people developed special preferences. 

Now let’s introduce the third type called Professional Deformation, if we ask bureaucrats or public servants that we want them to answer how do they think about what is going on today in the fareast or how does the government’s behave with ecology do you think the forests must be correct, their mostly response will be like this, “our section deals with that problem (economy) and at this time what are you kidding about the trees, the animals, the water, the birds. What about the economy? Out-of-state now needs a strong economy and for that we need industries big industries really big and we don’t care what the obstacle to the school is, we would buy approved any tree even if it is thousands of trees.” Now it’s clearly introduced the third type of the bureaucratic dysfunction that is “professional deformation” this type supposes a tendency to look at things from the point of view of their own profession rather than from a broader perspective!

How to overcome these dysfunctions of bureaucracy in Pakistan?

Overcoming the dysfunctions of bureaucracy in Pakistan requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses various issues within the bureaucratic system. Here are some steps that can be taken to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the bureaucracy:

Merit-Based Recruitment and Promotion:

– Implementing a merit-based system for hiring and promoting bureaucrats can help ensure that positions are filled with qualified individuals based on their skills and abilities, rather than political connections.

– Establishing transparent criteria and processes for recruitment and promotion can help reduce nepotism and favoritism.

Training and Capacity Building:

– Providing regular training programs for bureaucrats to enhance their skills and knowledge can improve their effectiveness in carrying out their duties.

– Training should include areas such as management, leadership, decision-making, and modern administrative practices.

Performance Evaluation and Accountability:

– Implementing performance evaluation systems can help identify and reward high-performing bureaucrats while holding underperformers accountable.

– Establishing mechanisms for citizens to provide feedback on public services can help improve accountability and responsiveness.

Reducing Red Tape and Simplifying Procedures:

– Streamlining bureaucratic procedures and reducing unnecessary red tape can improve efficiency and reduce delays.

– Simplifying processes for citizens and businesses to access government services and permits can improve public satisfaction.

Anti-Corruption Measures:

– Implementing strict anti-corruption measures and enforcing them vigorously can help combat corruption within the bureaucracy.

– Creating independent anti-corruption bodies with investigative and prosecutorial powers can help ensure accountability.

Decentralization and Empowerment:

– Decentralizing decision-making and empowering lower-level bureaucrats to make decisions can improve responsiveness and efficiency.

– Local governments can be given more autonomy and resources to address local needs and reduce dependency on the central bureaucracy.

Use of Technology:

– Utilizing technology for automation of processes, digitalization of records, and e-governance initiatives can improve efficiency and transparency.

– Implementing online platforms for citizen engagement and service delivery can enhance accessibility and reduce corruption.

Political Will and Leadership:

– Strong political will and leadership are crucial for implementing reforms and ensuring that the bureaucracy operates efficiently and ethically.

– Political leaders should support reforms that prioritize meritocracy, transparency, and accountability in the bureaucracy.

Engagement with Civil Society and Stakeholders:

– Collaborating with civil society organizations, business associations, and other stakeholders can help gather feedback and input on public policies and services.

– Engaging citizens in the decision-making process through participatory mechanisms can improve transparency and legitimacy.

Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation:

– Establishing mechanisms for continuous monitoring and evaluation of bureaucratic performance and reforms can help identify areas for improvement.

– Regularly reviewing and updating policies and procedures based on feedback and evaluation results can lead to ongoing improvements.

Overcoming the dysfunctions of bureaucracy in Pakistan will require a sustained and comprehensive effort involving reforms in recruitment, training, performance evaluation, accountability, simplification of procedures, anti-corruption measures, empowerment, technological integration, political leadership, stakeholder engagement, and continuous monitoring and evaluation.

About the authors:

  • Mir Hassan is a Lecturer, Department of Public administration, FMS, BUITEMS University, Quetta, Pakistan.
  • Karar Hussain is an Alumni, Department of Economics, FMS, BUITEMS, University, Quetta, Pakistan.


Bozeman, B., & Rainey, H. G. (1998). Organizational rules and the” bureaucratic personality”. American Journal of Political Science, 163-189.

Monteiro, P., & Adler, P. S. (2022). Bureaucracy for the 21st century: Clarifying and expanding our view of bureaucratic organization. Academy of Management Annals16(2), 427-475.

Mir Hassan

Mir Hassan is a Lecturer in the Department of Public Administration, FMS, BUITEMS

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