Pathologies in de-bureaucratic public organizations in Nigeria

  • J E Imhanlahimi


De-bureaucratization of public organizations (popularly called deregulation in Nigeria) is a relatively new concept in public administration. However, it is rapidly gathering tremendous interests because it is being considered as a more attractive organization concept than the much criticized bureaucratization. This growing interest is in most, if not indeed all, less developed countries, including Nigeria. Hence the central concern of this paper is identification and objective but critical analysis of the major bureau-pathologies in de-bureaucratic public organization in Nigeria. The rationale for the identification and critical analysis is to show that although de-bureaucratization is being embraced as a more attractive organization concept than bureaucratization, there are also bureau-pathologies inherent in de-bureaucratic organizations. The major and prevalent bureau-pathologies identified and analyzed are inconsistency and unpredictability, informality and denials, unlimited or un-circumscribed flexibility, personalization, limitation of de-categorization, laziness and goal displacement. These bureau-pathologies should be well handled if de-bureaucratization is to be truly a more attractive organization concept in Nigeria. The paper has proffered extent recommendations to enhance the application of de-bureaucratization in Nigerian public organizations. These include the promotion of adequate level of certainty rather than uncertainty; the reduction of informality in critical or sensitive issues; reduction in the level of flexibility in government operations; advancement of corporate interests over personal interests; compartmentalization of staff instead of de-compartmentalization which can generally promote confusion; and a determined effort to meet deadlines in public organizations in Nigeria.

Global Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 6 (1) 2007: pp. 57-64