The World BankBureaucracy is one of the pillars of modern western society.
Although thisstatement is debatable from many aspects, most would agree that, at the veryleast, our lives are greatly affected by bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is the ‘pureform of rational organization’ (Newson, Jan 11). Not only is it a method forachieving goals efficiently and effectively, but it is acclaimed as the mostable strategy to meet objectives. The World Bank is a classic example of abureaucratic organization. It embodies all the characteristics necessary toqualify; from its complicated hierarchy and impersonal relations, to thespecialization and career orientation of its employees. However, not everyoneagrees on the competency of the bureaucratic organizational system.
George andSabelli in their book Faith and Credit claim that is the very structure of theWorld Bank which causes its failures, as well as explaining its continuedexistence despite these mistakes. Using Faith and Credit, with a focus onchapter six, it will be shown that it is the bureaucratic methods themselveswhich twist the World Bank’s goals, and that these methods undermine the taskswhich the Bank has set for itself. The World Bank is one of the world’s most powerful agencies. Although itcharacterizes itself as a purely economic institution — which controls thelending of billions of dollars — in practice its influence, wealth, andpolicies all result in having immense political power (Faith 1). Althoughoriginally created to serve as an institution to help rebuild the world (i.
e. Europe) after World War II, its task has since shifted to development work andpoverty reduction. Through its immense control of wealth, and its internationalreputation, the Bank has managed to lend billions to ‘under-developed’ nations. The loans take many forms, including financing of mega-projects and structuraladjustment. Beginning in the 1980’s vast amounts of criticism on the Bank’spolicies began to appear, finding faults in much of its work.
Many of itsprojects have been declared more harmful than helpful, often worse names havebeen used. The Bank has managed to make enemies in many activist circles;including environmentalists, feminists and even the people whose aim is toplease: poverty workers (Faith 6). Nevertheless the Bank still remains aneminent institution. It is well respected by many intellectuals, consulted bygovernments and continues to grown in wealth and power.
The very people working for the World Bank are cream of the crop. It is arelatively small organization, and immensely respected, which allows it to choseits staff from the best in the world. However, the Bank’s rules and traditionsdo not allow these top notch women and men to work at maximum efficiency. It isan organization trapped in its own structure, stifling the staff which works forit. Lower level employees are silenced by a hierarchy which provides few methodsfor the expressing of opinions, and in fact discourages dissent.
This commitmentto orthodoxy has caused the Bank to fall behind on its development strategies incomparison to the rest of the world. Nevertheless it is not an organizationcomposed of stupid people and is aware — of at least some — of its faults. Although attempts have been made to restructure the Bank, they have only endedup further focusing the Bank on its orthodox path. Quantity, instead of quality,has become its purpose and is causing further havoc in the countries to which itloans (part II countries).
Instead of dealing with these problems, it foolsitself and others into believing in a positive end result; ignoring the rule’the ends do not justify the means’ not to mention the fact that many do notforesee a positive end. To deal with the image problem created by its owndisasters, the World Bank has attempted to make itself appear more effective. Yet it seems to have forgotten that what is important is not the image but theresults. This is what has become of the humanitarian goals of the World Bank. The Bank, despite its many critics, is considered by most to be “the world’sforemost, most prestigious official development institution” (Faith 112).
Manyseeking a future in development, first attempt to enter the World Bank. Most ofthe Bank’s new recruits are Young Professionals (YP). This is an extremelycompetitive program which thousands apply to, of which only 35 a year get in. Although Young Professionals come from a variety of countries, this does notnecessarily reflect various cultural perspectives. Most of the YP are educatedin the North, and a large