OPINION

Modern administration

Last week’s Chinook helicopter crash and the government’s poor response to the crisis catapulted the theme of «modern administration» onto center stage. The more advanced western states have long addressed this question, which arises from the modern world’s complex structure; interaction among a plethora of internal and external factors; and a wide range of economic, social, and national interests that put, often conflicting, demands on a democratic government. The workings of a modern administration have become more sophisticated, the interplay of antagonistic forces has intensified, putting the political elites under great strain. Big regional groups, states, multinationals and global markets are out searching for the most efficient and low-risk model of administration. No one has the knowledge. So far, we must make do with empirical data stemming mainly from the large multinational groups that base their progress on solid organizational structures, standardized hierarchies, measurable targets, automated coordination procedures, strict internal monitoring systems, cooperation with independent bodies, research and development, analysis of future trends, and vigorous marketing. Large international conglomerates are driven by vision, long-term development plans, a vibrant corporate culture, and corporate ideology that often reaches the market as a slogan. We cannot be sure that this is the best model. Nor can we claim with absolute certainty that the big private firms which adopted this type of organization have managed to fulfill all their goals. No one can risk recommending a similar administrative pattern for the nation state. Nevertheless, governments could only benefit from studying the organization of modern multinationals, as it offers ideas for curing errors and omissions that hound the state apparatus.