Top-Down and Bottom-Up are both phrases that can be used to describe many different subjects. Businesses, economies, governments, physics, just to name a few. Top-Down is essentially where someone much higher up than the rest, whether it be the business owner or country ruler, generally makes all of the executive decisions and that choice will slowly make its way down to the lower levels until all of the changes have been implemented.
Bottom-Up means that the lower levels are involved in making the changes happen. Essentially, the changes start with them.
To me, Top-Down is really nice, in theory, but what has been seen in practice leaves a lot to be desired An entity that functions in the manner of Top-Down would kind of work its way down to the masses. In some aspects of our government, that is how it is supposed to be. Same with quite a lot of bigger companies. Unfortunately, though, greed has very much become a big player, resulting in a large portion of corruption. Which is how things end up benefiting a select few all the way at the top, and practically none at the bottom. It is supposed to help the middle class, but the class structure has become so warped that there are significant gaps separating the classes. To top it off, the middle class is practically dissolved.
Bottom-Up basically works its way from the ground upwards to the top. Working with those at the lower levels so that they know their thoughts matter. In the book I am reading (Think Like A Futurist), the example used for this comes down to a cellphone. A man named Iqbal Quadir wanted to improve the lives of many. He came up with a concept and was able to get two companies involved. Through that work, he was able to setup service and provide cellphones to the poor communities within Bangladesh. By doing so, individuals and communities throughout the country have been able to improve their lives and businesses, thus boosting the economy of Bangladesh.
Personally, I feel that either of these can be great if implemented correctly. Having both working together to better a country seems like the most ideal establishment for the government. To me, our country has very much become a corrupt version of the Top-Down system. We say that we wish and plan to help the middle and lower classes in every promise made. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, recently. Slowly, but surely, there is less and less coming down from the top to benefit anything for the lower level portions of this country. The Bottom-Up aspect can also be seen in this country on a very small level. One of the biggest things when it comes to the Bottom-Up process working, is the necessity of money. Money is very much a big player for this system to even work, which ends up having to come from people we know, loans, or some other method. There are a lot of great ideas and programs enacted to help communities out by really great individuals, such as Iqbal Quadir. The problem that I see happening is being able to make a big enough change to break through barriers and make improvements to the world around us. The reason I see Bottom-Up as a part of our government, too, is because the way our society is technically supposed to be, is that the little guys (us) have a say in the changes being made. That is why we have the rights to vote, speak our minds, and have a courts system setup. To make our voices heard to the ones leading our country towards, what we hope, is the future and not the past. But at this point I feel that aspect of our government is also broken. Supposedly our voices are being heard, but only so that the higher-ups can stay in charge. After that, they will make the changes they have wanted to make all along that will benefit them the most.
What are your thoughts?
Duverge, Gabe. “Top-Down vs Bottom-Up Mangement Styles.” Touro University World Wide. Touro University Worldwide, 16 Oct. 2015. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.
Sommers, Cecily. Think like a Futurist: Know What Changes, What Doesn’t, and What’s next. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2012. Print.