Organization Theory and Design

Topics: Bureaucracy, Max Weber, Organization Pages: 7 (2220 words) Published: December 22, 2012
Adhocracy allows organizations to operate in a more flexible manner. This flexibility can work well in fast-changing industries where organizations that can identify and act on new opportunities the fastest have a competitive advantage. Adhocracy may also work best with smaller organizations where managers are still able to comprehend and direct the organization when necessary. On the other hand, adhocracy may become chaotic or inefficient in large organizations where, for example, work may be duplicated by several teams. Poorly defined working roles may prove ineffective where team members are unaware of the scope of their roles, and thus desired or necessary work is not carried out.

Read more: Bureaucracy and Adhocracy

The main aim of any organisation is to reach certain predetermined goals. In an attempt to survive and obtain this goals effectively, certain decisions must be made as to what type of structure the organisation will posses which will entail guidance for individuals associated with the group as per their duties and day to day activities. Ultimately determining how efficiently the desired goals will be acquired. Questions this structure will need to confront will include the amount of specialisation in areas of work and responsibility, the levels of management and their consequent size, the grouping of departments together for functionality of expertise, and the kind of integrative mechanism for control over work done.

One of the more common types of organisational structures found within today’s society that has attempted to answer these questions of direction and efficiency is known as Bureaucracy. The Bureaucratic model in itself is not a functioning organisational structure within itself, but more of a hypothetical guide to creating ones own business design based on individual circumstances. Bureaucracy is very similar to such things as blue prints, simple because both are descriptive in a how to build nature, but neither is the final product.

The modern day concept of bureaucracy was developed by a German sociologist named Max Weber (Though the original term ‘bureaucracy’ evolved during the eighteenth century, and is "attributed to the Frenchman ‘de Gournay’"). Weber advanced his concept of bureaucracy throughout the nineteenth century by studying power and authority though out history, and discovered that in early societies three different types could be identified. The first was made up of ‘Traditional authority’ and was based on the belief that rulers had a natural right to rule. The second was that of ‘Charismatic authority’, whereby power was based on the belief that the ruler possessed special control over others through such things as religion (as did the Pope a decade ago) and Heroism (As Hitler possessed during the second world war). The third concentrated on ‘Legal-Rational authority’, indicating that formally written rules held certain individuals (such as prime ministers and school principles) in places of power. Using a combination of these ideas, he then developed his own concept for structuring that featured rigid hierarchical structures, defined authority, set rules and regulations, and a specification of tasks in an impersonal climate. This would then lead to work being divided into parts, allocated amongst relatively specialised workers, dispersing the responsibilities and centralising authority to a small number of administrators. This entire structure would then take the form of a pyramid, with the managers up top passing down rules to their subordinates. Because the chain of command tends to be lengthy in large organisations, the use of codified and impersonal rules would replace the need for supervision as the regulator of the quality in effort, ensuring predictability at all ends of production simply because no action would be allowed that does not "lead directly to the production of formally designated...
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