Bureaucracy

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  • Topic: Management, Scientific management, Bureaucracy
  • Pages : 6 (1689 words )
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  • Published : April 9, 2013
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Question : Option 1
Bureaucratic management is more efficient than other forms of managing. Discuss.

It is a desire of every organisation to have an ideal type of management as it determines the organisation’s performance and efficiency. As it can be seen, the earlier statement stresses a great deal of importance on management. Before examining the types of management and why the bureaucratic management is more efficient than other forms of managing, one has to understand what management is and why is it important in an organization. Management is about using all the resources available well and effectively to achieve an organisation’s goals and objectives.

Having explained what management is, there are several types of managements. Among them are the scientific management which is also known as Taylorism developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor, bureaucratic management by Max Weber and administrative management. Bureaucracy is a system of management where the authority and power are hierarchical in nature where there is a specialization of labour and any action is effected with formal rules and regulations. Scientific management or Taylorism is a system of management which was brought to improve economic performance especially labour productivity. Taylorism is a method by which job designs are made simple to be easily taught or analysed. Lastly administrative management is to produce a general set of management rules that is to be used on all companies (Walonick.D.S, 1993).

Bureaucratic management is actually an improvised system from Taylorism. This is because Taylor’s scientific management theory proved to be effective in simple organization but not modern companies. Under this system, people are seen as working solely for economic benefits. The concept of production first and people second led to the reduction in production, dissatisfaction in work and lost of self respect in the craftsmanship and total loss of company pride. Max Weber expanded the theory on scientific management by stressing the importance to centralize power to have a clear line of power and authority. This is because power and authority leads to speed, accuracy, trustworthiness and efficiency (Thompson.P and McHugh, 2009).

There are a total of six characteristics on Weber’s ideal concept of bureaucracy which are work specialization, authority and hierarchy, employment and career, recording, rules and procedure and impersonality and impartiality. These characteristics will be examined one by one now. Firstly the work specialisation leads to increase in efficiency due to the repetitive working. An example of this would be a chef who’s job is to peel the skin of onion. Overtime doing the job will make him to become skillful and fast since it is done everyday by him. Although this leads to the disadvantage of him not being knowledgeable about anything else apart from this, it leads to efficiency and increase in the productivity (Watson.T.J, 2008).

The next would authority and hierarchy. Bureaucracy gives importance to this characteristic because it clearly states who is in charge so that work can be distributed effectively to meet the organisation’s goals. The downside of this is that it prevents contribution from the workers and allows mistakes to be concealed as no one person has been given the authority to make a decision. Even though this is so, the person with the authority or in a higher position in the hierarchy takes the responsibility of the decision taken. In terms of employment and career, the bureaucratic management system ensures the suitable candidate is appointed to the position based on the merit system. This creates standardization where there is a set of guidelines in promoting a person to position and this characteristic is considered to be one of the important strength of bureaucracy.

Another positive feature of bureaucracy is...
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