Bureaucracy, Authority, and Leadership in Management

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Michel Crozier once said, "Bureaucracies embody vicious circles of decreasing efficiency and effectiveness." As a leader, it is necessary to organize your people efficiently, so that the most work can be accomplished. The three key concepts I will concentrate on are authority, bureaucratization, and the dysfunctions of bureaucracy. Finally, I will address the organization principle of delegation, touching on my own experiences. All of these concepts are methods of organization; however, as a leader and manager, one must find the most appropriate method.

Every company must have some semblance of organization in order to run smoothly. The organizational structure provides the framework for the formal distribution of authority. Organizational authority has four main concepts that all affect structure: chain of command, line versus staff authority, delegation of authority, and the degree of centralization. A common form of organization involves a hierarchy chain, establishing authority at every level. There should be a unity of command, a span of control, and power distribution in an effective organizational culture. Authority is the legitimate power of a supervisor to direct subordinates to take action within the scope of the supervisor's position. Unity of command within the chain states that each person in an organization should take orders from and reports to only one person. This helps prevent the issue of conflicting demands placed on employees by more than one boss, as seen in "Office Space," when Peter had several people come up to him telling him he screwed up. In most corporate companies, a CEO heads the company, with supreme authority. Power is then delegated down to the president, and then to separate business sectors within the company, and finally to separate divisions. One form of authority is line authority, which is direct supervisory authority from superior to subordinate. Authority flows in a direct chain of command from the top of the company to...
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