Critical Evaluation of the Classical Theory of Organization

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Classical theorists view organization as a closed system influenced only by certain immutable laws in its design and management. For the most part, people have not been considered important element of production but rather a cog in the whole process of production and or management. Classical theory of organization suffers from superficiality, over simplification and lack of realism. The scholars have confined themselves closely to the mechanism of authority, whether real or ideal, and have failed to address other equally important elements affecting the performance of the organization.

Bureaucracy has come to be criticized on various aspects of its formulations. Ramesh K. Arora in this respect observes,
"There are substantial references in sociological literature to the point that several characteristics of Weber's ideal-type bureaucracy may impede rather than aid the achievement of efficiency. Excessive hierarchy, over developed specialization, promotion by seniority, and rigid adherence to rules could cause bureau pathological behavior". On the other hand, T. K. Jain observes,

"It must be understood clearly that Weber's ideal-type concepts should not be treated as levels to be applied to social phenomena, but as concepts on which to base programmers of research. Weber conceived two parts and purpose of his ideal-types: (1) construction of ideal types on the basis of subject under comparative, historical evidence, and (2) analysis of the subject under investigation in terms of its derivation from or approximate to these concepts". In this respect Weiss observes,

"Today, bureaucracy has a negative reputation, more often indicative of bottlenecks, red tape and inefficiency. In its mature phase, bureaucracy has led to bloated organizations and a redundant and excessive number of rules, all of which lead to a rigid organization type unable to meet the changing needs of market place".

One of the fundamental problems with the classical...
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