LECTURER: MR SAULOS
QUESSION 2: Discuss characteristics of a bureaucratic school/ organization.
DUE DATE: 08/10/2014
According to Haralambos and Holborn (1995) “a bureaucracy is concerned with the business of administration with controlling, managing and coordinating a complex series of tasks” (p: 270). Therefore, the aim of this essay is to discuss the characteristics of a bureaucratic school/ organization and they are as follows: specialization, a hierarchy of offices, rules and regulations lastly rewards based on merit. One of the characteristics of a bureaucratic school/organization is specialization. Specialization is concentrating on a specific task for example; bursar as one of the school officers regulates finances of the school. According to Weber as cited in Hoy and Miskel (1991) “division of labor and specialization means that the regular activities required for the purposes of the bureaucratically governed structure are distributed in a fixed way as official duties” (p: 104). This is to say, work in schools is divided into different task hence everyone have his/her specific task. Teachers are specializing by teaching a specific subject for example, Mathematics. Mathematics teacher specialize by teaching only Mathematics to all the grades in the school that is, form one, two and three. This is advantageous due to the fact that it makes one’s job easier and to be of high quality since he/she deals with a specific subject. Furthermore, specialization goes hand in hand with what is called division of labor. Light, Keller and Calhoun (1989) state “in bureaucracies the work to be accomplished is broken down into clear-cut division of labor and people are trained to specialize in performing each task” (p: 219). This is division of labor which refers to dividing work into small and manageable tasks. Therefore since tasks in schools are too complex to be performed by a single individual, division of labor is crucial. Everyone in a school has a position for example; there is a head teacher who is responsible for the running affairs of the school and teachers who are responsible for imparting knowledge to students or simply instruction delivery. Division of labor among positions improves efficiency. Hoy and Miskel (1991) postulate that division of labor produces specialization hence efficiency increases. And this is because specialization helps employees to be knowledgeable and expert at performing their prescribed duties. So the authors suggest “such division enables the organization to employ personnel on the basis of technical qualifications. Hence, division of labor and specialization produce more expertise in school personnel” (p: 105). This is to say that workers are employed for the type of work they have skills on. Another characteristic of bureaucratic school/organization is a hierarchy of offices. According to Hoy and Miskel (1991) offices are arranged hierarchically; each lower office is under the control and supervision of a higher one. In agreement www.cliffsnotes.com suggests that the structure of a bureaucracy is called a hierarchy because it includes a series of levels from the most menial worker in the organization to the highest executive. Each level has clearly defined authority and responsibilities. Therefore, this makes work to be easier and more manageable since everyone knows his/her responsibility in the school/organization. Light, et al., (1989) state that when an organization’s operation is divided into smaller, more manageable tasks; the various activities must be put together. Thus, the solution is to organize workers into a hierarchy with each person being responsible to the person directly above in the chain of command. This means that everyone will have a supervisor. For example, senior teachers can supervisor teachers to assess the efficiency of their work in the classroom. Moreover, a...
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Haralambos, M. & Holborn, M. (1995). Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. 4th Ed. London: Collins Educational.
Hoy, W.K. & Miskel, C.G. (1991). Education Administration: Theory, Research and Practice. 4th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
Light, D., Keller, S. & Calhoun, C. (1989). Sociology.5th Ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Stark, R. (1989). Sociology. 3rd Ed. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Co.
www.bustingbureaucracy.com/excerpts, date of retrieval 02/10/2014.
www.cliffsnotes.com, date of retrieval 02/10/2014.
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