Bureaucracy in Organization: Advantages, Disadvantages

Topics: Organization, Management, Bureaucracy Pages: 6 (2110 words) Published: April 9, 2008
The importance of organizations in modern economy and development of new and large organization are facts that make the issues like efficiency and control on the centre of attention in different social sciences . Efficiency in organization is directly linked with its organizational system. This essay firstly will review the characteristics of bureaucracy in organization on base of classical theory. Secondly it will outline the advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy by focus on Weber’s bureaucratic model. Finally it will discuss why bureaucracy is not always suitable to every organization.

Weber’s bureaucratic model:
Weber mentioned that his bureaucratic model is an ideal and logical model for setting up an organization. It means that the model under question is not a guideline for operating the daily works.According to his later works the model includes this basic characteristics as R.Fincham and P.Rhodes put it: …1. A staff consisting a body of employees whose full-time work was to administer the activities of the institution. As well as simply a body of people, this also consist of a people, this also consist of a structure of 'offices' such that the employee's post carries authority over specific areas, but it is a cardinal principle that the incumbent should not overstep the bounds of the authority of the office. 2.A division of labour which assigns specific task to sub-units and individuals. The division of labour in bureaucracies is highly developed departmental boundaries and individual jobs are closely specified and duties and responsibilities carefully set out. 3.The hierarchy, division of power ,involves the ranking of offices to provide clear line of command. In bureaucracy the hierarchy also is typically very complex, its many levels providing a highly differentiated structure of authority. 4.Competence refers to the basic upon which office is held. Factors like luck, favouritism, or advancement should be decided by expertise and ability alone. 5.Objectivity suggests that all dealing within the bureaucracy and with client should be conducted on the basis of equal treatment according to procedural routine. The objective conduct of business ,free from any personal feeling, is the basis of the reliability of formal administration…:(1970 quoted in Fincham .Rhodes 2005 ,p.446). Bureaucracy is one of the theories of classical approach in management. This attitude closely relates to formal organization because the idea of bureaucracy formed basically for explaining and improving the efficiency of such organisation, then for finding more precise conception from Bureaucracy it seems important to figuring out the principles of formal organisation. According to Urwick's (1952) explanation of formal organization(quoted in Jack Rabin, W. Bartley Hildreth, Gerald Miller 2006,p.66) Ten principles must be used in building up formal organizational: (1)objective, (2)specialization, (3)coordination, (4)authority, (5)responsibility, (6)definition, (7)correspondence, (8)span of control, (9)balance , (10)continuity. From above definitions, it can be seen that the standardization, predictability, maximum efficiency are expected from formal organization. Advantages of Weberian conception of bureaucracy:

Bureaucracy in Weberian model like any other conceptions of business has some advantages and some disadvantages. Three features of this model here will be discuss as most important and essential features namely the concept of division of labour, the concept of hierarchy and also the concept of objectivity. As a methodological consideration it seems important to note that examining the idea of bureaucracy in terms of advantages and disadvantages can be viewed from both ethical and economical points of view. At the same time these different perspectives are related to each other by means of the concept of “efficiency” and the measure of satisfaction from working experience for employees.Bureaucracy by means...

References: Jack Rabin, W. Bartley Hildreth, Gerald Miller.(2006) “Handbook of Public Administration” ,2nd ed :CRC Press pp. 62-77.
Fincham, R. and Rhodes, P.(2005) “Principle of Organization Behaviour”, 4th ed Oxford: Oxford University Press,P.445-467.
Morgan, G. (1995) Images of Organization .Sage.
Dwyer,R.J. (2005) “Formal organizations in contemporary society,the relevance of historical perspectives” Journal of management Decision, vol 43 No 9, pp1232-1248.
Bennet,A.(2006) “The Learning Organization Hierarchy as a learning platform” Journal of Information and knowledge management systems, Vol. 36 No. 3, pp. 255-260
Ballé, M. (1999) Making bureaucracy work. Journal of Management in Medicine, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 190-200
Hőpfl , H. M. (2006) Post-bureaucracy and Weber’s “modern” bureaucrat. Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 8-21
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