Rules Are There to Be Followed Without Rules Nothing Gets Done

Topics: Bureaucracy, Max Weber, George Orwell Pages: 7 (2736 words) Published: March 27, 2006
"RULES ARE THERE TO BE FOLLOWED. WITHOUT RULES NOTHING GETS DONE." It seems that in today's world rules are everywhere. For instance, type a quick search for "rules" into the Google search engine and you will return over 604 million web pages that mention rules. One can find sites which outline rules on correct Internet usage to rules on ordering Mail Order Brides! Undoubtedly rules are quite important in the everyday running of our lives and yes, rules are there to be followed, but in my opinion to say, that without rules nothing gets done is akin to saying that without cutlery no one would eat. Along the same line as rules, cutlery has evolved from being quite rudimentary and has been transmogrified into an over elaborate, almost unnecessary feature at some of the more upper crust dinner parties and at the more elegant restaurants and diners where up to 14 pieces of cutlery are commonplace. This is quite similar to the whole concept of rules which have grown increasingly more complicated with the rise of big business over the last few centuries. Management is growing increasingly more worried about following correct protocol and ensuring that they follow the rules to the point of absurdity. Upon researching for this project I found many amusing anecdotes detailing the complete lunacy, with which rules are followed in various different organisations. One such example came from the Taco Bell Fast Food Chain in America. The Director of Communications was asked to prepare a memo reviewing the company's training programs and materials. In the body of the memo one of the sentences he mentioned the "pedagogical approach" used by one of the training manuals. The following day he was told that the executive vice president wanted him out of the building by lunch. When he questioned this decision he was told that she wouldn't stand for "perverts" working in her company. He was shown her copy of the memo, with her demand that he be fired, and the word "pedagogical" circled in red. The HR Manager was fairly reasonable about it and after looking up the word in the dictionary he told the Director of Communications not to worry about it. Two days later, an absurd rule was put into place to help prevent any more "pervert" style memos from getting out. A memo to the entire staff came out directing them that no words which could not be found in the local Sunday Paper could be used in company memos. A month later, the said Director resigned taking a humorous stance and in accordance with company policy, he created his resignation memo by pasting words together from the Sunday Paper! This is one such example from the crazy world we live in where rules are, for many people paramount if they are to achieve anything. However for this assignment I have chosen to disagree with the statement, "Rules are there to be followed. Without rules nothing gets done." I have chosen to disagree with this statement paying particular attention to the whole idea of bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is a concept in sociology and political science and it refers to the way that administrative execution and enforcement of legal rules is socially organized. Any organization that adopts bureaucracy is characterized by formal division of responsibility, set procedures for dealing with any issues that may arise, a hierarchical power structure and impersonal relationships. In short in a bureaucracy rules are the cogs that turn the wheels of the business and the people play second fiddle to these cogs. I intend to strongly argue against bureaucracy and the inherent importance of rules that lie within this concept. I shall do so by hopefully presenting a credible assessment of bureaucracy and its failure to serve as a credible organizational form simply as a result of it's over reliance on rules. I will do this under three main arguments: 1)Firstly, I shall address the history of bureaucracy and how it has come to be seen as a viable form of organizational structure. 2)Secondly,...

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