Bennis is to sociology and management. The oracle of Bennis startled the pitch of management and organizations in the mid 1960s, where the inevitable extinction of bureaucracy was enunciated:
“Within the next twenty-five to fifty…
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It is, however, quite ironic that modern society now use bureaucracy as a critical generalization for inefficiency and red tape (Fisher; Heady). This was not how Max Weber visualized bureaucracy.
Weber became the foremost exponent of bureaucracy when it was still in its crude form where bureaucracy and rationality were inseparable. Under such intertwined aspect, the four main elements of Weber’s rational bureaucracy were distinct lines of hierarchical authority, practical specialisation, professional training of administrators or supervisors, and efficient decision making (Borgatti).
Practitioners have, however, extended Weber’s ideals of bureaucracy into a social structure distinguished by the following elements : job specifications, system of supervision and subordination, unity of command, general use of written documents and records, skills and competency training, use of rules and policies and hiring of personnel and work assignment based on competence and experience (Borgatti).
Beyond Weber’s iron cage, Wang compiled the following perceived dysfunctional aspects of a bureaucracy : red tape from all the rules and the signatures required to get things going, difficulty to transform from this system to another and also the tendency to segment attention and response as a result of division of labor.
There were some inadequacies pinpointed on the bureaucratic system of organization. Drawn from the thoughts of Bennis and Miner, the most obvious downside of bureaucracy are summarized in the following statements: (1) Owing to the rigidity of rules and procedures and the specialisation typical of a bureaucracy, it does not promote personal growth and professional maturity; (2) Since the system is run based on the principle of “unity of command”, conformity and “group-think” are developed; (3) Its inflexible structure is not
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They present to the mind indelible encounters with rigid and insensitive clerks, standing in long queues and long, difficult forms. Seemingly, all bureaucracies share related characteristics, including hierarchical organization, specialization, and formal rules.
Negative aspects of the organizations having this type of structure are mostly neglected. We can start our analysis of the topic from theory presented by Weber (Weber & Andreski, 1983). This theory is considered as a land mark in organizational structure made from bureaucracy as it fundamental concept.
Second, Weber outlined the capacity of individuals to have control over other. History has showed several instances of charismatic power in the likes of Hitler and Pope John Paul II (Baum, 1987). The final idea of Weber (1958) concentrated on legal and rational authority, which indicates that formally written rules held certain individuals to assume powerful positions.
Bureaucracies have been criticized for obstinacy, perplexity and inefficiency. Excessive bureaucracy’s dehumanizing influence formed a major theme in Franz Kafka’s work. In modern managerial theory, unnecessary
Weber wrote a rationale in a bid to describe bureaucratic leadership as being the most efficient way of organizing governmental agencies. In this rationale, there is an advent of six key elements associated by
The author of the text casts light upon the phenomenon of bureaucracy. Notably, the first classic feature of an ideal type of bureaucracy is the formal hierarchical structure where each level controls that which is below it. To be precise, this is the basis of central planning and centralized decision-making.
About bureaucracy, usually, the people in leadership are not the ones chosen or elected by the public. Also, their day to day performance is evaluated since they report to their immediate boss, hence no bias opinions unlike in an anti-bureaucratic system where the people in leadership can place their relatives in any requested unit.
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