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Bureaucracy - Book Report/Review Example

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Weber (1958) developed the concept of bureaucracy by studying power and authority and further discovered that several kinds can be identified. First, Weber described power based on the belief that rulers have natural rights to govern. This is often referred as the traditional power evident in kingdoms…
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Download file to see previous pages... This power is commonly demonstrated by national and local leaders in several states.
Using a combination of these ideas, Weber developed a concept for structuring that included rigid hierarchical structures, defined authority, set rules and regulations, and a specification of tasks in an impersonal climate. (Yosef and Almond, 1973) This resulted to work being divided into parts, allocated among the relatively specialised workers, dispersing the responsibilities, and centralising authority to a small number of administrators.
Success has been observed among bureaucracies because these organisations stems from their ability to succeed at obtaining objectives and to work for big organisations. (Blau and Meyer, 1987) The structural attributes are maintained because of the reinforcing consequences achieved. Most important, bureaucracies maintain control despite the presence of uncertainties and the environment keeps on manifesting significant changes. (Beetham, 1974)
According to Mintzberg (1979), organisations are divided into: the operating core, which includes employees who produces the goods and services of the organisation and directly participating as support to production; the strategic apex, which consists of the individuals in the top management including their personal staff; the middle line, which serve as the bridge that has authority over the operating core and reports to the strategic apex; the techno structure are the analysts that uses several technical tools to ensure that organisations perform with efficiency; and the support staff, which provides indirect support to the other parts of the organisation.
In designing the organisation, several considerations have to be recognised. First, direct supervision is an important attribute that drives coordination through the proper relay of information and support in tasks. Authority is needed in organisations to ensure that policies are followed. Second, work and the subsequent processes have to be standardised. (Buchanan, 1985) Guidelines and frameworks have to be provided to the operation core to ensure that quality of products and services are maintained at higher levels.
Third, outputs have to be generalised to determine the performance the different components of the organisation. (Mintzberg, 1979) The task includes setting of performance measures and conspicuous output determinant such as quotas. Fourth, skills are vital such that standardisation is imperative. (Mintzberg, 1979) Constant training among workers has to be manifested along with the creation of networks for knowledge sharing.
Although most functions are standardised, organisations have to give room for creativity to grow. Innovation is considered as one the keys to survive the industry. (Mintzberg, 1979) Using the standards and rules, the employees can work and devise other approaches that will create better products. All parts of the organisation have to value the importance of creativity. Lastly, norms have to be regulated to create harmony in the workplace. Norms are also significant and affects the cultural backgrounds of different entities. Companies have to be founded on norms that are designed to improve the performance and to serve as the glue that will preserve the organisations.
Based on the discussion, it is clear that Mintzberg's idea was fuelled by the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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