Discussion on Bureaucracy in an Organization

Bureaucracy in an Organization - Complete Controller

Several theorists have worked on it and have tried to describe what it is. Among all of them, Max Weber and Rosemary Stewart have put forward their remarkable observations to define the word bureaucracy, its characteristics, and what impacts it would create on an organization. 

To define bureaucracy, Weber put forward several characteristics which would form an ideal type of bureaucracy.

  1. The hierarchy of command is an essential element. Weber believes that every organization should have a hierarchy of command starting from the top-level management to the bottom level of employees. Download A Free Financial Toolkit
  2. There should be no biases. Every position and level must have a clear set of instructions and expectations related to it. 
  3. Employees must be rewarded for their work and the achievements they have made for the betterment of the organization.
  4. Specialization of work related to the division of work theory

With the characteristics of bureaucracy, he also defined the authority types which exist in our society, hence, in the organizations. 

  1. Traditional: The traditional form of authority existed in the earlier ages, where authority was mainly linked with hereditary power. If a father dies, the power of the authority gets transferred to the son. Such authority still exists in companies with a single owner instead of multiple owners (shareholders). 
  2. Rational Authority: This form of authority is linked with bureaucracy, where candidates are selected based on their skills and work experience. Every selection for the main position is made through rules and following a professional channel where impartial decision-making is done. LastPass – Family or Org Password Vault
  3. Charismatic Authority: The individual is selected by considering his charisma. If the individual has the charismatic characteristics of making other people do what he wants to get done, he is usually selected as the manager.

Weber believed that one of these authorities exists in all organizations and that bureaucracy can enhance the productivity and efficiency of the company. On the other hand, Rosemary worked and defined the features of a bureaucratic organization. She put forward these points.

  1. Specialization: Unlike others, Rosemary focused on describing that the specialization must be of the job and not the employee. It means that when an individual leaves the position, the job must continue, and another individual must be hired to fill the vacancy.
  2. Hierarchy: The line of authority and management level must be clear.
  3. The system of Rules: A system of rules is present where all the people are aware of the rules and perform their jobs accordingly.
  4. Impersonal: All the rules and decisions must be taken using the impersonal decision-making authority following the pre-defined rules. Complete Controller. America’s Bookkeeping Experts

Apart from the features, she defined the reasons and causes that give growth to an organization’s bureaucracy. Bureaucracy does not exist from the beginning; therefore, these factors give birth to it.

  1. The growth of the organization
  2. Increase in the complexity of the work.
  3. Implementation of the scientific management principle.
  4. Equal and impartial treatment.

Therefore, these two theories helped the management understand bureaucracy’s characteristics in many organizations. The characteristics clearly distinguished the organizations and why they should adopt a bureaucratic environment. Several theorists have worked on it and have tried to describe what it is. Max Weber and Rosemary Stewart have put forward their remarkable observations to describe the word bureaucracy, its characteristics, and what impacts it would create on an organization.

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