The paper "Bureaucracy Is Irrelevant to the Study of Organisations" is an outstanding example of business coursework. Even though the contemporary world is, for the most part, lacking in guilds castes as well as other socially embedded ways of organizing workers, bureaucracy tends to exist in many organizations. Many scholars argue that rules and procedures that govern how work should be done may not be effective or rather efficient as they may simply reflect longstanding customs. For a long time, many aspects that revolve around work organization have been governed by a typical formula known as bureaucracy.
However, management scholars have criticized this approach as unprogressive. For instance, Goodsell (2012) posits that bureaucracies are encompassed by collections of semi-competent plodders, which are hopelessly ensnared in red tape. Aucoin (2007) defines bureaucracy as a complex means of managing administrative elements in institutions. These elements include regulations, rules, procedures and patterns, which are designed to simplify the day-to-day running of complex organizations. A perfect example of bureaucracy is the procedure of paying income taxes using forms. In the income tax form, an individual is required to fill in specific information concerning his or her total income at the end of each fiscal year.
However, the form often contains rules and laws, which dictate what should and should not be included. Seemingly, bureaucracy is meant to simplify the procedure of paying taxes by organizing the procedure into a formulaic structure. However, the inclusion of rules and regulations in the form simultaneously complicates the whole process. As such, this paper aims to justify the statement ‘ bureaucracy is irrelevant to the study of organizations’ . To achieve this, the paper will start by discussing the concept of bureaucracy by looking at its history as well as its elements. Coined in 1910 by Frederic Taylor, the theory of Scientific Management also known as Taylorism played a significant role during the industrial revolution (Sautet & Frederic, 2000).
Accordingly, scientific management was developed for the purpose of economic efficiency as well as labor productivity. The application of the systematic method along with Taylor’ s scientific management, which was complemented by the discovery of ‘ high-speed steel’ , improved the performance of metal cutting.
Studies indicate that the application of scientific management contributed significantly to improvements in productivity. Moreover, Lane, (1987b) points out that scientific management worked out well for reutilized jobs as well as organizations that were typical of the assembly line setups. Between 1901 and 1915, 181 American factories adopted the scientific management approach (Lane, 1987b). As structures of governance and administration advanced, modern bureaucracies emerged during the industrial revolution as the government expanded (Christensen & Læ greid, 2004). In the late nineteenth century, Max Weber (1946) came up with a set of principles (bureaucratic), which according to him suited all types of large-scale organizations.
Weber’ s bureaucratic approach was typical of a firmly ordered hierarchy of supervision-management and subordination. Moreover, his approach incorporated written records of management and expert training. In addition, Weber’ s approach dictates that the official activity should take priority over other activities in the organization. Webber’ s bureaucracy management approach was to be used in pushing the organization to attain its goals inefficiently (Weber, 1947). According to him, the bureaucratic structure is efficient as it is developed through a rational-legal authority (Weber, 1947).
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