Bureaucracy and Scientific Management Are Still Relevant for Understanding Organisations

1672 Words Feb 15th, 2013 7 Pages
Bureaucracy, which is an important model of organization defined by rules and series of hierarchical relationships, has been the dominant role for understanding organization for decades (Grey, 2007). Since the 1960s, numerous criticisms in mainstream thinking keep emerging toward the bureaucracy asserted that the imminent death of bureaucracy is coming because the defects associated with applying rules would lead to several problems such as poor employee motivation and goal-displacement. In view of this, the implication of a move from bureaucracy to post-bureaucracy has emerged and it is being depicted as a new label of flexible specialization in volatile market. Based on trust and empowerment, post-bureaucracy and other terms including …show more content…
In this way, it gives rise to deliver sub-optimal outcomes in organizations by ‘doing the thing right’ rather than ‘doing the right thing’. A defense for the goal-displacement would be that solutions are not all the optimum ones in every case, but bureaucracy offers an optimum average at overall level. However, another particular version of goal-displacement given by Philip Selznick (1949, cited in Grey, 2007) also poses a blow to the bureaucracy. He suggests divisionalized structures on organizations would lead to different aims towards the divisions by pursuing divisional interests but not the whole organization as the rules designed. Individual prejudices would play a central part in decision making and different aims in divisions within the organizations would very much debunk the rational image of bureaucracy. These insights above are very much pointing to the emergence of post-bureaucracy in organization.

Admittedly, apart from overcoming the demerit of bureaucracy, as new forms of organizations with an open boundary based on trust and empowerment, post-bureaucracy would be more suitable for the organizations while the market is even more volatile in today’s business environment. However, post-bureaucracy has its own problems on the aspect of control and risk in mainstream thinking. Without applying rules in

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