Most of the modern-day scholars claim that bureaucracy is a very inefficient phenomenon. Despite this, there are many bureaucratic organizations in the universe; the United Parcel Service is an example. Max weber, the founder of the concept of bureaucracy, believed that, a bureaucratic form of government was the most superior compared to the rest. It is said that most bureaucratic organizations shows their superiority through the immanent rationality. The problem arises due to the use of the term, rationality, because it is impossible to comfortably agree with Weber that rationality meant efficiency. The United Parcel Service works to ensure that they reduce uncertainties in the input and output process of the organization; this is a component of rationality. The reduction of uncertainties is attributed to a number of advantages including, the superiority of the organization.
As bureaucracy brings about benefits to the company it’s also associated with some inefficiency which brings down its full capacity and to in a way reducing the extent to which an administration is bureaucratic. Issues like goal shifting, applying rules inappropriately, employee isolation, among many other frauds associated with bureaucracy make it inefficient although not affecting the UPS Company to a large extent. Bureaucracy involves setting laws and procedures to be followed. These procedures involve, passing through several steps and being served by different clients to enhance efficiency. However, the first outcome that is derived from is long queues and waiting hours that cause frustration to the clients. UPS delivery of parcels and other products have been termed of high quality due to the procedural checks made by different employees, but many people see it with a negative perspective thus reducing its efficiency
Any rational organizational aims at maximizing revenues and minimizing cost in order to maximize profit. However this main goal of an organization is in many cases displaced by other peculiar goals. UPS has majorly focused on ensuring quality service to clients and thus emphasizing on ensuring, maintaining and inspecting these procedures. These have resulted to additional workers and supervisors as well as increasing employee training that is not aimed at increased performance but understanding the procedures. Contrary to cost minimization goal maintaining the procedures comes up with some costs that translate to very little revenue output. Moreover, work division result to subdivision of the organization to subunits that come up with different and conflicting goals. The setting of do’s and don’ts come up with minimum levels of performance. A situation that has resulted to UPS workers performing slightly above the least set standard thus reducing the company’s productivity (Tullock & Rowley, 2005).
Bureaucracy as an organizational sensation
The United Parcel Service (UPS) have a systematic organizational behavior, theory and management which are linked with a characteristic of rationality. The components that are very clear in the organization include division of labor and specialization, strict subordination, strict laws and regulations and excluding personal issues in management. The executives of the UPS Company believe that these components lead to higher levels of efficiency in all the operations that are undertaken in the company. The management does not consider that personal elements as a helpful tool towards increasing efficiency in the organization. Many bureaucratic organizations wastes most of their precious times giving duties to their employees and forgets that motivation is a very important factor that can contribute to efficiency in the company, thus, high productivity and maximization of profits.
The UPS company ensures that it reconstructs the Weber model and shapes a beliefs towards effective internal characteristics ; personal attitude and synergy, pin determining a higher level of efficiency in the services that they offers (Friedman, 2006). Efficiency results to a feeling of superiority to other forms of the organizations. The effect chain is shown below;
The cause effect chain dictates that all components must be fully integrated so that they can yield efficient results. Bureaucracy superiority will not be an outcome if one of the processes in the cause effect chain misses. The UPS ensures that they stick to the entire component for the sake of efficiency in delivery of services to the clients.
Despite the negative perceptions towards bureaucracy in the modern times, UPS has clearly capitalized in a well-defined system of bureaucracy to rise to a higher degree of efficiency. Through this, the clients are no longer frustrated in the services that are offered because the silly processes have been eliminated for the better. UPS has come up with clear rules and regulations that protects their clients and ensures an equal treatment to all customers without discriminating against race, gender, religion, ethnic backgrounds, color and many others.
The United Parcel Service took the US Postal Services as one of their own service delivery unit and it was very successful. The company is a specialty in delivering the small packages to millions of business on a daily basis and with a systematic trend. This has made the company to expand its services broadly to cover the shares in the air services market, logistics and information dissemination. The company has grown due understanding of bureaucracy and defines itself as efficient and productive. It can be noted that the company continues to expand its services globally to supply the business with the small parcels at their destined deliveries.
A great element of bureaucracy in the United Parcel Service is a clear definition of its rules, regulations and obligations. The laws act as a guide to the drivers by explaining the correct and simple ways of delivering packages to the intended destinations. The drivers will be instructed on ways to load and unload their trucks, fastening their safety belts, walking and how to place the keys of the trucks on a safe place. All the workers are entitled to a collection of safety rules which protects them from harm and other dangers. The rules and regulations of the UPS Company have 340 steps that act as a guide to the drivers and all its other employees.
The UPS Company has an effective executive who have formulated strict dressing codes for all employees and they works to ensure enforcement of the rules. The supervisors have a responsibility to inspect drivers on a daily basis, three minutes inspections, to every driver of the company. The application of bureaucracy has also led to formulation of cleanliness standards that governs the composure of their trucks and other belongings of the company. The works are not allowed to eat and drink in their offices. The managers under different departments are assigned with policy books that will always direct them towards a systematic way of assigning duties and tasks to their subordinates.
The United Parcel Service Corporation, through the utilization of bureaucracy, has a section of division of labor. Each department of the company will have its own employees who will provide labor and supports the operations of the locality where they are assigned their duties and responsibilities. The workers of the company include: drivers, maintenance personnel, washers, loaders, sorters and clerks (Brewster, Mike and Frederick, 2007) UPS was using manual records at the beginning but it has implemented advanced technologies that enhance the reliability and efficiency of all its services. The drivers can use a computerized clipboard that acts as a tracker in the process of delivery of services. The company conducts a monitoring and evaluation process using the daily worksheets that will characterize performance by classifying goals and the outputs.
The best criteria to hire and promote employees are based on the technical and educational qualification. The policy book of the company says that all the top executives and managers must be competent with the knowledge and the capacity to make decisions that will only contribute to efficiency in the delivery of services. The act of favoring certain workers is against the company policies and regulations and this must be taken to note. It can be concluded that, bureaucracy and its model are well connected to the operations of the UPS Company and they result in efficiency in the services that are provided to their clients.
Tullock, G., & Rowley, C. K. (2005). Bureaucracy. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund
Thomas L. Friedman. (2006) The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, updated and expanded, pp. 167–176.
Brewster, Mike and Frederick Dalzell (2007) "Driving Change: The UPS Approach to Business". New York: Hyperion.