Bureaucratic organizations have rigid policies and procedures. Bureaucracies have two essential characteristics that included being hierarchical, where each level of management controls the level below, and it is in turn controlled by the level above. The second fundamental characteristic is that a bureaucratic structure of an organization is governed by laws and procedures as the base of direction and authority. Decision making is done at high levels of management through an organized system (Johnston 7). Since authority is concentrated at the top levels, information usually flows from the top down. Hence, this encourages an organization’s culture to be focused and directed to it goals and objectives.
Moreover, a bureaucratic structure has many benefits to an organization. A bureaucratic organization will have control in its system. Information and guidelines are usually clear and well- communicated. Over time, bureaucracy maintains its rigid structure by establishing the rules (Diefenbach and By 37). This structure also allows departments to share resources available effectively and efficiently since tasks are specialized in each department, and the repetitiveness increases productivity in the organization. However, one limitation in using bureaucracy is the lack of morale and satisfaction of the employees to do the job due to the repetitive nature of their jobs.
Bureaucracy may not be favorable to all organizations due to factors such as having many levels of management, working with a fixed routine, poor employee relations, unhappy customers, and others. These have led to some companies to come up with their conventional hierarchical management system. For example, the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, introduced Halocracy system in the company. Being halocratic means that the company will have no managers, no job titles, and no hierarchy.
In conclusion, a bureaucracy in an organization can prove to be beneficial to organizations that have endorsed the system since inefficiency is reduced (Knights and Willmott 76). However, looking from the perspective of needs in the modern organizations, a bureaucracy has many limitations. Therefore, it might be just right that Tony Hsieh introduced Halocracy to Zappos to satisfy the needs of the company.
Diefenbach, Thomas, and Rune T. By. Reinventing Hierarchy and Bureaucracy: From the Bureau to Network Organizations. Bingley: Emerald, 2012. Print.
Johnston, K. Condensation of Busting Bureaucracy. Sarasota: Visionary Publications, Inc., 1993.
Knights, David, and Hugh Willmott. Introducing Organizational Behaviour and Management. Andover: Cengage Learning EMEA, 2012. Print.