Bureaucracy is a social phenomenon which is responsible for the division of functions and authority in the hierarchy of statuses and positions. Its appearance marked the advent of a new era in the social affairs based on the fairness and justice. In addition, it led to the emergence of a set of rules managing the governing processes and operations.
Bureaucracy is especially valuable for running the organizations and companies since it provides a complex of rules and procedures which define the division of labor and obligations. In other words, it aims at establishing duties and responsibilities within a certain institution in order to guide its activities in the right and clear direction. Moreover, it is important to mention that bureaucracy creates a hierarchy within the organization defining the roles of managers and executants. At the same time, it implies special responsibility for the people working on the higher positions.
Besides the obligations, bureaucracy also installs a set of privileges and relationships between the office holders. It means that it governs different aspects of the organization activities. Moreover, according to this social structure, offices should be filled on the basis of technical competence and meet the qualification requirements as well.
The other characteristic of bureaucracy relates to the concept of promotions which should be based either on seniority or merits. With its help, it is possible to prevent any influence or pressure which affect the choice of the manager of the company. Finally, bureaucracy highlights the importance to save and maintain different recordings and materials in order to possess all the needed data about organization’s activities, procedures and rules.
Indeed, bureaucracy is considered to be a significant social invention. The crux of the matter lies in the fact that it has transformed the rules within the companies shifting from the blood relations and kinship to the social regulations and rules. Bureaucracy has changed the way of promoting workers making it accessible for those who are the most successful and inventive. Generally, it has established a new level of social regulations within the offices and organizations.
In fact, the first attempts to put the bureaucracy into practice belong to the ancient Romans. They followed this principle when they recruited new people from the foreign tribes into their army. In this case, they did not follow the principle of family and kinship bonds. On the contrary, they allowed everyone who showed their best to get a place in the army.
Bureaucracy provokes many problems. One of them is a so-called Parkinson’s Law. According to it, work tends to be ineffective if the one who does it tries to expand the available time in order to complete a certain assignment. The brilliant implementation of this law in practice could be demonstrated on the example of the office work. Office employees deal with plenty of papers every day. However, at the same time, the productivity of their working days is quite law considering the fact they perform many useless activities such making coffee, gossiping, printing plenty of papers, etc. As a result, company loses its profits and quality of services.
Another bureaucratic problem is trained incapacity. According to it, the followers of bureaucracy often rely on the existing rules and norms and follow them directly and accurately. However, sometimes, it is not enough to meet the requirements of customers and clients. As a result, they do not comply with the demands of the company and lead to the reduction of the profits. For example, when a company applies the manual labor instead of buying modern technical equipment, one can speak about the trained incapacity.
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Another problem is connected with the Iron Law of Oligarchy. It claims that all power at the office belongs to just a few individuals. They manage the situations firmly, control the information flow and protect their status from the possible influence. These workers tend to protect their own interests and values paying a little attention to the demands of the others. An example of the Iron Law of Oligarchy can be noticed in many modern corporations which are run by one person only.