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Much of our society is organized as a bureaucracy: corporations, institutions, the armed services, etc. A bureaucracy is a large secondary with specific structural characteristics that are formed to efficiently achieve specific goals.
Characteristics of bureaucracy are:
Hierarchy of offices
Rules and regulations
Formal record keeping
Advantages for bureaucratic structures:
Standards, you know who is responsible for what
You know what is expected of you for every situation
Judged by the job you do, rather than you are
Know your jobs well because of expertise
One person is not responsible for everything
Disadvantages to a bureaucratic structure:
Confusing chain of command
Passing the buck
Peter’s principle, people rise to the level of total incompetence
Rules and regulations outdated
People see you as a number
Communication flows only one way
Parkinson’s Law, work expands to fill the time given it
Analysis of Bureaucracy Discussion
Step One: Identify a bureaucracy (i.e. school, workplace, place of worship, sports team, etc.) that you have had some experience with and do an analysis of that bureaucracy based on the information below. Name the type of organization and discuss why you selected it.
Step Two: Explain how the bureaucracy that you have selected meets each of the characteristics (1-6 above) associated with bureaucracies. Provide specific examples for each. Write at least 10 sentences that discuss your personal example of bureaucracy. You should also include your thoughts/reactions/opinions to the pluses and negatives of a bureaucracy. And finally, state whether, or not, you think that bureaucracies are positive or negative, and why.