The disadvantages would be that collective forward progress is slower and lack of personal creativity due to compliance to common ideals.
General Electric (GE) is one of the well-known corporations of the world. It is an enormously diversified company with its products ranging from telecommunication fibre optics to large Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines capable of projecting 3-D images of the human brain. It makes immense aircraft engines to and advices public to reduce their energy bills. Its ability to innovate and maintain impeccable quality has helped GE to remain a market leader and function as a successful organisation.
Bureaucracy has been exhaustively discussed in organisational concepts. Ideally bureaucracy is symbolised by authority relations, recruitment by competence, and fixed salaries. Max Weber described it as technically superior to all other forms of organization and hence indispensable to large, complex enterprises. Weber's Principles of Bureaucracy proclaims the following of the principles of Divide labour into specialized expertise areas throughout the organization, Pyramid position defined by a hierarchy of authority and an explicit chain of command, Formal rules governing decisions and actions of everyone that allows continuity in event of personnel changes, Be detached with employees so that sentiments do not distort objective judgment and Select workers by their technical utility to rule out friendship or favouritism is ruled out, and advancement is by seniority and achievement. Rigid documentation is followed to keep tabs on progress and evaluate.
However, bureaucratic organisations seem to stifle worker creativity since omni-present rules and regulations create no room for innovation and improvisation by the workers. The inability take quick decisions due to lack of authority also results in reduced productivity. This downside of bureaucracy especially in large organisations has made it questionable as to its rationality and efficiency. Its principles have also attached a connotation of disapproval to the terms bureaucratic and bureaucracy due to its incompetence and a lack of broad-mindedness.
However, although it sounds improbable considering its successful image and culture today, GE was a struggling bureaucratic organisation in the 1990's. Too many layers and no decision-making capabilities characterized it. The organisation lagged behind in making timely strategic decisions. This success is attributed to what was essentially a single managerial decision made by Welch back in the mid-90's.
Jack Welch joined the General Electric Company (GE) in 1960. Welch started work as an engineer in the plastics division. However although his immediate work environment was fast paced and exciting, he felt smothered by the bloated bureaucracy of the company. He could not function to his full ingenious limits, had to wait for management decisions on the smallest of tasks. He felt under valued, and was highly dissatisfied with the standard bonus he received. He found another job and almost quit but was persuaded to stay on by Reuben Gutoff, who saw his immense potential.
Although he stayed on, Welch had not changed his mind about GE's administration, which he saw as unresponsive at best and debilitating at worst. Welch carried this experience in heart and his tenure at GE was the struggle