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Since man first organised into teams and began to specialise his labour, the bureaucracy has existed. We see them in the public services as well as large-scale commercial enterprises. Clients are often reluctant to work with what has been called bureaucratic red tape…
Only by recognising the features that define a bureaucracy can an adequate judgment be made on the value of the organisational structure. The features that promote and perpetuate a bureaucracy may be helpful or wasteful and inefficient.
This paper will examine the key traits that make up our modern bureaucracy. It will trace the roots of it origin and evaluate its purpose today. It will answer the question of whether we have moved beyond the bureaucracy and into a new management tradition. It will provide some insight into the value of the changes called for by modern management schools of thought.
Max Weber is often referred to as the father of bureaucracy and it was he that brought bureaucratic management to the arena of a studied discipline. The characteristics that define a bureaucracy are found common to all bureaucracies and also large scale profit management. Size necessitates bureaucratic policies as an effective method of quality control at the expense of other traits. Weber, and later Ludwig Von Misis, contributed to the essential elements that were required to manage a bureaucracy. They pointed out the effectiveness of a well-run bureaucracy for institutions such as the military, hospitals, schools, and the public service sector. ...
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