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. While we can define an organisation as having the key elements that are required of all bureaucracies, it is also important to study the effect that bureaucratic management may have in perpetuating unintended negative consequences.
The roots of modern bureaucracy are found in the beginnings of capitalism. . Puritanism put forth the belief that to further the production of modern man, there necessitated the development of an "increasingly bureaucratic order from which the ‘spontaneous enjoyment of life’ is ruthlessly expunged" (Weber 2001 p.18). Adam Smith was able to define this more exactly and relate its value to business. Smith advocated the belief that by reducing a workers sole employment down to one simple task, it would increase the