Bureaucracy within a business is a specialized organisational structureand process of maintaining consistency of authority within an organisation.These processes are most common in large businesses and helps control internalbehaviour. An example of how this is done would be an oil rig company wouldcreate a bureaucracy to require their employees to complete a safety check everytime they operate the oil rigs.
These types of organisational structures tendto consist of multiple layers of management, these could be ranged from seniorexecutives to frontline staff, and it could also be referred to as a hierarchy.The importance of bureaucracy for a business is high, as authority is usuallycentred towards the top and information will flow form the top down. It is itvital because it gives the business a backbone and a way of ensuring that thecorrect regulations are followed at all times. However if this is overly usedit could add levels of unproductivity within employees in a business. There isan aspect in bureaucracy that is called specialisation, this is where theworkers in a bureaucratic structure perform many specialised tasks that demandtraining and capability. This would allow trained personal to accomplish thesetasks with ease, the downside of this aspect would be that businesses cannotafford to work out of their class which means that they cannot take tasks onthat are outside of the range of their job. (Ingram, 2017) (Investopedia, 2017)Using bureaucracy within a business have many advantages, the main oneof these is that a senior manager in one of these organisational structurewould be able to apply a great deal of control over any organisationalstrategic decisions, this can be ideal for owners of businesses with acontrolled style of command the structure will set the pace and basis for theday to day running of the business. Another advantage of using bureaucracy isthat it leaves no room for favouritism, this is because with the rules andregulations set in place it allows the business to accomplish results byincreasing morale which will then in turn improve the rate of efficiency atwhich employees will work at.
An example given for this would be a student applyingfor a student loan, there is a long process to getting this done, it consistsof the student meeting certain requirements to be approved for the loan, with abureaucratic process it will mean that it will have an emphasis on equality.Another advantage of this organisational structure would be that it offers afoundation to scalability, this is because with the increase of work efficiencyit will also increase the level of productivity, the rules and regulations thathave been set in place will allow multiple workers to work together andfunction in the same manner which will increase productivity and a quicker rate.(Webber, 2017) (NCEO, 2017)However, advantages tend to go together with disadvantages, the mainone of these is the lack of innovation. The resilient structure of abureaucratic structure and its tight specialisation discourages creativity andinnovation throughout the business. Regardless of how innovative and inventivethe business owner is it is close to impossible for a single individual tocreate the range of ideas necessary in a large interdisciplinary group.
Becauseof this businesses may fail to anticipate upcoming trends and exploring newmarkets, this could also have an impact on the businesses growth becausemanagers in bureaucratic structures tend to view employees as cogs in a workingmachine, rather than individuals that contribute towards the company’s future. Thiswill sacrifice any possibilities the businesses have because they want toensure that they enforce their rules. Another major disadvantage of thisorganisational structure would be that is lacks responsiveness.
The repetitiveprocesses that are essential in this structure done not tend to react well tochange in laws technologies or customer trends, when these changes come intoplay businesses using bureaucracy will decide to ignore them, which could causethem to be left behind by their competitors, or change their processes whichcan be very expensive in terms of costs and time. (Ingram, 2017)To conclude, it is clear that using bureaucracy can be highly effectivefor certain businesses but as well as being effective it could also be adeciding factor in the fate of the business if things were to change (mentionedin the disadvantages above). If a business was to use bureaucracy it couldeither allow them to excel in their market space or it could cause them to beleft behind after being reluctant to change.