bureaucratic organisations

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Explore the background to change affecting the current organisation

Discuss the background to change that exit in today’s economy

Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of bureaucratic organisations

Compare alternative forms of organizational development

Background to change in current organisation

The literature review could explain to what extent the change can take place how long will it take. It will also broaden our horizon of imagination and thoughts and open new doors of business knowledge

Change can be planned or unplanned. It could have large impact or small impact on the entire organization or a particular department (French & bell, 1999).

This is a summary of many of the most widely used background to change in exiting economies organizational change with large groups. Much of this information was gathered by Smith and Smith (1994), and by Bunker and Alban (1992).

The major features of large-scale, real-time change management process include:

“the theory-base uses less action research and discrepancy theory, and focuses on application of systems theory”(see Senge, 1994)

the data base source is no longer internal to the organization, but now involves both the organization and its environment (an open-systems approach)

the data base, which is now had a limited availability, is now largely shared in the entire organization

moves from one part or one unit to the entire organization.

The theory of the Dannemiller approach is based on a formula that Beckhard and Harris (1987) attribute to David Gleicher

These three components must be present to resistance to change in an organization: Dissatisfaction with the present situation, a Vision of what is possible in the future, and achievable First steps towards reaching this vision. If any of the three is zero or near zero, the product will also be zero or near zero and the resistance to change will dominate. They also use the strategy suggested by Drucker (1974) of converting words into actions. They said that there should be a common activity focus which is highly reactive.

Dannemiller also cites an "Arthritic Model" of organizations. This refers to an "organizational arthritis" where there are blockages at every joint of the traditional management-structure pyramid. Their task is to exercise the organization so that change is not only possible but is inherent in the structure and design of the organization.

J.B Quinn in 1997 wrote in his book “managing innovation and software will be the two most critical management skill of the new decade, yet few companies know how to exploit this interface to achieve its full potential.” I have perfect example of how the change in the organizational background put impact on economy. It also predicts the future of such rapidly changing organization. “This was identified that if the organization is productive then change in its structure and function is necessary”.

Dick Axelrod's Conference Model Redesign

This method uses a series of four 3-day conferences, held a month apart. It is based on reengineering as defined by Hammer and Champy (1993). Its purpose is organization redesign, these changes to be made quickly and permanently in the organization, and improvement methods like TQM (Total Quality Management; many references -- see works by Deming and Juran).

Change in Golden Eagle International ltd

Golden Eagle International Ltd (GEI) was operating in a small shop shared with a different company and just with one desk occupied by the founder Mr Radi Siha in 1985.. It was established as an institution to provide overseas investors looking to secure apartments in Central London. It grew in size and started to cater for the general public however its core customer base remained the Arabic community. It attained the NAEA (National Association of Estate agents in 1992 and started operating as a fully fledged Estate agent. “By 1995 GEI was acquiring property at an immense rate and accumulating a substantial portfolio consisting of both residential and commercial buildings in and around central London. By 2000 the company diversified into hotels and invested in the renovation and running of the St. George hotel in Gloucester place. A 4 star boutique hotel in the heart of London's Marylebone, the hotel had a constant and loyal customer base and often had a waiting list for rooms.” Since then, it has grown to become one of the most reputable Estate agents in Central London W1 region with a wider customer base. It is no longer regarded as a community-based institution. With growth, came the need to change.

Evaluate the strengths and weakness of bureaucratic organization.
Firstly The Max Weber (German sociologist) explain the concept of today’s bureaucracy.

"Though the original term ‘bureaucracy’ evolved during the eighteenth century, and is "attributed to the Frenchman ‘de Gournay’"(Internet: Bureaucracy and Adhocracy written by Evan Sycamnias)


A well define hierarchal structure
Division of functions and labor specifically
Systematic procedure to work
Explicit rules to follow
No personal favor ism, prefer impersonal relationship
Technical and competence is the criteria of entrance and excel.
Tend to serve masses and group of people
Employees are privileged and secure (employee benefiting organization)
Mostly governmental and semi government organization

Scientific Management - Frederic Winslow Taylor (1856 - 1915)

Taylor was one of the first to attempt to analyse human behaviour at work systematically. Taylor's approach was to do to for the factory what the engineers of the time had done for machines: improve efficiency and reliability In this 'machine model' of organizations, the 'human elements' of production are treated as if they were parts in a machine: the aim is to make them cheap and interchangeable; with the manager cast into the role of an 'industrial engineer'.

Many of Taylor's ideas stemmed from the observation that, workers in repetitive jobs would work at the slowest rate they could: he called this 'soldiering'. He argued that the root cause of soldiering was ignorance and poor job design, and that if the 'one best method' for performing a particular task could be found, and, if it were explained properly to the workers, productivity would go up to the benefit of both the workers and the company.

The Ideal Bureaucracy - Max Weber (1864 - 1920)

Bureaucracy is the division of labour applied to administration. 'Bureau', is a French word meaning desk, or by extension, an office; thus, 'Bureaucracy' is rule through a desk or office, that is, a form of organization built on the preparation and dispatch of written documents. In contrast to the commonly held view of bureaucracies, they do not 'rule' in their own right but are the means by which a monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, or other form of authority, rules.


The main source of motivation performing a task in a bureaucratically structure organization that is vertical or hierarchy is its well clear principles to follow and obey the rules and regulation by adopting this mechanistic feature the goal become clear and easy achievable. Some time in a well performing and most of the time low performing organization cause rigidity and abreaction to achieve objection, that is red tape ism, due to plenty of bureaucratic approach and written communication.
Well coordinated and connected various structured department to perform a combine activity for targeting the achievement. The bureaucratic approach again comes to obstruct the growing need and urgency of creativity. Long waiting procedure hindrance the objective to attain and replenish and relive the people, if its government then its common people.
Rewards and benefits (performance bonuses etc) are easily available by simply following the immediate boss or supervisor that gives confidence and security to employee about the performance of job and work. Weber’s assumption of impersonal relationship between people at work in a bureaucratic setup aim to a unbiased approach for favor ism but tend to become impersonal in the sense of considerate and care among and within high official and lower staff.
I came across this close to reality statement by an anonymous blogger on internet about bureaucratic structure and its strength and weaknesses.

Compare alternative form of organization development.

The formula by David Gleicher, which gives the entrepreneur an fair idea to decide of when organisational development should be done and the organization is ready for change: (Organization Development; Robert & Mitchell E. Kusy, Jr).


This is most common alternative form in today’s organization development, the role of IT is to much during last fifteen years. The BPR is vary focus and objective, it bring development form the scratch and introduce complete change in term of efficiency and effectiveness. It works both ways reduce cost and make product in less time with more efficiency and productivity. The change is radical and complete transformation of nature of business may occur. Often BPR appraise due to it supporting nature of basic principal of bureaucratic organization where people working life has to be improved?


Both TQM and Kaizen have same approach of totality and continuous improvement. The Kaizen is more refine and objectively clear then TQM is. Kaizen is a Japanese way of continuous improvement which they have proves over the years of technical superiority over rest of the world. Kaizen is also a concept of total quality management, but it take into the Paradigms of an organization. There fore Kaizen concept also applied to itself. The natty

gritty of two are same and they are technically not much different. It is just the Japanese strategy is not complex and modernize. The TQM and Kaizen are technically competent enough for continuous improvement. Where as TQM is more a customer oriented and objective compare to Kaizen which relay on business development with in it perimeter of organization structure.


This is a radical and critical situation for an organization when it needs stage turnaround alternative. It goes through five stages of development or reconstruction.1-Start from top level management and leader when they have decided to bring change infirm, even though it was needed before. 2-Before implementing the change leader must be positive about the change going take place will benefit and lay down appropriate action plane.3-This is where down or right sizing required, redundancy, employee lay and even entire unit shut off. Only the supreme authority makes such decision. 4-The rest of the business must survive and carry on it activity. After reshaping the organization should show profitability signs. 5-Looking for stability and acquiring assets and equity. Learned from the past and care full to go with new market plane with new enthusiasm. May make good market plane with other renowned market leaders.


From the personal observation of the author, the conclusion can be drawn that there is no one model of change that can be applicable to all situations. All organisations are different. The level of employee commitment is also a deciding factor if change could be effectively implemented. This proved to be the factor that brought about successful introduction of computers into the organisation. There had been no need to apply stern tactics to overcome resistance.


Smith, J. & Smith, J. (1994). Notes from ASTD Future Search Conference. Apple Valley, MN: Southern Minnesota Section, American Society for Training and Development.

Bunker, B. & Alban, B. (1992). What Makes Large Group Interventions Effective?, Journal of Applied Behavioural Science 28(4).

Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York: Harper & Row.

Dannemiller, K., et.al. (1994). Consultant Guide to Large-Scale Meetings. Ann Arbor: Dannemiller-Tyson Associates.

Dannemiller, K. & Jacobs, R. (1992). Changing the Way Organization Change: A Revolution of Common Sense, Journal of Applied Behavioural Science 28(4).

Beckhard, R. & Harris, R. (1987). Organizational Transitions. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Drucker, P.F. (1974). Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. New York: Harper & Row.

Axelrod, R. (1995). The Conference Model TM Approach, Perspectives (a newsletter of the Axelrod Group). Wilmette, IL: The Axelrod Group.

Axelrod, R. (1992). Getting Everyone Involved: How One Organization Involved Its Employees, Supervisors, and Managers in Redesigning the Organization, Journal of Applied Behavioural Science 28(4).

Axelrod, R.. (1993). Using the Conference Model TM for work redesign. Journal for Quality and Participation, December 1993, pp. 58-61.

Spencer, L.J. (1989). Winning through Participation: Meeting the Challenge of Corporate Change with the Technology of Participation. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Klein, D. (1992). Simu-Real: A Simulation Approach to Organizational Change, Journal of Applied Behavioural Science 28(4).

Polanyi, 1983: 4 Italics in Original

Managing Knowledge (2nd Edition), Edited by Stephen little and Tini Ray year ?

Article on internet: Bureaucracy and Adhocracy (authentic referenced from books and writers), written by Evan Sycamnias.


J.B Quinn et al Innovation Explosion (Free Press, NY, 1997)

Anonymous; Business Review Service at www.businesslink.gov.uk/london

ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT; Development of human resources (Part 3),the management of change Robert H. Rouda & Mitchell E. Kusy, Jr.