Bureaucracy – Meaning, Features, Advantages and Problems

Problems in Bureaucracy

The major problems of bureaucracy organization are:

1. Invalidity of Bureaucracy Assumptions

Many authors and scholars believe that the conditions of bureaucracy are not found in practice or even if found they may not result into efficiency. Some aspects of invalidity of bureaucracy are given below:

i. Rigid organizational hierarchy works against efficiency as it over emphasize superior-subordinate relationships.

ii. Rules are normally provided for guidelines but often they become source of inefficiency because of too much emphasis on rules and their misuse.

2. Goal Displacement

Goal displacement occurs when resources are used for a purpose other than for which the organization exists. For example rules are means for achieving organizational goals but following of rules may become the objective of the organization and organizational objectives may become secondary.

3. Unintended Consequences

There may  be consequences which have not been visualized but which emerge because of the system. Such consequences may be of following nature:

i. There may be trained incapacity in the organization

   This means when a person is trained he may not think beyond his training and tries to correlate every matter with what he has been taught during training sessions.

ii.  Conflict between professionals and bureaucrats

This may arise due to difference in orientation of both. Professionals may work according to discipline for efficiency while bureaucrats emphasize on rules and regulations.

iii. Conflict between organization and individuals

There may be some features of bureaucratic organization which may work against the human nature. Human beings like to work in free environment but bureaucratic organization puts restrictions through rules and regulations.

4. Inhuman organization

Behavioral scientists believe bureaucratic organization to be inhuman in which there is no importance of human beings and their feelings and emotions. They are expected to work as machines.

5. Closed system approach

Bureaucratic organization has closed system approach which is self-contained and self-maintaining. Bureaucratic organization can work well when environment is highly static and predictable. However the nature of environment is dynamic and heterogeneous. Thus an open system perspective is more suitable for management of modern organizations while bureaucratic organization has closed system perspective.

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