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Prior to this class, my understanding of bureaucracy was limited as I defined it as the structure and a set

of rules and regulation that controls the people and their activities within a n organization. But after

discussing about the bureaucracy in two sessions focused on the positive as well as negative side of the

bureaucracy, results backed up by various researches & specific examples like Gore’s culture etc., I got

a better understanding of the topic. Getting ahead with the topic, the discussion about the theoretical

definition of bureaucracy, the videos of Khan academy and George Rockall, discussion about specific

readings etc. gave me the better insights of both the sides of bureaucracy. I can now correctly define an

efficient bureaucratic organization as well as an efficient organization without bureaucratic limits. I

found this topic really interesting because, I believe every organization, has to look after its structure as

it grows for utilizing several benefits and ensuring the ease of processes. A slight mismanagement or an

ineffectively designed structure can even cause a collapse, and as I aspire to become an entrepreneur at a

point in my life and for successfully managing the organization, I should be able to have a firm

understanding of structures as well as a detailed knowledge of bureaucracy.

Theoretically, bureaucracy can be defined as a system of an organization which is responsible for

making decisions, this organization can be either public sector or a private one. According to the

common beliefs, a hierarchy is essential for bureaucracy and this led us to define the characteristics of

an efficient bureaucracy. This includes five specific characteristics- Division of Labor, Hierarchy of

Organization, Rules and Regulation, Impersonality, Employment based on technical qualifications. Each

characteristic has its own positives and negatives attached to it, like- increased efficiencies, increased
expertise, clear recognition of in charge, clearer expectations from employees, equal treatment etc. being

the positives and alienation, decreased productivity, deprivation of voice in decision making, decreased

creativity & loyalty, goal displacement etc. being the negative effects in a bureaucracy. I clearly agree to

the points discussed in the class regarding the positive impacts of bureaucracy like it ensures

accountability and functionality in an organization, essential in monitoring activities etc. Apart from

this, it allows the outsiders to see how decisions are made and who is responsible for them, and this

feature ensures the transparency within a system which I believe is really important. I believe a system

should be fair and rationale for effective operation, and it should be free from favoritism, cronyism etc.

and bureaucracy ensures this. It is being said that bureaucracy is the only way to eliminate inefficiencies

and ensure fair systems for allocation of funds & services, but I believe it is a strong statement to be

true. Though bureaucracy is a means of ensuring it, but it definitely is not the only way, as in small

organizations or the one which operates more on a horizontal level utilizes cross functional practices for

eliminating these inefficiencies. I believe, Max Weber’s rationale theory of bureaucracy was

undoubtedly effective back there in time when industrialization was at its peak with no one to define an

efficient organization structure. But, at present time where success of an industry depends upon constant

innovation, that structure might not be the best fit. This drives our attention towards the other two

readings- Why bureaucracy must die & Innovation Democracy: W.L. Gore’s Original Management

Model. Even thought the above stated points which signifies that bureaucracy is an essential feature of a

successful organization, these readings provide some findings and facts which counters the claim. And

to some extent I also believe that bureaucracy is not the only way and at few places it even has to be


I completely agree with the belief that innovations can’t flourish because of the complex hierarchy that

drives a company, and I believe this was a driving factor in Bill Gore’s realization that the DuPont
company is not making a good use of the opportunity at PFTE. And this led to his unconventionally

designed firm that had no room for hierarchical structure. He aimed at fully exploiting the potential of

ideas of the employees which might contribute to the success of the firm. Freedom to employees, with

their actions and area of work and a system where people could feel free to talk openly without bosses

around, maximized the opportunity for cross functional collaboration and this drove the success of the

firm. And in the current world, I believe this has to be incorporated by companies to consistently

innovate and move ahead successfully. It is being rightly said that bureaucracy is gripped by the

ideology of control and has no room for innovation at a lower level which in-turn, cripples the

organizational vitality. And, in order to build organizations which will be successful in the future, the

foundational belief of bureaucracy has to be challenged and allow room for changes at every level. I

completely agree with the statement in the reading which says- “In order to consider new ideas, you

have to be willing to let go of the ideals that no longer serve you”, because in today’s world the success

depends on integration of three elements- Innovative Ideas, Delivering Unique Experiences and

Enabling Leadership, while theoretically bureaucracy which in indulged in three different traps has no

room for that.

Concludingly, I believe for an organization to succeed in present conditions, a structure which ensures a

perfect balance of bureaucratic accountability, rationality and a platform for innovations which depends

upon autonomy, is essential. An organization completely free from bureaucracy might experience

cronyism, favoritism and inefficiencies in operations which might lead to total collapse, while a system

without bureaucracy will experience lack of accountability and hence might not perform well. Thus, for

me an ideal organization will be a perfect combination of a platform that unlocks human capabilities

which gets crushed by bureaucracy and an accountable system which ensures successful forward

movement of the organization as a whole.