Essay: Bureaucratic Approach (Management Theory)

This theory was proposed by Max Weber, a German Sociologist. It focused on a stratified structure, which outlined apparent assignment of authority providing managers with a constitutional control over their workers. Weber saw each firm as an administration with aims to be accomplished at the cost of individual contribution. He stated that managers would be obeyed just because of their position as managers (O’ Connor, T., 2013).
His theories had two dominant characteristics which are the stratification of authority and the system of rules. Through his analysis of firms he stated three basic types of authorities are legal and these are;
‘ Traditional Authority: the approval of people in authority had its roots in tradition and custom.
‘ Charismatic Authority: In this case, the approval came from solidarity to, and trust in, the individual abilities of the leader.
‘ Rational-legal Authority: The approval came from the office, or level of the individual in authority as restricted by the guidelines and procedures of the firm. This rational-legal authority is what constitutes the form of authority in firms today and Weber’s bureaucracy theory is attributed to this form of authority (Caughey, et al, 2009).

Features of Bureaucracy
‘ Funct??ons ??n a f??rm are defined by rules.
‘ Workers operate within the boundaries of the specialization of the task, the level of authority attributed and the guidelines running the use of authority.
‘ A stratified framework of offices.
‘ Employment is made based on technical capability only.
‘ The ownership of the firms is distinct from officials.
‘ The authority is imputed on the legitimate positions and not on the individuals holding these positions (Debra Mesch et al, 1995).

Advantages of Bureaucracy
‘ Employment, promotion and authority depend only on technical capability and is put in place by written down guidelines and procedures of elevating those capable of managing rather those who are favored to manage as in nepotism and corruption.
‘ The implementation of bureaucracy management theory enables firms to develop into large and elaborate firms with the vision of formalizing clear goals.
‘ Weber’s theory can be used as a basis on which to compare and propagate new modern theories (Jessica Snow, 2014).

Disadvantages of Bureaucracy
‘ There is a likelihood of firms becoming more procedure-oriented than goal-oriented.
‘ There is a tendency of greatly formalized firm objectives to superintend creativity and resilience of workers.
‘ Strict attitude of senior managers may cause regulated services that do not meet the customer needs.
‘ Strict procedures and guidelines do not motivate the employees in a firm.
‘ Implementation of authority based on knowledge has caused the development of ‘experts’ whose ideas and behavior may frequently go against those of other general managers and coordinators (Rubin C. et al, 2012) Human Relations Movement Theories (Behavioral Management Theories)
It is called the human relations movement because it focuses on the human aspect of work. Human relations theorists’ belief that a good understanding of the behavior of people at their work places such as the drive, prospects, rivalry, group gestures will improve productivity. They saw the employees as individuals, resources and not liabilities that are to be improved upon and worked with. Hence the foci of human relations theory are motivation of different factions of a firm and leadership (Joseph Kennedy, 2007).
The different human relations theorists, there experiments, the criticisms and strengths of their works are discussed below: Elton Mayo
In the 1920s, Elton Mayo, a Harvard Professor, after his observation of the importance of both human interaction and individual relationships in the work place, performed experiments to comprehend the influence of different working conditions on worker’s productivity. His experiments proved that when the social needs of employees are met, it improves the working conditions and hence has positive effects on productivity (Houghton Mifflin, 2014).
As an improvement on the scientific management theory of seeing managers as task masters; his new human relations approach was concerned with the essence of group dynamics, collective team work and positive effects of social interaction. Managers under this theory now have care and affection for the employee’s needs and health as part of their roles (Slayor Foundation, 2015)
Also, human relations and the social requirements of workers are necessary aspects of managing an organization (Houghton Harwert, 2015).

‘ Mayo’s experiment was the premier attempt to carry out leg??t??mate social experiments in an industrial environment.
‘ It proved that people cannot be worked with in isolation, but work with other group members.
‘ He proved that personal motivation did not rest solely in monetary or physical incentives, but in their necessities and their roles in a group.
‘ It stated the need for managers to be shown concern and cater for the social desires of employee’s in a group (Richard Trahair, 2012).

‘ Doubts started to rise between the 1930s and 1950s on the increased usefulness of these theories in day to day working life (Korajczyk, 1961).

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