Many Americans do not like bureaucracy despite its widespread existence in contemporary organizations. Many aspects of bureaucracy are evident in institutions like hospitals and other government offices, and thus people deal with bureaucrats almost on a daily basis.
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Some organizations have operated with bureaucracy for centuries due to its effectiveness in helping them achieve their goals. Analyzing the advantages of bureaucracies will help in understanding why some organizations have used it for long. This paper is an analysis of positive functions of bureaucracies.
One of the main functions of bureaucracy is that it reduces favoritism. Ideally, bureaucracy employs objectivity to the process of selecting employees by basing the selection criteria on the qualifications of the candidates. This is a good aspect of bureaucracy because it helps to reduce nepotism in organizations.
In bureaucracies, promotion of employees is based on their performance. This is an objective method of dealing with the promotion issue because it substantially reduces cases of favoritism in organizations. Organizations that adopt bureaucracy normally pay employees depending on their seniority. This ensures that the organization’s salary structure is fair.
Another positive function of bureaucracy is that employees are committed to bureaucratic employers. This commitment is a product of job security, which is a common characteristic of bureaucratic organizations. Most bureaucracies have lifetime employees who are loyal and committed to them.
Bureaucracies also protect their employees from arbitrary actions by senior management. The aforementioned benefits, which accrue to employees working in a bureaucracy, make them good performers in their work. For instance, employees who know that senior management cannot easily fire them will take reasonable risks to ensure that they satisfactorily complete their assignments.
The protection that bureaucracies offer their employees against arbitrary actions by senior management check vices in organizations because any employee can report misconduct without fear of reprisal. This function of bureaucracy has particularly been effective in government departments, where ethics and proper conduct are treasured.
Lastly, a bureaucracy has increased uniformity of action. This is because bureaucracies are governed by regulations, rules and predefined policy directions that ensure employees respond to similar situations in the same way. Higher-level management in bureaucracies ensures conformance with organizational policies.
The aforementioned policies guarantee continuity to the bureaucracy because new employees will be able to accomplish tasks well even without training. New employees may enter a bureaucracy after the resignation, death, retirement or firing of veterans. Therefore, a bureaucracy does not depend on particular employees to operate. It perpetuates itself. For functions that are result-oriented like cleaning of streets, collection of taxes and so forth, bureaucracy is the best.
Despite the negative perception that the public has about bureaucracy, it has its positive functions. One of the positive functions of a bureaucracy is that it reduces favoritism in job recruitments, promotions and payment of salaries to employees. A bureaucracy also guarantees job security and protection from arbitrary actions by senior management.
This ensures that employees perform their functions without fear or favor. Lastly, a bureaucracy ensures that its employees act in the same way when faced with similar tasks. The uniformity of action is a result of the pre-defined policies that bureaucracies develop to guide employee action. It is important to note that bureaucracy is the best form of management for organizations that have result-oriented tasks like tax collection.