Subordination of Labor a Necessary Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2582 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

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However, as external circumstances change, if internal bureaucratic structures do not, the organization can become inefficient rather than more efficient.

Take a look at the three organizational charts at the websites below. How do these charts represent bureaucracy? How are they similar, and how are they different?

All of these charts depict hierarchical organizations, where larger supervisory bodies oversee smaller and specific segments of such bodies. However, the Organizational Chart for Argonne National Laboratory depicts a bureaucracy based upon hierarchies of function, the Organizational Chart for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services segments its bureaucracy according to hierarchies of personnel, and both government entities stand in contrast to the private industry bureaucracy of the Organizational Chart: The Winters Company which does so based upon a private company's outreach in the organization's different functions in the publicly directed, for-profit workforce.

Gouldner and Parsons raised the problem of the bases of authority. Should you obey a superior because they are in a position of authority or have superior knowledge, or because you believe that following orders makes the organization more efficient? Think about your own experience working for someone else and having a supervisor or boss. Why did you obey their authority? When did you question their authority?

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Ideally, one should obey a superior solely because of the superior's correctness in his or her avocation in a particular position -- however, in every bureaucracy, from the military to a business, a superior may have to be obeyed solely due to his or her authority. When an initiate in an organization, when one is still learning the ropes this is inevitable, perhaps, but later, when one grows more fluent in organizational intent, one is inclined to be more flexible and more challenging to incorrect displays of authority -- and hope that the superior respects one's human intelligence, integrity, and organizational loyalty.

Term Paper on Subordination of Labor a Necessary Assignment

What is the major factor that determines whether a bureaucratic rule is mock bureaucracy, representative-bureaucracy, or punishment-centered bureaucracy? Can you provide some real examples from organizations of higher education of each type of bureaucracy?

The ways in which punishment is dispensed and with what level of enforcement is the determining factor -- for example, a mock bureaucracy might be in the student/teacher relationship in the classroom, where the professor is accepted as an authority, to facilitate classroom learning. A representative bureaucracy might be that of a student government, whereby all representative have an equal voice and are on the same level outside of the bureaucratic meeting place, and an actual system of punishment might be evidenced in a student judiciary board or a formal judiciary board, with the power to expel a student for sexual or academic misconduct.

Rational-bureaucratic organizations are supposed to develop the best means to achieve their goals. Based on your reading of Chapter 5, what would you say are some of the obstacles to making the "best" decisions about ways to reach a goal or solve a problem? Do some organizations have a more difficult time with this than others? What kinds of goals or problems do they deal with?

Obstacles can be personal, such as interpersonal conflicts that transcend the goals of bureaucratic structures, or obstacles can be generated with the bureaucracies themselves. Frequently, the more bureaucratic and long-standing the structure, the greater the difficulty, as with many government entities, as so-called rational bureaucratic organizations are based upon existing protocols that may or may not truly be feasible according to the situations at hand -- such as the confused response of the U.S. State department or Pentagon to unexpected terrorist attacks.

How does bureaucracy limit human freedom? How do humans struggle against bureaucratic organization?

Bureaucracy, even at its best, hems in human impulsive behavior -- and creativity and freedom, which humans struggle against by formally challenging bureaucratic structures in some instances, informally circumventing them, or providing creative solutions to the bureaucratic organization's formalities of behavior.

Most people complain that there is too much bureaucracy. Under what conditions, and in what kind of situations, might there be too little bureaucracy? [Think about the times when you wanted more direction, information, and guidelines.]

Situations when one is being trained frequently provoke such a response -- or when one's own authority is being challenged or graded. This may take place during a performance review, when one might fear that one is judged on personality rather than personal excellence.

Based on your reading of Chapter 5 on the rational-bureaucratic model and the tensions, contradictions, paradoxes, and unintended consequences (and your own intellectual musings about organizational life), critically evaluate the following principles that underlie the operation of the rational-bureaucratic (R-B) model:

A rational bureaucracy has well-defined goals and clearly articulated means to achieve these goals. Ideally yes -- but the human elements of everyday life can blur these goals individually, and permeate into the larger organization.

All stages of organizational behavior are seen as consciously and rationally administered with the goals of the organization in mind. An organization's goals such as profitability may be articulated on the macro level, but all members of the organization do not always as easily state micro-level decisions with such a larger aim clearly in mind!

When members of an organization follow the formal rules, policies, procedures, and regulations of the organization, their actions will be as efficient as possible. On lower levels, this may be the case with highly standardized operations of behavior, but on higher levels, or in highly volatile environments outside the organization, other forces can impact policy efficacy, even when policies have been tested by experience in previous eras.

The organization is a collection of structures that are manipulated to increase the overall efficiency of the operation. Efficiency can be hampered as well as helped via bureaucracy if the structures have outmoded protocols.

Decisions are made on the basis of a rational survey of existing information. But who is the ideal rational decision maker?

Departures from rationality are due to random mistakes, ignorance, or error. Error yes -- but errors on an organizational level of vision can occur, as well as random, chance errors of employees.

Think about a typical day in your life. How does the McDonaldization process enter into various aspects of your life?

I rise at a preordained time, go to work from a regulated period of time, take lunch at a preordained time, and even eat pre-constituted food for such a lunch!… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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