Bureaucratic Control, An Overview
What Is Bureaucratic Control
Bureaucratic Control is maintaining the power of individuals of an organization depending on their level in the organizational hierarchy. It is done through systems of standardized rules, methods, and verification procedures created based on the organization’s standard operating procedure. It is used to ensure efficient operation of large organizations where in-person communication is not possible or practical and informal methods of enforcing compliance may not be sufficient. For example, creating rules and procedures to tell the workers what to do, determining standards of action so that outcomes are predictable, or having output control to correct mistakes. Moreover, formalized processes for tenure and pay increases are also examples of bureaucratic control.
Advantage of Bureaucratic Control
The biggest advantage of bureaucratic control is that it creates a command and control cycle for the business leadership. Thus, the decision-making process takes less time as fewer individuals are involved in the process in a bureaucracy. Most of the time, standards and best practices are highlighted during decision making. So, bureaucratic control helps decision making become more efficient.
Disadvantages of Bureaucratic Control
One disadvantage of bureaucratic control is that it may discourage creativity and innovation throughout the organization. Organizations can become more standardized and less flexible. Business leadership may be versatile in some organizations, but it is not possible for a few individuals to generate all possible ideas or plans. Thus, the scope of possible ideas and plans are often narrowed. Another aspect is that the front- line employees may not feel appreciated and satisfied with their jobs due to the lack of creativity. So, it may result into heavy employee turnover. Often time organizations with strict bureaucratic control find themselves to be less adaptable to changing conditions in the marketplaces, industries or legal environments.Figure 1
Though bureaucratic organizational structures may seem less desirable than flatter structures, it is necessary at times. Some industries, such as software development, may benefit from a more autonomous structure; however, other industries, may benefit from the tight controls and tall hierarchies of organizations with bureaucratic controls.