The Conflict Between Formal Organization and Bureaucracy

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The Conflict Between Formal Organization and Bureaucracy *No Works Cited The early theorist of formal organisation neglected the average individual in the organisation. Max Weber focused on management personnel but had little to say about workers in industry or clerk in government. Karl Marx saw bureaucracy as an unnecessary evil, which enables the owners of the means of production to maintain control of organisations. Through hierarchy, the ruling class assures that everyone in the organisation works in a way to maximise the owners profit. Max Weber has a similar view, he believed that the modern worker has lost control at work, the modern worker is not in control of his fate and is forced to sell his labour to private capitalist. The worker is alienated from the process. The Symbolic-interactionist theorists do not support this view. They believe that the informal structure of the organisation, the things people actually do on a day-to-day basis in contrast to what the official rules say they are suppose to do impacts on the productivity of the organisation. Blumer saw that the action of each person was not based on the position they held in the formal complex structure of a bureaucracy but on their own personality, objective and understanding of the organisation and their position within it. Rothlisberg and Dickson in their famous study of the Hawthorne plant found that productivity was governed by these norms. In the Hawthorne studies investigation was made of the switch board-bank wiring room, where 14 men were making parts of switches for telephone equipment. These men were found to be producing far below their physical capabilities. This was in spite of an incentive for increase production. They had a fear of loosing their job or a reduction in pay if they were to increase production. It was found that these men were carefully subverting the scheme to boost production. They had established their own unofficial norms for a proper day’s work. and created informal rules, and sanctions to enforce this standard. Whatever the official rules of the organisation workers have their own ideas and will collectively develop their own norm. In contrast to Marx and Weber view that organisations must be governed by strict rules, they must operate with a certain amount of flexibility. The rules do not always work. Workers usually follow informal norms instead of obeying strict rules because they work best. Peter Blau observed agents working in a federal law agency, and found the agents operated in violation of the rules.
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