Characteristics of Bureaucracy
A bureaucratic organization shows the following characteristics:
(1) Division of work: there is a high degree of division of work at both the operative and administrative levels. This leads to specialization of work.
(2) Hierarchy of positions: there is a hierarchy of authority in the organization. Each lower position is under the control of a higher one. Thus, there is unity of command. The bureaucratic structure is hierarchical in nature. It is like a pyramid in which quantity of authority increase as one moves up the ladder in the organization.
(3) Rules and regulations: The rules, regulations and procedures are clearly laid down by the top administration. Their benefits are as under:
(i) They standardize operations and decisions.
(ii) They serve as receptacles of past learning.
(iii) They protect incumbents and ensure equality of treatment.
(4) Impersonal conduct: There is impersonality of relationships among the organizational members. The decisions are entirely guided by rules and regulations and are totally impersonal. There is no room for emotions and sentiments in this type of structure. The essence of bureaucracy is total depersonalization.
(5) Staffing: the personnel are employed by a contractual relationship between the employee and employer. The tenure of service is governed by the rules and are regulation. Of the organization. The employees get a salary every month wh8icxh is based on the job they handle and also the length of service.
(6) Technical competence: The bureaucrats are neither elected nor inherited, but they are appointed through selection and the basis of selection is their technical competence. Promotions in bureaucracies are also based on technical qualifications and performance.
(7) Official records: The administration of a bureaucratic organization is supported by an efficient system of record- keeping. The decisions and activities of the organization are formally recorded and preserved safely for future reference. This is made possible by extensive filing system. Written documentation and formal filing root out the possibility of loopholes in the oral communication among the organizational members. The official records are considered as the encyclopedia of various activities performed by the organization. The living system makes the organization independent of individuals. The official records serve as the memory of the organization.