Essay: Characteristics of Bureaucracy
Clear hierarchy of authority
There exist levels of authority in any organization. These levels ensure that the organization runs smoothly under well-coordinated network of management. This characteristic is based on the multi-level structures that exist in an organization, containing the hierarchy of positions right from workers, and ascends to the top position individuals (Day, 1999, p. 65). It ensures that lower offices are supervised well by the ones above them hence establishing a focal point for planning and harmonious decision-making.
Formal rules and procedures
Formal rules drive all bureaucratic organizations. They are basically a set of instructions outlining how all tasks are to be performed. They are in some cases formalized and put in procedure manuals. In this case, they are referred to as standard operating procedures (Day, 1999, p. 78). The top management makes rules in any organization. Although employees in a certain bureaucracy may indirectly be involved in the procedures, bureaucracy has it that the rule emanated from the top and it is the obligation of all levels in the bureaucracy to follow them. Formulation of rules is not important than the implementation. Bureaucratic regimes ensure their strict power structures are functional by ensuring that the rules formulated are implemented to the later (Whincop, 2003, p. 39). They do this by consistently ensuring the rules are followed throughout all levels. A good example of such is a police force, which has to depend on rules and regulations made by their seniors. This characteristic is very useful to such government agencies since they cannot function without a well-coordinated decision making organ.