From Bureaucracy To New Organisational Forms Commerce Essay

Most organisations today, operate in likewise unpredictable, unstable and dynamic external environments that are chiefly effects of “ rapid globalisation ” , speed uping invention and intense competition. ( Murray, 2010 )

The diagram ( right ) explicates that environments with a big figure of external factors, that alteration quickly, are extremely unsure. It hence concludes, that organisations runing in highly-uncertain environments need to ‘adapt ‘ to the environment. ( Daft, 2010 )

The term ‘adapt ‘ in this context refers to an administrations ‘ ability to ‘actively get by ‘ with the alterations in its external environment. ( Harwood, 1991 )

As discussed before, we live in an epoch of uncertainness where antique establishments like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns vanish overnight and trade name new ventures like Google and Twitter appear from out of the blue ( Murray, 2010 ) . Therefore, this essay takes on a postmodernist attack and exemplifies effectual ways to accommodate to uncertainnesss in the environment.

Strategy, Structure and Environment

Porter described two generic schemes to get by with external environments. His scheme of cost leading ( trying internal efficiency ) relates more to stable environments while the scheme of distinction ( trying invention ) relate to unpredictable environments. ( Daft, 2010 )

( Daft, 2010 )

The diagram ( right ) matches organizational construction to Porter ‘s strategic ends. Here, organic constructions are pertinent to administrations that adopt strategic ends of distinction while a mechanistic construction fits good with administrations that attempt cost leading ( Daft, 2010 ) .

That being said, in a post-modernist society characterized by changeless instability, it is of import that administrations endeavoring for efficiency are besides able to accommodate to the alterations in the external environment. See for illustration McDonalds, a extremely bureaucratic fast-food concatenation in the last decennary that led to the construct of McDonaldization – an extension of Weber ‘s theory of rationalisation ( Ritzer, 1996 ) . McDonalds strives for efficiency in their operations and their strategic end is to supply their clients with the quickest eating house experience. More late nevertheless, with increasing competition in the external environment, the fast food-chain incorporated decentalisation to their concern theoretical account. Consequently, now, at the corporate degree, a planetary model of common ends, policies and guidelines are outlined, while single geographic concern units are expected to develop plans in conformity with local market conditions. ( Hatch, 2006 )

Contrary to popular belief, Weber ‘s theoretical account of bureaucratic control implies decentralized decision-making ( Walton, 2005 ) . Although McDonalds has adopted decentalisation, it can still be considered a bureaucratic administration ( assembly-line to function clients ) except, now ; a decentralized decision-making attack has made the administration capable of accommodating to market conditions.

Albeit, bureaucratisms ( integrating decentalisation ) are able adapt to the environment, organisational designs ( new organizational signifiers ) emphasizing flatter constructions, multi-skilled capablenesss and a lower grade of informality ( Clegg et al, 2008 ) are more efficient in covering with alterations in the environment. ( Walton, 2005 )

For case, United Technologies Corporation in the US has adapted a divisional structural attack leting it to make divisions with separate functional sections for its different merchandises – Carriers ( air-conditioning and warming ) , Otis ( lifts and escalators ) and Sikorsky ( choppers ) ( Daft, 2010 ) . Decision-making is decentralized in such constructions and divisions can be based on product-lines, client sections or geographic locations. ( Hatch, 2006 )

SEI, an investing services company, operates in a squad based construction where work is distributed amongst 140 squads about. Teams that focus on specific markets or serve major clients are lasting while most squads are designed to work on short-run assignments or jobs. SEI maps in an unfastened office environment where most desks are on wheels. Employees invariably change assignments and move from one squad to the other. Administrations runing in squad based construction readily adapt to the environment since it pushes duty to lower degrees and allows directors to depute authorization. ( Daft, 2010 )

Network constructions are besides flexible and easy accommodate to market conditions. Strida, a company selling 1000s of hi-tech folding bikes to people all over the universe, is run by couple -Bass and Bennet. All processes including design, fabrication, logistics, client services, accounting are outsourced to other administrations while the couple merely manage and guarantee the smooth operation of the partnerships in this web. ( Daft, 2010 )

Virtual webs are increasing in popularity. The best illustration of a virtual-network administration is eBay – a market that allows bargains and Sellerss to negociate and do minutess over the Internet, non necessitating any physical contact. ( Hatch, 2006 )

Danny Miller, in an empirical rating to research the relationships of concern schemes to the constructions and environments of undiversified houses, concluded that although the right scheme can assist administrations accommodate to the altering environment, it entirely can non act upon organizational public presentation. Furthermore, the survey besides indicated that the construction of an administration entirely does non hold a direct impact on the environment unless aligned with the best scheme. ( Miller, 1988 )

For case, Apple Computers in 1985 faced impairment in gross due the company ‘s unequal attending to the demands of clients. In response to company losingss, 20 % of the staff was laid away. This made no difference to company public presentation. However, in a farther effort to derive impulse, the company turned its strategic focal point towards making concerted confederations with clients. With a limited sum of staff at manus, the company amalgamated the different sections at Apple – each executing single maps – into a squad. Apple ‘s crisis in 1985 and its contentious scheme and restructuring is what laid the foundation for a company that is known to take deliberate hazards and quickly accommodate to new market state of affairss. ( Harwood, 1991 )

Corporate Culture and the External Environment

A research conducted at Harvard found that a strong corporate civilization entirely does non guarantee concern success unless “ the civilization encouraged healthy version to the external environment ” ( Daft, 2010, p80 )

( Daft, 2010 )

As per the diagram ( left ) , it is of import that organisations trying to accommodate to the external environment adopt either:

A civilization leting administrations to accommodate ( adaptability civilization ) to the external environment. ( Daft, 2010 ) . Dow Chemical rebuilt its corporate civilization to that of which would body a better grasp to economic elements. In its effort to make so, inordinate hierarchies were removed from its construction to rush decision-making and a construct of “ chance squads ” was created to promote invention. The company besides appointed a director entirely for the procedure of “ de-bureaucratizing ” . Dow ‘s civilization now tolerates ‘unconventional behavior ‘ and values ‘venturesomeness ‘ . ( Harwood, 1991 )

A civilization promoting employee engagement ( involvement civilization ) in accommodating to the demands of the external environment. ( Daft, 2010 ) . IBM, in its efforts to accommodate to the alterations in the external environment empowers its work force with duty and determination doing power. Employees at IBM are encouraged to take hazards and are rather frequently reminded that it is their concern. IBM is characterized by a level administration construction implying a wide span of control. ( Harwood, 1991 )


Options to bureaucratisms – flattening of organizational hierarchies through delayering, impermanent constructions ( undertaking forces, adhocracies, undertaking squads ) and lasting constructions ( quality circles, matrix signifiers ) ( Walton, 2005 ) – have emerged to accommodate to the uncertainnesss of the environment. These options combined with the best scheme and corporate civilization aid administrations adapt to postmodernist society.


Clegg S, Kornberger M and Pitsis T ( 2008 ) Pull offing and Organizations, 2nd Ed, Sage, Chapters 12 and 13.

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Bloomberg News ( 2010 ) . China to Cut Rare Earth Export Quotas by Up to 30 % , Daily Says. Bloomberg Business Week. 18 October. Retrieved November 5, 2010

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Harwood, Paul L ( 1991 ) . Adaptive organisations and people: a literature study for the Task Force on Workforce Adaptation. Halifax, N.S: Institute for Research on Public Policy. p5-24

Murray, Alan ( 2010 ) The End of Management ; Corporate bureaucratism is going disused. Why directors should move like venture capitalists. Wall Street Journal ( Online ) . 20 August. Retrieved November 5, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global

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Ritzer, G. ( 1996 ) The McDonaldization of Society. Pine Forge. London

Walton, E. ( 2005 ) ‘The continuity of bureaucratism: a meta-analysis of Weber ‘s theoretical account of bureaucratic control ‘ . Organization Studies. 26/4 P: 569.


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