There's a natural dichotomy between conservative, control-focused organisations and progressive, outcome-focused organisations.

Early last century, Weber argued that bureaucracies are the most effective way of structuring labour. Toyota turned this around, showing that self-motivated employees are more effective.

There's a currently popular view that bureaucracy is more suited to process work, where autonomy seems less necessary and outcomes can be strictly measured, whereas adhocracy is more suited to knowledge work where high autonomy is required and outcomes are more difficult to quantify.

However, this ignores the learnings from Toyota where many jobs are process-oriented and measurable. It turns out that bureaucracy is almost never a superior option. It's a sub-optimal solution that organisations fall back on when more effective approaches have failed.

In Bureaucracies, control is more important than outcomes. So while bureaucracies state their values as accountability and achievement, these inevitably become blame and adherence to rules.

The following list indicates tendencies rather than absolutes, but the tendencies are strong.

Category Bureaucratic Humanistic
Focus Control & Process Outcome
Information Need to know Open sharing
External Motivation

Carrot & stick

Trust & respect
Innovation & Dissent Insubordination Potential
Mistakes Blame Learning
Morality Rules based Compassion based
Diversity Social Darwinism Inclusion
Competition Competition, zero sum game Collaboration, win-win
Goals Management By Objective, separate goals feed up through the heirarchy Common goals
Structure Heirarchy Tasks
Self Motivation Greed is good Self actualisation
Trust Accountability Enablement
Improvement Quality control Innovation



Add new comment

Submitted by someguyoranother on Fri, 07/10/2020 - 03:41