Specialization - standard operating procedures (SOP) and...

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Specialization Workers in a bureaucracy perform specialized tasks that call for training and expertise. Trained  personnel can accomplish their jobs efficiently. The downside of specialization is that bureaucrats  often cannot (or refuse to) "work out of class" — that is, take on a task that is outside the scope of  their job description.  Hierarchical organization The structure of a bureaucracy is called a  hierarchy,  a succession of tiers from the most menial  worker in the organization to the highest executive. Each level has clearly defined authority and  responsibilities.  Formal rules Bureaucracies function under formal rules. These instructions state how all tasks in the organization,  or in a particular tier of the hierarchy, are to be performed. The rules are often called 
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Unformatted text preview: standard operating procedures (SOP) and are formalized in procedures manuals. By following the rules, bureaucrats waste no time in making appropriate decisions. There are contradictions in the operation of a bureaucracy, however. The narrow focus on special expertise may blind a bureaucrat to a flaw in the performance of a task. Compounding the problem may be the bureaucrat's inability to recognize the problem if it occurs in an area outside the bureaucrat's expertise. The hierarchical structure also prevents a democratic approach to problem-solving. Lower-level staff find it difficult to question the decisions of supervisors, and executives and managers may be unaware that a problem exists several rungs down the organizational ladder....
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2011 for the course POSI 1310 taught by Professor Arnold during the Spring '08 term at Texas State.

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