Is there room for bureaucratic structures in the modern day organisation?

Is there room for bureaucratic structures in the modern day organisation?

Guest Post by Caitlin Giles

As a business grows in size, there is an increasing need to delegate responsibilities to managers and departments that can run that particular area of the business autonomously, to ensure that the fulfilments of the organisation are met. Within an organisational structure, there is a need to know who can lead and who needs to follow. At the same time, the business needs to identify or recognise what type of management structure will best suit the business’s needs.

Traditionally, there has always been a management structure based on the power hierarchy. However, over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first century, we have seen organisations shift to a flatter organisational structure where it is required. This is reflected in their decision-making, the teams that they lead and even the salaries that they allocate for themselves.

Changes in the working culture that is impacting the working management structure

The cultures within most organisations are changing. If you take a look at the majority of the successful companies around the globe, you will find that there is a shift from the traditional bureaucratic structures in where autonomy and dictatorship were favoured to empowerment to the employees. Employees are seeking more value and have the desire to contribute to something great. Businesses need to recognise the value that these employees can bring to the organisation, in order to help the business grow in revenue, profits and recognition.

Businesses are encouraged to learn about the different management styles and organisational structures that can help with the on-going growth and operational efficiency within the business. Courses are available online from to quickly learn about the different types of structures that can be applied to modern day organizations.

Who has what responsibilities?

This is incredibly important. There cannot be too many leaders. The work needs to be delegated and fulfilled by someone in the operations of the business. Each person within the organisation needs to have clear objectives on what tasks needs to be fulfilled and to have the manpower to be able to achieve that, within the designated timeframe. This will impact the overall workflow process for the business.

Leading from the front

A person or management team that leads by example, will do more than those who will lead from behind. A person who can lead from the forefront will do more to inspire and motivate their team and the business. The team that executes the work will be enchanted by the work and commitment to success from their managers. This type of structure seems to be flatter, compared to those people who will order around their subordinates, like the traditional boss with a higher power status.

You will always get those people who will play politics

As a business owner or as a manager, you must realise that people are only there to help you in an exchange for income. This generally means you will get people who are happy enough to do ‘enough’ to get the work done, but they aren’t prepared to go above and beyond in their work requirements. This is where the traditional management structure has worked to keep on top of those individuals who need to add value to the business. The manager will enforce measures to motivate their team with targets and rewards. There are people who will do the power play that does work in some organisations as well.

Can a flatter structure work in an organisation?

This type of structure seems to work well for start-ups and smaller businesses where the power level doesn’t need to be high. As the workload and teams increase, it is necessary for the managers to delegate the work and team management to others, empowering them with the operations for that part of the company.

To maintain a flatter structure in an organisation is a good concept, but as businesses grow, there will always be a degree of the bureaucratic structure incorporated into the organisation. It would be ideal for the business to customise the structure to incorporate some of the key working and business values that the company has held in the beginning, to ensure that it doesn’t become lost with the growth of the business. There is a place for this structure in today’s world. Perhaps it just isn’t in the exact shape or form that it was in the last century.

Author´s Bio:

Caitlin Giles is a professional career coach. Her passion for career coaching stems from her desire to help people reach their career aspirations and offer them genuine guidance and support as they make their life-changing transition. She works in partnership with to provide her clients with advice on courses that will improve their career opportunities. Her success can be largely attributed to her natural ability to empathize with her clients. When she isn’t coaching, she enjoys cooking up a storm for her family and friends.