How Bureaucracy Can Build A Sustainable Workforce

There are many new types of concepts and problems that have risen over the last 30 years. The emerging concepts are diversity and inclusion, sustainability and work decency. In which the employers, workers and organisations representatives are required to help in changing the political, economic, technological, power relations and demographics (Thornthwaite & Balnave, 2016). Furthermore, sustainable workforce is highly recognized in today’s workforce because there are factors such as safeguarding, record-keeping, human rights and legal ethics procedures to protect employees from scrutiny (Wiener, 2017). With all these new terms and concept, it enforces organisations to be more cautious on how they treat their employees. The concept of ‘bureaucracy’ was founded and developed by Max Weber, bureaucracy is said to be the approach which is controlling, and the employees are needed to follow the rules regulated (Wiener, 2017). In addition, Weber said that the modern-day organisations should perform based on rationality rather than based on the bias and special treatments happening within organisations (Chand, A., 2018). The term of ‘sustainable workforce’ has only been introduced not long ago, it states that the building of a sustainable workforce requires the emphasizing on sustainability, decency in work, diversities and inclusiveness. Due to fast-paced changing world in climates, the technological market place and the increasing numbers in the world’s population that there is a need to prioritize the creation of sustainable workforce (Thornthwaite & Balnave, 2016). Throughout this whole essay, the purpose is to show both sides of an argument on whether sustainable workforce can be built or not be built by a bureaucratic system.

Max Weber ideas were that in an organisation there must be a regulation of rules, supervision over employees is a must, rewards and incentives are given when jobs are properly done, behavioural standards and general standards are of a certain threshold so that the companies’ workplace are well maintained and kept organized (Essay, UK, 2018). Furthermore, bureaucracy focuses mainly on the results rather than on the process of getting the results. The culture that bureaucracy brings to the organisation is distrust amongst the employees, viewing short-term goals, and may cause individual behaviours to be worse (Gupta, 2011). There is a negative effect brought along with bureaucratic practices, it causes important goals to be lost along the way, after everything there is no individual in the organisation who wants to be held responsible for any errors made (Wiener, 2017). Google is the organisation that was inspired by Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne Experiment. The Hawthorne effect showed that employees’ efficiency alone is not sustainable enough to produce good results and contribute to the organisational success. Google is a ‘people-orientated’ type of organisation, where the employees and employers are treated equally and with respect. Google had said that a treating employee well and not allowing the formalities between employees and employers is the way to go in terms of wanting to stimulate creativity and innovation. Google creates a ‘friendly competitive’ environment for its employees so that they can work together, to perform under pressure and display results at the same time (All About Google: Human Relations). Google is well-known for their ‘enjoyable’ working environment due to the respect the everyone gives to each other; the culture brought into Google is always coming with new ideas but within the aspects of the Google.

Nevertheless, bureaucracy is an approach that does not work for every individual or organisation. Through bureaucracy employees are able to embrace formal work and its procedures. When employees of organisations are facilitated, it shows that it can enhance their pride in workmanship. There have been many studies proving that formalisation of jobs reduces role conflicts and doubts, thus allows their work satisfaction to increase and feelings of alienation and stress reduces (Adler and Borys, 1996). The society in South Korea is pressured to perform well, earn profits, spread equally amongst people, workers are forced to work in the confinement of a rigorous bureaucracy. Independence as an employee in South Korea is almost non-existent (Valigra, 1993). Samsung Electronics was chosen for further understanding as to why they still use high levels of bureaucracy. Samsung Electronics uses the bureaucratic system which has a strict chain of command with many rules that all employees must adhere to and every employee has to be supervised. In Samsung Electronics, every employee has their own fixed work to be done and the communicative culture in the organisation is inflexible between the employers and employees (Essay, UK, 2018). Even though Samsung Electronics uses the bureaucratic approach they are still one of the world’s well-known brand in the market of mobile phones.

The organisations are heavily influenced by the government and the culture of the different countries. The government is an organisation by itself, it depends on how the government build their system and enforce it. For instance, in countries such as Japan that have a strict autocratic and bureaucratic system in their government, it has been reflected heavily on the companies. In countries for instance, South Korea and Japan they have made known to be a country of traditions and strict bureaucratic systems in their organisations. Besides that, countries such as United States of America and United Kingdom has culture which are much more liberal and when there’s restriction they aren’t very controlling.

In short, the idea of bureaucracy is able to build sustainable workforce is debatable. On top of that, it has been said that all organisations still have some form of bureaucracy, even though many organisations say that they use human relations approach but there is still some sort of hierarchical systems in companies which is all unavoidable. It is because there’s should still be some sort of authority over the rest and someone to be there help facilitate and oversee the employees. Besides that, it all depends on the level of intensity of how strict the company wants to be when it comes with the authority over their employees. In the end, bureaucracy doesn’t build sustainable workforce.


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