Login
Copyright

Bureaucratic Organizations: Examples & Characteristics

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 What Is a Bureaucratic…
  • 1:15 Characteristics of…
  • 1:58 Examples of…
  • 3:51 Lesson Summary
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ashley D. Manker
In this lesson, we will discuss what a bureaucratic organization is. We will also cover a few characteristics and examples of bureaucratic organizations, and then you can test your understanding with a quiz.

What Is a Bureaucratic Organization?

A bureaucratic organization is a form of management that has a pyramidal command structure. The bureaucratic organization is very organized with a high degree of formality in the way it operates. Organizational charts generally exist for every department, and decisions are made through an organized process. A strict command and control structure is present at all times. Bureaucracies are meant to be orderly, fair and highly efficient.

Bureaucratic organizational structures have many layers of management, cascading down from senior executives to regional managers to departmental managers - all the way down to shift supervisors who work alongside frontline employees. So, authority is centered at the top, and information generally flows from the top down. For example, a senior executive may implement a new policy stating that employees must have all overtime approved by management before actually working the overtime. The new policy will go from the desk of the senior executive all the way down to the frontline employees.

Characteristics of Bureaucratic Organizations

The basic characteristics of a bureaucracy are:

  • Rules and job responsibilities are written down and clearly stated
  • Clear hierarchy of power is concentrated among a few high-ranking managers
  • Appointments and promotions of officers are formal because these officers will be held accountable
  • Employees are hired based on their skills and knowledge, not because of favoritism or luck
  • Salaries are tied to a pay-grade system
  • Bureaucracies are unable or unwilling to adapt to changing conditions quickly
  • Micro-managing is common

Examples of Bureaucratic Organizations

Modern bureaucracies in the United States take many forms. Some examples include:

  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Prisons
  • Police departments
  • Colleges and universities

There are many advantages to this type of organization. Senior-level managers in bureaucratic organizations have a great deal of control over how the business is run. This control allows them to service many customers within a short period of time and to make sure that work is consistent and efficient. Another advantage is that there are written guidelines and rules, so work is predictable and leaves little room for guessing, which could lead to errors.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 49 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Click "next lesson" whenever you finish a lesson and quiz. Got It
You now have full access to our lessons and courses. Watch the lesson now or keep exploring. Got It
You're 25% of the way through this course! Keep going at this rate,and you'll be done before you know it.
1
The first step is always the hardest! Congrats on finishing your first lesson. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
5
Way to go! If you watch at least 30 minutes of lessons each day you'll master your goals before you know it. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
10
Congratulations on earning a badge for watching 10 videos but you've only scratched the surface. Keep it up! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
20
You've just watched 20 videos and earned a badge for your accomplishment! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
50
You've just earned a badge for watching 50 different lessons. Keep it up, you're making great progress! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
100
You just watched your 100th video lesson. You have earned a badge for this achievement! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
200
Congratulations! You just finished watching your 200th lesson and earned a badge! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
300
Congratulations! You just finished watching your 300th lesson and earned a badge! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
500
You are a superstar! You have earned the prestigious 500 video lessons watched badge. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
1K
Incredible. You have just entered the exclusive club and earned the 1000 videos watched badge. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
20
You have earned a badge for watching 20 minutes of lessons.
50
You have earned a badge for watching 50 minutes of lessons.
100
You have earned a badge for watching 100 minutes of lessons.
250
You have earned a badge for watching 250 minutes of lessons.
500
You have earned a badge for watching 500 minutes of lessons.
1K
You have earned a badge for watching 1000 minutes of lessons.
Support