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Managing People & Organisation Essay

2911 words - 12 pages

Managing People and Organisation"Does post-bureaucracy lead to greater autonomy for workers? If so, why? Answer with reference to theory and examples."In simple terms the word autonomy refers to "having its own laws". It means capacity of rational individual to make an informed and un-coerced decision (wikipedia). Thus, autonomy at work is a degree to which a job provides an employee with the independence to manage their work and also to decide on their own how the work is to be done (Business dictionary). Freedom of individual at work has been topic of debate since 20th century, where there has been constant conflict and struggles for high wages, better quality of working conditions, equal rights - freedom to work freely from within and outside the factory walls (Christian Maravelias, 2007). Earlier workers were considered as one of the resource of the company, that should be controlled and managed properly for optimum utilisation, thus their freedom would mean a significant cost to the management thereby affecting overall profit of the organisation. Even theories like scientific management developed by Fredrick Taylor also regarded workers as passive instrument of production. However, over the past few years this view has been changing. Freedom is not viewed as problem to be controlled by management but it is viewed as central economic resource. Even various sociologists and economists like Karl Marx challenged the view of labour being considered as a commodity. Gone are the days when workers were bound by endless rules and regulations. However, this acclamation of freedom has been accompanied by a critique of bureaucratic principles of organising work" (Du Gay, 1994: 2000).Bureaucracy is supposedly found in number of occasions, which restrain individual's freedom of choice and burden them with expectancy. Many literatures have argued that "the age of bureaucracy is ending or has ended" and there is "fundamental move beyond bureaucracy" (Heckscher, 1994). We are moving from bureaucracy to post-bureaucracy - Is it true in reality? Recalling my first formal meeting with my manager at one of the multinational company in India, he said:"You have full liberty to work the way you want to, however make sure you follow the KPI's (Key Performance Indexes) and work within companies agreed R&M (Risk & Management) policies" My reaction was.. "Freedom to work, but where?" However, I agreed, as I didn't want to jeopardize my relationship with the manager and loose job with a big organisation.Number of studies have also mentioned that in the post-bureaucratic organisation workers look free only at the surface and these so-called post-bureaucratic organisations don't liberate the workers with power but trap them in power relations even more efficiently than did the iron caged bureaucracies (Kunda, 1992; Spicer & Flemming, 2004). Thus, essential principles of post-bureaucracy have positive implications on workers working; there are potential...

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