How to Use the Bureacracy Management Approach in 21st Century Business
A bureaucracy can be efficient and productive in today's world.
One of the principles of bureaucracy that Max Weber established was that a job should be standardized so that any personnel changes won't affect the organizations output.
Businesses still today follow this principle and management approach.
As much as people say they want freedom and responsibility to make decisions on their own, most times people end up requiring to be told what to do. The want to follow detailed instructions, and CLEARLY understand the rules, regulations, and expectations they are being held to. These principles of bureaucracy are still essential in keeping businesses efficient and productive today.
Bureaucracies are often related to the military, and for good reason. In a life or death situation, someone has to make a decision that isn't questioned, regardless of the outcome. In business, that life or death situation is profit or loss. Your business is either making money or it is losing money.
However, in federal jobs and industries like science, engineering, architecture, and health, bureaucracies are the lifeline that keeps those business models efficient, productive, and profitable. When an architect is designing a building, there are rules, regulations, and guidelines he has to follow. They have no creative freedom to interpret the way a building will be constructed in New York City. There are rules and regulations that are consistent regardless of the country, authority of position, or individual them self.
The key to managing in 21st century business,
Is to remain consistent with a bureaucratic approach while training, learning, and identifying employees within your team. Then once you know and understand the strengths, weaknesses, and behavioral personality of an employee, you can employ them with much more liberal understanding that they will make the most ideal and profitable decision when the moment presents itself. They will also understand the rules, regulations, boundaries, and most importantly expectations of their work performance.
I don't understand where you're coming from when you say a bureaucracy would not be effective in today's world.
Employee loyalty is important and making them feel like they are more than a "worker" is key. Small businesses are the place for non-bureaucratic management styles. In a work environment that is 50 or less employees, often does not need to follow a bureaucratic approach. It makes sense in that it is much easier to communicate since everyone is in one central location, there are minimal departments since most employees do more than one job description, and it's easier to get promoted since you're working directly next to the person who would promote you.
In a perceived non-bureaucratic company like google, where the rules and regulations are thin or non-existent, it is overtly competitive. Non-bureaucratic companies only hire the best of the best because they've shown they can handle performing at a high level with little to no management.