William G. Ouchi discusses in the article Markets, Bureaucracies, and Clans the importance of evaluating organizational efficiency in order to determine the value of individuals to an organization. He states that a transaction cost framework allows for this type of evaluation of organizational efficiency-the framework is based on two conditions, namely goal incongruence and performance ambiguity. These conditions can combine in several ways to determine the best mechanism for mediation or control in determining value. The three basic mechanisms are markets, bureaucracies, and clans. Once again, the organization chooses the mechanism based on combination of conditions with the organization.
In the selection for Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich it talks about working in a bureaucracy, for the most part living in a bureaucracy is a good thing however, we all know what to much of a good thing leads to. Ehrenreich talks of her experience in trying to get ahead in the minimum wage world and how it was impossible to do. Bureaucracy does work however, in this case, which is the case for so many American’s today, it just seems that no matter how hard someone works to try and get ahead and to “live up to the Jones” you are never able to reach your full potential. It also can be said that not everyone is meant to be a doctor or a successful lawyer, but to have to worry about if you have enough money to survive is something that should not be the worry for as many people living in the United States as it is.
As an example of how to draw inspiration for blogging from the Scott and Davis book, Organizations and Organizing, I offer the following list of prompts from my notes.
- Can it really be rational to purseu goals with maximum efficiency without caring about the selection of goals? Have you ever seen a group or organization do that?
- Goal specificity: What would happen if you looked at some companies’ missions or annual reports. Would you see goal specificity? Why or why not?
- The book (38 ) talks about several managerial systems like MBO, ISO 9000, and so on. What is up with those? What are they? Are they still being pursued? Are they simply “fads”?
- Formalization of roles can objectify the structure (39). Have you seen this in organizations you are a part of? Greek system?
- People who don’t like formality of systems are upset with how goals were derived, not formality (40, Stinchcombe quote). Some critics now of TARP funds (bail out) are saying that they are being misused. IS that an example of this point?
- Have you worked in fast food? Is it an example of Taylor’s Scientific management?
- Have you seen examples of Weber’s three types of authority (47)? Is there less charismatic authority now?
- Can bureaucracy be good? When, under what conditions?
- Is The Office funny becuase it udnerstands some problems with bureaucracy or rational organizations?
- Can you have organizations without rationality? How?