The Importance of Managing People in the Post-Bureaucratic Era

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Culture and Leadership

Culture is instilled both inside the people and in the way they carry out their activities. Religion directs many procedures both inside and outside a firm. In a social setting, people tend to work consciously or unconsciously in a similar manner as their leader. Starting to act in line with the existing culture and the process, they begin creating their new cultural elements. The method of creating, reviving and reinforcing culture forms a dependency between leadership and culture (Drucker, 2013). The essay will focus on how managing culture has changed in the post-bureaucratic era. In addition, cultural influences in the companies will be discussed, and how their importance has evolved will be analysed.

Evolution of Managing People

In this essay, the discussion will focus on the ways in which the process of managing people has evolved following the introduction of the new type of environment. The post-bureaucratic management has both advantages and drawbacks. If this management technique is incorporated correctly and used in the right working practices, its use may result in a better work environment and performance for both the managers and employees in an organization (Drucker, 2013). The organisations that used to have rigid hierarchies are now using new structures that rely on flexibility and specialisation. The change from the bureaucratic organisational system has had a significant impact on people since it liberates the people's domain independent autonomy.

The Shift from Bureaucratic to Post-Bureaucratic Management

Bureaucratic management can be termed as inflexible and hierarchical. The bureaucratic control was meant to incorporate conventional and mechanised production procedures. The leadership in such management was of a control and command type. In such systems, the employees are expected to be an obedient strict authority. In this way, the employees lose their autonomy and motivation for work and follow the rules. The post-bureaucratic management focuses on the culture and the relationships in the workplace. Importantly, there is a back-and-forth communication in such set-ups.

Role of Managers in Labor

Managers have a crucial duty in the sphere of labour. One of the factors that influence their functions is the current focus on people and their morals. Managing people can prove to be the hardest part of a manager's duty. If it is conducted wrongly, it may lead to a terrible performance from the workers. Thus, the organisation will not progress towards achieving its goals. The post-bureaucratic management style advocates for people to be managed with a human side. For an organisation to be successful, it is essential for it to acknowledge the efforts of its employees since such practice will motivate them (McKenna, 2010). However, it does not mean that a manager should ignore any negative feedback. In case the employees are failing to meet the expectations, the manager has to do what is best for the company. A leader is expected to make a long-term decision that will benefit both the worker and the company.

Post-Bureaucratic Management and Individual Management

In the post-bureaucratic period, individual management focuses on the positive side of an employee's activities alongside constructive criticism. The management rules have evolved with the introduction of post-bureaucratic control. Employees are assigned duties depending on their qualification instead of standard. In the modern era, individuals are not hired on a long-term basis. Instead, there exist certain expectations of a particular job. Workers can currently perform their duties away from the office. With such changes, managing individuals has become more complicated. However, if people are appropriately directed, they can be more productive and efficient as compared to the bureaucratic system (McKenna, 2010). After the start of the post-bureaucratic era, the employees' attitude towards work has changed. Importantly, they became able to think creatively on the ways to improve their performance. Furthermore, in the modern world, the employees' opinions are considered, and their participation in the company's activities is valued.

Effective Communication and Managerial Skills

Managers are expected to be adaptable and committed to ensuring the proper functioning of the company. To ensure more comfortable managing of employees, effective communication should be prominent. Since managers are expected to be the best decision-makers and problem solvers, their effective communication skills will earn them respect among their subordinates. Managers can discuss the performance and duty of each employee privately (Vie, 2010). In this way, they can offer them advice on how to reach their full potential, also showing interest in helping the workers. Managers can provide the employees with the required tools to be efficient and successful in their work. Furthermore, they should recognize excellence and provide constructive feedback.

Characteristics of Post-Bureaucratic Culture

A bureaucratic culture is the one in which managers tend to protect their workers to ensure that they do not make any mistakes. Thus, the work can be done in only one right way. In a company where a bureaucratic culture is dominant, formalization, centralization, and specialization are the principal axes. Post-bureaucratic ethos symbolizes a situation where subordinate's opinions, choices, and decisions are given importance through the sustenance of the soul of reformist and entrepreneurship. Such a system relies on direct and natural cooperation among the involved individuals rather than a chain of command (Alvesson, 2015). Thus, companies are required to strengthen their relationships with customers. Instead of hierarchies, there should be flat transverse functional teams. In the post-bureaucratic culture, the employees avail themselves of the information provided as one of the major tools of achieving successes. For instance, a company's organizational strategy can include workers being given work to do together in a creative and reformist manner. In this way, they will be able to attain good job performance in the ever-changing market.

Shift in Time, Place, and Culture

In the post-bureaucratic culture, place, time, and culture are viewed and supported in different ways. For instance, to separate time and place lines, the capacities of emails and cellphones have been boosted. The employees have been provided with a better understanding of the home office, and the system that entails working from nine to five has been revised. The employees' work has been structured as a series of projects rather than a single location where they have to go. The industrialized society was strict on the separation of work and private life. However, the post-industrialized society has minimized the distinction (Alvesson, 2015). Organizations that incorporate post-bureaucratic culture have several significant features, particularly a management style that is focused from bottom to top, which is aimed at promoting trust by reducing official communication methods which relied on the chain of command. Such practice prevents managers from having excess power and advantage. Information is provided to the monopoly by offering means of spreading it.

Employee Empowerment and Organizational Networks

Work is carried out based on the experience and information provided rather than the order of hierarchy. Managers and employees are expected to follow specific flexible and general rules, which is meant to enable them to have more initiative and adapt better to the changing environmental situations. In a post-bureaucratic company, it is the responsibility of each staff member to contribute to the success of the company. Teamwork is essential to improve the performance of a company (Belbin, 2012). Organizational networks are critical as they break the hierarchical structure. The staff evaluation that was conducted in a bureaucratic culture was based on seniority. The process has changed in the post-bureaucratic ethos, having become objective-oriented by making all employees contribute and agree to the preparation process. A post-bureaucratic culture supports the removal of pluralism and recognition of differences. It encourages democracy, interactive communication, and trust, being against the judicial authority, one-sided conversation, and the lack of confidence and hierarchy.

Impact on the Public Sector

Post-bureaucratic culture focuses on independence rather than persistence and workflow using deductions and resistance methods. Other main features of this type of management include the transfer of authority, fortification of staff, the proliferation of implementing the applications of total quality management, and free working teams (Belbin, 2012). Humanistic relations are held in high regard, and the process of sharing information is significant importance. For this reason, the public sector has been affected by these changes. It has been forced to undergo some reforms since the bureaucratic culture is viewed as unproductive and rules-centered due to producing results that are not customer-oriented.

Transformation from Weberian Bureaucracy to Post-Bureaucratic Culture

The 20th century witnessed the introduction of the Weberian bureaucratic organization, which became dominant in the public sector. The bureaucratic model focused on work morality, hierarchy, stable missions that were under specific set laws, and graded organization form. The management relied on written documents, assignment of work based on expertise, and the separation of private life and work (Clegg, 2011). In the recent past, the changing conditions led to a new understanding. The understandings led to flexibility in the workplace and new organization, a paradigm which supported the post-bureaucratic culture.


The post-bureaucratic management allows companies and employees to adapt better to the changing environmental conditions. Managing individuals is challenging since people are different. Their preferences for leadership styles may differ similarly to their reactions to the different types of motivation. Proper skills should be developed and applied to enhance personal performance and simplify the managing role (Clegg, 2011). Adopting post-bureaucratic management entails having a flexible organization, efficient, productive, and entrepreneurial system. However, some public sector entities still follow the bureaucratic organizational culture.


Alvesson, M., & Sveningsson, S. (2015). Changing organizational culture: Cultural change work in progress. Routledge.

Belbin, R. M. (2012). Team roles at work. Routledge.

Clegg, S. R., Harris, M., & Höpfl, H. (Eds.). (2011). Managing modernity: beyond bureaucracy?. Oxford University Press.

Drucker, P. (2013). Managing for the future. Routledge.

McKenna, S., Garcia-Lorenzo, L., & Bridgman, T. (2010). Managing, managerial control and managerial identity in the post-bureaucratic world. Journal of Management Development, 29(2), 128-136.

Vie, O. E. (2010). Have post-bureaucratic changes occurred in managerial work?. European Management Journal, 28(3), 182-194.

October 24, 2023

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