Effect of new technology in bureaucratic organization
In public and private organizations today, technology is considered as a key method for improving organizational and managerial efficiency. Old bureaucratic structures and processes are being transformed due to the increasing pressure of improving technological processes (Argyriades, 2010). Through technology old ideal style bureaucratic structures are being replaced by new bureaucracies that can be termed infocracies with lesser hierarchy, varied structures and increased decentralization.
Conflicting views on the effect of technology on bureaucracy
Technical complexity, variability and operations technology are the three key terms used to identify technology in organizational terms. Technology systems lead to changes within the structure of an organization and play a crucial role in creating organizational structures (Woodwards, 1965). The relationship between technology and bureaucracy has received conflicting views. On the one hand, it was argued that technology conflicted with bureaucracy by making traditional bureaucratic organizations inefficient and uncompetitive and on the other hand it is argued that both have the same values; that is the technology influenced bureaucratic process is ultimate.
Bureaucracy is implemented with the use of explicit rules, regulations and procedures as rationalized administration and is executed by the bureaucrats (humans). However, the emerging development in new technologies and the rapid innovations especially the likes of artificial intelligence make it increasing feasible to automate these functions (Lee, 1984). The automation is also economically attractive since it is inexpensive comparatively. But there are also potential limitations of the use of technologies as a vital component of rationalizing of organizations.