Bureaucratic Organizational Culture in Health Care

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Speaking about sociology, that is important to note how crucial it is for people and their accumulation of knowledge about the whole world. Sociology studies not only the events that occur and the relations of society to them but the connections between people who belong to one or different groups and make up the same community. Moreover, sociology is a science that interprets people’s actions and tries to causally explain their process and impact (Weber, 2019). That is why the sociologist Weber was chosen as the prominent worldview, who insisted that the study of people’s actions can be subjectively correlated with other people’s lives (Weber, 2019). Furthermore, any activity is determined by comprehension and can have an understandable explanation based on this. One of Weber’s main points of view was the manifestation of individuality in people’s actions because they are more based on the individual’s activity than on the social group’s one.

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The main topic of this task is the health care area and its bureaucratic organizational culture since it is possible to describe the actions that occur among the staff due to Max Weber’s concept. The topic chosen for this task will be covered precisely concerning Weber’s opinion. This topic is very close to me, as many friends and relatives have found themselves in a situation where their illness was delayed for a long time because they were redirected to other specialists. Alternatively, the treatment was costly since all the medicines were prescribed for other patients. While my relatives, despite the availability of medicines in the hospital, were forced to wait for a new delivery.

In modern medical management, the culture of quantity, not quality of results, dominates. Thus, people are more determined to achieve formal indicators than the outcome. The bureaucratic culture itself is based on the precise distribution of responsibilities. It contains many rules and instructions for performing work-related actions. Moreover, the bureaucratic style is characterized by the manifestation of repetitive operations, which can be replaced by automation, but still manifest themselves as the work of lower-level personnel. Unfortunately, this scheme can be perfectly illustrated as a bureaucratic organizational culture in medical institutions.

In this medical system, subordinates listen to the boss’s orders, while the patient is a person who mindlessly follows the recommendations of the medical staff. The power, in this case, is hierarchical, that is, directed “from top to bottom”. At the same time, every concern or additional action towards the patient on the part of the staff is dictated by the bureaucratic organization. It sets out the rules for interaction with patients; in fact, any interest and additional concern can be buried under the rules written for medical personnel. While medical professionals used to be among the most sensitive people interested in the patient’s condition, now they seem to be transforming robots through the prism of a bureaucratic organization. Throughout such trifles, ethics manifests itself: applying a bureaucratic organization of culture in a medical environment, where every staff action aims to show humanity and complacency to the patient.

At the same time, in Max Weber’s research on “ideal bureaucracy”, bureaucracy is translated as a theory of rationalization of collective activity (Lea, 2021). It has different principles that make it possible for an ideal bureaucracy to exist. For example, a hierarchical chain of command can allow for clear communication between the supervisor and subordinates. However, at the same time, it is essential to consider that the manager will have to have hundreds of documents in circulation that report on the daily condition of patients. In this case, it is crucial to select specialists with sufficient experience (Lea, 2021). Due to the specialization of job responsibilities, a high level of staff performance can be maintained since the health and life of the patient depend on their actions.

The uniform rules also provide for an additional procedure that involves implementing the norms and responsibilities of staff and managers. Impersonal relationships also impact maintaining the ecological environment during the bureaucratic organization of collective activities (Lea, 2021). Insubordination and non-interference of individuals in the personal affairs of each of the employees have a positive impact on the productive performance of the organization’s tasks (Weber, 2019). When promoting employees through the ranks, every action should be based on an honest, unbiased desire to promote the employee who deserves to be raised to a new position. That is, such elevation should be based on the experience and personal achievements of the employee. In this way, highly qualified specialists can be retained, who will save many lives in the future (Weber, 2019). At the same time, a necessary procedure is to write administrative acts, as this will be an unconditional confirmation of the completion of work tasks. Furthermore, to avoid a conflict of interests, managers should not be the owners of medical organizations.

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All these principles, rationally applied in medical organizations, can promote them to success based on bureaucracy. Weber emphasized the highest bureaucratic efficiency, while at the same time, it cannot be rejected that many sociologists have denied the effectiveness inherent in the method of bureaucracy (Lea, 2021). That was since Weber at one time did not consider the possibility of the human factor and the manifestation of various violations of activity in the system.

Simultaneously, it is imperative to emphasize the advantages of introducing such an “ideal bureaucracy” into the medical environment. The first positive feature will be reducing staff conflicts since the behavior and interactions between them are regulated by rules, norms, and instructions (Lea, 2021). Due to the inclusion of medical personnel in the management hierarchy, their behavior will become predictable and can be calculated step by step in advance. Because all appointments to positions and career growth will be based on employees’ achievements, there will be no elections to the place of “acquaintance” and non-professionals. Moreover, of the narrow specialization, employees will become highly qualified specialists in their work. Furthermore, even if there is a reorganization of jobs because the priority is not individuals but positions, this provides stability for continuing work.

Examples of such bureaucracy can be found everywhere, as it is an effective way to control and develop the organization. Insurance companies, schools, colleges, and the courts are all direct examples of the application of democracy. The stricter the control aimed at preserving information exists in the organization, the more often the company switches to a bureaucratic management order. Through such methods, it can be traced the entire movement of information from one person to another.

During my own experience working in an organization with a bureaucratic culture, I appreciated all its advantages. Also, throughout my time in that work, I saw how few conflicts were based on interpersonal relationships. The reason for this decline was the sensitive control of managers and prescribed norms and statutes. This work was based on volunteer participation, and we even did not try to solve the problem on our own but found the answer in the prescribed points. According to my forecast, with the improvement of the bureaucracy system, soon, all large organizations will use this culture (Lea, 2021). Because of its efficiency and clarity and its other advantages, it can be used in almost every system that needs precise control and tracking of material transfer. Moreover, the usefulness of this bureaucratic culture is also in the fact that the psychological situation will also become more environmentally friendly. It means that employees will be more comfortable working in organizations that keep a culture of bureaucracy.

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To sum up, it is essential to note the critical role that the system of bureaucracy plays in maintaining order in organizations. The example of medicine can demonstrate only a part of the improvements that can be achieved by improving this system according to Weber’s principle of “ideal bureaucracy”. Of course, it is vital to pay attention to all social issues and the dysfunctions that arise when working with this organization’s culture. However, despite the work ahead, it is already possible to note what serious competition this organization represents for other methods. Due to the modern editing of such a proven method of organization, the young generation can achieve success in developing medicine, education, and other global institutions on a par with economic enterprises and businesses.


Lea, T. (2021). Desiring bureaucracy. Annual Review of Anthropology, 50(1). Web.

Weber, M. (2019). Basic sociological concepts. Economy and Society, 77-138. Harvard University Press. Web.

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"Bureaucratic Organizational Culture in Health Care." DemoEssays, 17 Sept. 2022, demoessays.com/bureaucratic-organizational-culture-in-health-care/.


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