Bureaucratic leadership is a leadership style that depends on a clear chain of command, confirmation by the followers or the team, and strict regulations. It is mainly based on fixed official duties under the hierarchy of authority. Bureaucratic leadership applies a system of rules for the management activities and decision-making process.
Maintaining a bureaucratic leadership style can be advantageous for a highly regulated line of businesses. Apart from that, it can be helpful to maintain an efficient management style in business organizations that does not require creative thinking or business innovation thinking from employees.
It is common to get confused about the difference between bureaucratic leadership and autocratic leadership based on certain characteristics. The main difference can be identified as autocratic leaders are responsible for making main decisions in the business process, whereas bureaucratic leadership concentrates on the entire line of authority related to the business process versus a single leader.
Bureaucratic leaders can be identified based on several characteristics.
Characteristics of Bureaucratic Leadership
1. Formal hierarchical structure
One of the main characteristics of bureaucratic leaders is that they maintain a well-defined ranking of authority. The business hierarchy consists of different ranks and the higher ranks of the business have the power to control the lower ranks of the business process. Promotions and selection of employees for certain job responsibilities are decided based on the employment qualifications and the job specialization. Terms and policies hold a special position in bureaucratic management and the employees are controlled and guided by them.
2. Well organized management structure
Bureaucratic managers maintain an established well-organized management structure in the organization. The rules and regulations related to the business are well defined and high-rank management of the business are responsible for adhering to the defined rule and regulations. Since the bureaucratic managers are highly detail-oriented, they are well aware of each project conducted by the business and the related statistics of each and every project.
Just as they maintain a well-organized management structure, bureaucratic leaders are highly task-oriented to ensure the target achievement. The higher level of the business hierarchy should clearly define the tasks and responsibilities to the subordinates and the expected performance and individual target achievement expectation should be clearly defined and discussed with the employees.
The set guidelines should be followed throughout the business process until the goals and objectives are accomplished. Apart from that, the higher-level officers in the organizational hierarchy should have the ability to check and monitor each task in the business process. Since innovation and creativity has very little or no role to play in this type of business process, following the process and achieving the expected output is mainly focused on by the leaders.
4. Ability and willingness to work hard
Since creativity and innovation are not involved in the business process, the bureaucratic leaders usually have to perform repetitive tasks. This builds a strong requirement of being passionate about what they do. Apart from that, the subordinates should have the need and the willingness to complete the assigned tasks and achieve expected objectives from them.
While achieving the expected objectives, the quality throughout the business process should be maintained and the standard should be continued at each level of the business process. Bureaucratic leadership should ensure maintaining of systematic procedures for the employees to deal with different types of work situations and to overcome issues.
5. Maintaining a strong mindset and being courageous
In order to maintain a well-defined and structured management hierarchy in the organization, the bureaucratic managers need to be strong. Since a large workforce has to be maintained while paying attention to the details of every project conducted by the business, it is important for the leaders to have a strong and courageous mindset to ensure the smooth run of the business activities.