What Is a Bureaucratic Culture?

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A bureaucratic culture is a hierarchical and formal organization that has several levels where tasks, authority and responsibilities are delegated between departments, offices or people. This structure is held together by a central or main administration, and it has led to the development of modern civilization.

Bureaucratic organizational structures have numerous layers of management that cascade down from senior executives to regional and departmental managers all the way down to shift supervisors who work alongside front-line employees. Due to the many layers of management, decision-making authority has to pass through a larger number of layers than in flatter organizations. Refund decisions, for example, may have to pass from front-line employees through shift supervisors and finally to store managers for a retail outlet in a bureaucratic company.