Adhocracy - Definition
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What is Adhocracy?
Adhocracy refers to an approach to business management focusing on manager autonomy and discretion in decision-making and action. It is an antonym to bureaucracy that consists of a specific rules and procedures, and follow a systematic process for attaining the set objectives.
Back to: Management & Organizational Behavior
A Little More on What is Adhocracy
Research Alvin Toffler begain using this term in the 1970s. Adhocracy gives companies the authority to be dynamic and carry its operations with less control.
It is different from rigorous methods of decisionmaking wherein only the members who are associated with the final result are considered in the process; alternatives are measured strictly; and decisions are taken, assigned, observed, implemented, and reviewed in a timely manner.
What is bureau-adhocracy?
If one creates a balanced approach of adhocracy and bureaucracy, it will help in identifying and solving these issues. This approach is called bureau-adhocracy, and it has the following characteristics:
- Structure occurs and adjusts to environment naturally
- Less formalized expectations of employee behavior
- Conventional training not linked to job specialization
- Specialists or experts operate in functional areas more for housekeeping objectives, but can be allocated to other projects for achieving set targets
- Inter and intra-changing with teams based on mutual agreement
- Minimal or zero scope of standardizing system
- Improper allocation of roles and duties
- Specific decentralization of tasks
- Specific authority offered to expert or special teams
- Offering information in a horizontal manner
- Non-bureaucracy being an important factor in organizational culture
Academics research on Adhocracy
- Strategy formation in an adhocracy, Mintzberg, H., & McHugh, A. (1985). Strategy formation in an adhocracy. Administrative science quarterly, 160-197. The widely accepted view equates strategy making with planning, assuming that strategies are "formulated" before they are "implemented." Based on the detailed tracking over time of the actions of a single project organization, strongly resemblant of an ideal type called "adhocracy," this paper shows that strategies can "form" in a variety of different ways: from the precedents set by individual operators, from thin streams of activity that eventually pervade an organization, from spontaneous convergence in the behavior of a variety of actors, and so on. The paper first identifies and tracks the strategies pursued by this organization across almost four decades of its history and then presents the history of the organization in terms of strategic periods. These findings are then interpreted in conceptual terms, focusing on three themes: the emergent nature of the organization's strategies and the difficulties of identifying intention in a collective context; the cycles of behavior that resulted from attempts to reconcile the concurrent needs for convergence and divergence; and the organization's quest for adhocracy and the problems this posed for the exercise of formal leadership. The paper concludes with a "grass roots" model of strategy formation.
- The development of management studies as a fragmented adhocracy, Whitley, R. (1984). The development of management studies as a fragmented adhocracy. Social Science Information, 23(4-5), 775-818.
- Management research: a fragmented adhocracy?, Engwall, L. (1995). Management research: a fragmented adhocracy?. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 11(3), 225-235. This paper addresses the question of integration in the field of management research. Its point of departure is an analysis of the social and intellectual organization of the sciences undertaken by the British sociologist Richard Whitley. By focusing on the uncertainty involved in the research tasks and the mutual dependence between scientists in scientific fields, Whitley identifies nine possible ideal types, one of which management is said to exhibit a low level of integration and therefore to deserve the label fragmented adhocracy. The purpose of the present paper is to try to discover how far this holds true by looking at all the references occurring in the first eight volumes of the Scandinavian Journal of Management and the most important references in Swedish doctoral dissertations in business administration publicly defended prior to the end of 1985. The analysis provides evidence, in full accord with Whitley's claim, that management studies are less integrated than disciplines such as mathematics, chemistry, the history of science and economics. However, there is also evidence that the degree of integration is increasing. In addition the analysis shows that works in organization theory, particularly those originating in the United States, constitute a common knowledge base for Scandinavian management researchers and Swedish doctors of business administration.
- Adhocracy in policy development, Rourke, F. E., & Schulman, P. R. (1989). Adhocracy in policy development. The Social Science Journal, 26(2), 131-142. Since the 1930s, the president and other high officials frequently have used ad hoc organizations. The Hoover Commission, the Committee on Civil Rights, the Gaither Committee, the Scrowcroft Commission, and the Tower Commission are afew examples. The form may be called adhocracy. These temporary bodies build agendas, evaluate major blunders, resolve deadlocks, and even operate like regular agencies. The growth of adhocracy is a symptom of failure of the regular government and presents dangers of inadequacy, lack of accountability, and threats to democracy.
- The relationships between adhocracy and clan cultures and tacit oriented KM strategy, Keskin, H., Akgn, A. E., Gnsel, A., & mamolu, S. Z. (2005). The relationships between adhocracy and clan cultures and tacit oriented KM strategy. Journal of Transnational Management, 10(3), 39-53. In this study knowledge is considered as explicit and tacit; and in line with this, knowledge management strategy that focuses on tacit knowledge is identified as tacit oriented knowledge management strategy. Organizational culture, which is one of the crucial antecedents of knowledge management process, is categorized into four types by using two dimensionsexternal versus internal orientation and formal versus informal organizational processas adhocracy, clan, market and hierarchy. And the relationships between adhocracy, and clan culture and tacit oriented knowledge management strategy are investigated. Also the industrial environment hostility is used as a moderator between adhocracy and clan cultures, and tacit oriented knowledge management strategy. According to the regression analyses, adhocracy and clan cultures have positive effects on tacit oriented knowledge management strategy; and the impact (magnitude) of adhocracy culture is approximately the same as the clan culture on tacit oriented knowledge management strategy. Also it was found that greater industry environment hostility, the greater relationship between adhocracy and clan cultures, and tacit oriented knowledge management Strategy.