What are the pros and cons of bureaucratic controls such as rules, procedures, and supervision?

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Rules, procedures, and supervision in the workplace are important, but they should only exist in moderation. In a lot of workplaces, there has been a shift away from rigid structure toward flexible working hours and more flexible rules.

For example, having a rule that everyone needs to be at their desks and working by 9 a.m. at the start of a workday means maximizing the output that your company can achieve that day. However, if you berate somebody for being late and only being at their desk at 9:02, you will create a culture of demoralization, which is counterproductive.

A fine line must be drawn between supervision and micromanagement. While supervision is a great way to make sure that everyone is working to the best of their ability, micromanagement (looking over someone's shoulder and monitoring their every move) will cause them to be irritated and despondent.

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The good side of these things is that they make the workplace more organized and predictable.  Rules and procedures can ensure that things are done in the right way.  They make it more likely that products will be made to a consistent and high level of quality.  They make it easier to understand the production process and to keep track of what is going on.  

The bad side is that they reduce creativity and innovation.  People whose jobs are bound up by rules and regulations tend to develop a mindset in which they are most concerned with going by the rules.  They are less likely to try to be creative or innovative because that is not part of their job description.  They fear going outside the regulations.  

The things you mention, then, are important but must not be overdone.  A lack of them leads to chaos, but an excess of them leads to sclerosis and an organization that has a hard time improving itself.

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