To begin the analysis of this type of organization is convenient to define bureaucracy as a direction system based on rules and procedures. This definition identifies the advantages of this type of organization, such as the safety, stability and the coherence, but also derived from the same advantages, disadvantages are pointed out such as rigidity, lack of motivation and resulting cumbersome administration. Its origin is based on the statements of Max Weber, the German sociologist late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Social institutions have many aspects similar to the aspects that make a criminal organization. One of these is the political aspect that can be adapted to a criminal organization. The most prominent examples are that each society has an organizational principle, with figures representing the authority, with positions and specific duties. Among these political perspectives are two points of view for organized crimes, these are the bureaucratic and patron-client organization.
The patron-client organization functions as a united family where each member can make their own decisions, but if for some reason something were to go wrong, would be blamed individually unlike the bureaucratic organization where there is a leader who makes the decisions and the members of this organization are limited to listen and obey orders and who does not obey the orders will be killed.
A bureaucracy is a type of organization that is necessary for the accomplishment of great and important tasks.
Bureaucratic Vs Patron-client organization
Bureaucracies are organizations with complex hierarchies and employ an extensive division of labor, where positions are assigned according to the abilities of the individual. These are guided by rules which are communicated from the top of the hierarchy to the people who occupy the lower positions, these features have been adopted by legitimate and criminal organizations, where the success of the operation depends on the experience and organization of their leaders.
The fear of compromising important information makes the bureaucratic model more suited and impractical for criminal organizations. For these reasons, information, money, and orders are typically handled face to face, due to the limited control in the lengthy chains of command. These organizations are networks that characterize most of the Mafia groups in America and networks are conformed by chains of individuals with whom a person or organization can make contact. Because the contact can be set up through an extensive chain of people, an individual can establish a connection with a lot more people. These contacts are “friends of a friend” a phrase well known in Sicilia, which refers to mafiosi. This arrangement provides an unbalanced social exchange, where employers provide protection and economic aid and customers pay with intangibles such as loyalty and esteem.
Lyman, M.D., & Potter, G.W. (2007). Organized Crime (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
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