An adhocracy, a term popularized by author Alvin Toffler in 1970, is an organization that lacks structure, formal rules or regulations, and hierarchy is absent. Adhocracies are the opposites of bureaucracies and normally try to foster a team atmosphere and instill flexibility.[1] However, adhocracies are also seen as inconsistent and characterized by a lack of planning. [2] The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “A flexible and informal style of organization and management, characterized by a lack of bureaucracy. Also (depreciative): bureaucracy characterized by inconsistency and lack of planning.”[3]
Etymology
Adhocracy is a combination of Ad hoc- (for this purpose) and –cracy (rule of).
Characteristics
· Roles are not clearly defined[4]
·
Little formalization of behavior4
· Selective decentralization4
· Work organization rests on special teams4
· Low standardization of procedures because they stifle innovation4
· A tendency to group the specialists in functional units for housekeeping purposes but to deploy them in small, market-based project teams to do their work[5]
·
Job specialization is based on formal training5
· A plethora of different managers who become functioning members of their teams5
· Direct supervision and formal authority diminish in importance5
· Conflict is natural2
· Lacks the advantages of standardized work2


Forms of Adhocracy
The Operating Adhocracy5
This form is seen as innovations and tries to solve problems directly on behalf of its clients. Examples of this could be a think tank consulting firm, an advertising agency. It is hard to distinguish between planning and execution of the work.

The Administrative Adhocracy5
This form undertakes certain projects not to serve clients but its own interests. It makes a clear distinction between planning and execution.
Alvin Toffler said in his book “Future Shock” that adhocracies will “increasingly challenge, and ultimately supplant bureaucracy.”[6]
Media studies author Henry Jenkins describes adhocracy as a knowledge culture where every person contributes to finding a solution to a problem using his or her knowledge or abilities.[7]
Example of Adhocracy
Adhocracy LLC, an Internet-based marketing communications company, began in the 1990s when advertising professional started to work on freelance projects together and saw a large demand within mid-sized companies for marketing communication services.1 The creative units within the company provide advertising, Web design, direct mail, cyber-commerce, and market strategy services to clients in Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington, D.C. 1
External Links
Adhocracies and Bureaucracies by Evan Sycamnias
Organizational Configurations
----

[1] http://ecommerce.hostip.info/pages/3/Adhocracy.html
[2] http://www.uplink.com.au/lawlibrary/Documents/Docs/Doc11.html
[3] http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/20000168?single=1&query_type=word&queryword=adhocracy&first=1&max_to_show=10
[4] Bob Travica, New Organizational Designs: Information Aspects, Ablex/Greenwood, 1999, ISBN 1567504035, Google Print, p.7
[5] http://www.12manage.com/methods_mintzberg_configurations.html
[6] Toffler, Alvin, “Future Shock,” (Random House, Inc., 1970), p. 113.
[7] Jenkins, Henry, “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide,” (New York University Press, New York and London, 2006), p.262.