Although a bureaucracy itself may be specialized and impersonal, bureaucrats still retain their humanity. Within any bureaucracy, informal relationships invariably form, which can increase worker satisfaction, but only to a point. Informal groups can become disruptive to the efficiency of the bureaucracy.
Critics of Weber note that bureaucracy can also promote inefficiency. A bureaucracy can only formulate rules based on what it knows or expects. Sometimes novel situations or extenuating circumstances arise that the rules do not cover. When the unusual happens, rules may not be of much help.
Unlike Weber, Karl Marx argued that capitalists use bureaucracies to exploit the working class. Marx predicted that bureaucracies would eventually disappear in a communist (classless) society, and that collectivist organizations, in which supervisors and workers function as equals for equal wages, would replace the bureaucracies. A variation of the collective organizational model has been tried in China, but with limited success. Critics note that collectivist organizations do not work because “leader” and “followers” inevitably emerge when groups of people are involved.