How do bureaucracies as hierarchies succeed / fail with respect to their mission

How do bureaucracies as hierarchies succeed / fail with respect to their missions, goals, and objectives; what are the root and proximate causes of failure and success? Are there alternatives to a hierarchy? Explain. Also, what is goal divergence? Independent research may be necessary, as usual. Approximately 750 words, excluding word count for references, is suggested but not required. Student submissions not in the form of a word or pdf file may be cleared and not graded.