Topics: David Petraeus, Bureaucracy, United States Central Command Pages: 2 (652 words) Published: November 7, 2011
Basic Discussion on Bureaucracy

The term “bureaucracy” is used to describe structures in organizations. The basic concepts used to describe bureaucracies have been around since the mid-1940s and are still applicable today. This paper provides examples in today’s modern setting and in positive and negative environments.

Discussion on Bureaucracy

This paper discusses the concept of bureaucracy as coined by Weber (1946) and provides an example of a bureaucratic process based on personal experience. It also gives an example of an organization that is not bureaucratic and provides examples of why the term “bureaucracy” can either have negative or positive connotations. In its basic definition of bureaucracy Weber suggests that “the bureaucratic structure goes hand in hand with the concentration of the material means of management in the hands of the master”. Weber is suggesting that in order to have an effective and efficient organization “the concentration of material means” or what I will call “the deployment of resources” must be controlled by “the master” or top management. Essentially, Weber is suggesting that you cannot have a properly functioning organization when one of the components is missing or is not working hand in hand. In today’s organizations that would include the effective deployment of human capital, financial resources, and information systems. In his June 16, 2010 testimony to Congress, General David H. Petraeus, U.S. Central Command U.S. Army, describes his “civil-military” strategy regarding Afghanistan to the Committee on House Armed Services. He argues that one of the key components of the strategy is designed to assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) to develop its” military leadership, organizational structure and “command and control”. Remarkably, the process that General Petraeus describes falls within Weber’s definition of bureaucracy. General Petraeus is credited for...
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