Bureaucracy as a Tool in School Administration, a Study of Max Weber's Approach to Bureaucracy.

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Bureaucracy As A Tool For Administration In Schools, A Study Of Max Weber’s Approach

By Andrew Muringani.

Bureaucracy is one of the rational structures that are playing in an over-increasing role in modern society. Thus bureaucracy is the key feature of an organization. In schools bureaucracy endures because of the assurance of order, rationality, accountability and stability it provides to the public. The school as a system has goals to meet. The need of mass administration makes it today completely indispensable. Thus this write up will examine Max Weber’s theory of bureaucracy and it will explain its applicability into the education system. Bureaucracy is identified as an organization with a hierarchy of paid, full-time officials who are formed of command. This implies that bureaucracy in schools is concerned with mass leadership whereby the power and authority is decentralized to different departments. For example at schools we have music sports health departments et-cetera. All these have different leaders allocated to them. Bureaucracy is deeply rooted in rationalization. Thus rational action involves a clear awareness of a goal. Rational action involves a clear awareness of a goal. Weber’s rational action is the methodical attainment of definably given and practical end by means of an increasingly precise calculation of means (Haralambos and Holborn 1991). Bureaucracy is a model of organization design based on legitimate and formal system of authority. Most people associate bureaucracy with “red tape”, rigidity and passing buck. Weber viewed the bureaucratic form of organization as logical rational and efficient. Bureaucratization involves precise calculation of the means to attain the goals and systematically eliminates those factors which stand in the way of the achievement of its objectives. Haralambos and Holborn (1991) posit that Weber defined bureaucracy as a hierarchical organization designed rationally to coordinate the work of many individuals in the pursuit of large scale administrative tasks and organizational goals. Thus it should have a clear chain of authority from top to bottom of the school system. Bureaucracy is capable of attaining the highest degree of efficiency and this sense formally the rational known means of exercising authority over human beings. In education system the incumbents productivity. Decentralization occurs when an organization shares some of its power with other groups particularly those that are either geographically disposed or are responsible for specific functions or are given jurisdiction over specific physical location (Manhood 1983: 4). Implying that the key elements in decentralization are power, authority, and responsibility which are diffused in such a way that they flow from the center of the periphery to sections of the periphery in a manner deliberately decided upon by the center. Makumbe (1998) posits that decentralization is mere dispersal of branches of the central government ministry from the Capital to the periphery or subdividing the states’ territory into smaller units and institutions. These are given powers and administrative functions pertaining to their designated areas of specialization. Those institutions may in turn transfer some of their power and authority to lower levels in designated areas. This implies that responsibilities are transferred from the Head to as low as pupils, thus making everyone a part of the system. Weber distinguished the ideal typical bureaucracy from the ideal typical bureaucrat. He conceived bureaucracies as structures and bureaucrats as positions in those stretches. The ideal typical bureaucracy is a type of organization with basic units which are offices organized in a hierarchical manner rules, functions, written documents and means of compulsion. Haralambos and Holborn [1991] posit that bureaucracy is a rule through a desk or office that is a form of organization built on the preparation and dispatch of written...
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