Bureaucracy by Max Weber

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Bureaucracy by Max Weber
Tameka Fraser
Sociological Theory

Chapter 13: Bureaucracy –Max Weber

According to Peter Kivisto, Weber was known as the first scholar to assess the impact of modern bureaucratic organizations because Weber viewed this as an integral (essential) aspect of industrial capitalism. Weber believed that bureaucracy is essential if capitalism was to expand productive capacity. In the reading of selection from Weber’s “Economy and Society” (1921), he presented an ideal portrait of the most relevant features of bureaucracy with particular attention to the nature and basis of authority in bureaucracy.

Weber described bureaucracy in two terms as: (1)”bureaucratic authority”-where public and lawful government constitutes the elements of administrative regulations to be distributed, to give command and the execution of such commands. (2) “bureaucratic management”-where regulations are constituted through private economic domination. He indicated that bureaucracy is fully developed in political and religious communities in the modern state, and in the private economy only in the most advanced institutions of capitalism (Kivisto, 2011).

Weber explained the principles of office hierarchy (ranking) and levels of authority by indicating that supervision of lower level offices is provided by higher leveled ones. Here he pointed out that the office hierarchy is a monocratic one (ruled by one person), where the person at the higher level is in charge of those at a lower stance. He also mentioned that this principle of hierarchial office authority is found in all bureaucratic structures (in state and religious structures as well as in large organizations of private enterprises).

Weber relayed that the management of the modern office is based upon files (written documents) that are preserved in original or drafted form and staff consists of lower ranking individuals and clerks who are regarded to work on the files. These individuals along...
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