Bureaucracy Theory of Weber

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Bureaucracy theory of Weber

Weber's theory of bureaucracy (1958) is one of the most popular themes of the studying of organizations. He identified the legitimate of power with authority. 'Power' means the ability to ask people to accept the orders; 'Legitimation' means people regard this power as legitimate so as to obey the orders. Weber identified this authority as three types: Charismatic authority, where the rule can be accepted because the leader has some outstanding personal quality. Traditional authority, where is obeyed for a respect of the old order.

To Weber meant: "the fully developed bureaucratic mechanism compares with other organizations exactly as dose the machine with the non-mechanical modes of production." (Weber, M. 1947: 214) Bureaucracy administration is constituted by hierarchy, continuity, impersonality and expertise. Weber considered that bureaucracy is an ideal-type (1958) of the structure in organization, which means the bureaucratic organization is capable of achieving the maximum efficiency which just likes a machine. Bureaucracy organization was a system of administration which can achieve a continuous basis according to prescribed orders. Weber believed that 'the decisive reason for advance of bureaucracy organization has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of organization'. (Weber, M. 1947) Even in the modern technology and business, this approach explains the technical knowledge which is completely indispensable to an organization becomes the main source of the superiority of bureaucracy organization. It makes no difference whether the organization is organized on a capitalistic or a socialistic foundation.

The machine modes of bureaucracies exist in every organization: the government, the military, and the business etc. "Bureaucracy can be taken to apply to all sizes and types of formal organizations." (William G. Scott. 1968: 248) But there are some limitations of the bureaucracy theory when...
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