Bureaucracy Theory of Weber

Topics: Management, Max Weber, Organization Pages: 5 (1315 words) Published: October 24, 2010
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 the machine type of organization is in a changing environment. The organization operating in a stable environment tends to adopt the bureaucracy, with firm hierarchies, rules and regulations. On the other hand, the organization operating in a changing environment tends to adopt organic structures which enable them to respond properly and rapidly to the environment. Another limitation is that all the organizations are too different to construct a universal theory of organization.

Also it is complained by many people that the machine type of organizations are totally complex and time consuming, for instance, the 'red tape' still exist in most of the organizations in china, the official institution especially. (Clark. H, chandler. J, and Barry, J., 1944) For example, applying for approval of manage a product to the official involves a great deal of red tape. Everyone has to go through all the official patterns and suffer a lot of complicated procedures to get approval of the authorities. Such red tape has delayed the progress of the program. The type of everyday life is not suit with this framework.

Scientific management theory of Taylor

Scientific management, developed by Taylor, has had a great influence on factory, business and office management practice. Scientific management may be summarized as: Establish a science way to increased work efficiency;

Co-operation between worker and management;
The training of worker to his greatest efficiency;
Choose the best person to do the job efficiently.

According to scientific management theory, the work of every worker is entirely planned by management, and each person receives certain instructions, which described the task he should accomplish in detail. Workmen are paid according to the amount and performance of their job in a given period. Sometime when they succeed in finishing their job within that period, they can gain extra earnings. Scientific management tried to put every workman who is expected to be...
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