Ideal Type Bureacracy

Topics: Max Weber, Authority, Bureaucracy Pages: 6 (1929 words) Published: September 16, 2012
In the classical approach to administration, Weberian model of bureaucracy finds a central place. Max Weber is the first thinker who has systematically studied the bureaucracy. He has provided a theoretical framework and basis for understanding bureaucracy. Max Weber’s analysis influenced many modern writers on bureaucracy. Weber, apart from bureaucracy, wrote on various aspects of the society ranging from history, religion to legitimacy and domination. Weber was founder of modern sociology and a greatest scholar among the pioneers of administrative thought. He was one of the towering thinkers of the twentieth century. The Weberian ideal type bureaucracy continues to be the dominant paradigm in the public administration.Many social and political scientists have explained the concept of Bureaucracy. Max Weber’s idea of state was that ‘a state is a compulsory association which successfully claims a monopoly of legitimate use of force within a given territory.’ State alone possesses power, authority & legitimacy. Weber concluded that it is the legitimate authority of state to exercise power over its people.

Max Weber was a German lawyer; a politician, a historian, political Economist & Sociologist. He worked as professor of Economics. His most famous work relates to economic sociology, political sociology & the sociology of religion. Weber insisted on analytical & systematic research work. He was progressive & practical. His writings reflect social conditions of Germany of his times. He worked at different places & gathered a variety of experience, which widened his vision.

Max Weber viewed Bureaucracy from its structural characteristic. Such a structure, such an organisation has an authority, which is exercised by Bureaucracts. The Bureaucracts exercise their authority only because they hold public office. They excercise authority with well-defined rules & regulations. Thus Bureaucracy is essentially an organisation, with definite rules, regulations, powers & functions. Weber developed his theory of Bureaucracy on its structural basis. Weber’s Bureaucracy is based upon legal-rational authority. The following are the basic features of his theory of Bureaucracy. i) Bureaucratic organisation is based upon a well-defined hierarchy. Hierarchy, based on authority, has downward trends. Authority flows from upward to downward. An organisation based upon hierarchy of authority. ii) Bureaucratic organisation is divided between vertical & horizontal lines for division of work & functional specialisation. Every employee in the organisation has a well-defined power & authority, based upon employee’s specialisation & expertise. Authority Head of the orgainisation.Division of work, functional specialisation. iii) This Bureaucratic organisation functions within a framework of fixed rules? regulations. An employee, i.e. a Bureaucrat, has to function within this framework of rules & regulations. iv) Such a Bureaucratic organisation specifies the duties & responibilities of Bureaucrats. Authority implies responsibility. v) Every Bureaucratic organisation functions with a specific procedure, laid down by the organisation. This procedure is laid down for performing their functions. vi) The Bureaucrats. should be properly & scientifically selected. This enables efficiency of Bureaucracy. The Bureaucrats should be given periodic promotion on the basis of their technical competence. vii) An employee in the organisation, obeys the authority. The rules, regulations are practiced & obeyed by Bureaucrats. The procedure of work is followed by employees. viii) One of the unique features, suggested by Weber, is the impersonal approach of an employee, in the organisation. The interrelationship amongst the emplayees should be based upon impersonal approach. Every employee should function with impersonal approach, while performing...
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