The Ideal Bureaucracy

Topics: Government, Bureaucracy, Max Weber Pages: 4 (1166 words) Published: July 30, 2013


Max Weber was a German sociologist who studied a variety of human interaction and developed a number of social theories. One of the highlights of his career work was his "ideal bureaucracy" theory, to which he defined bureaucracy as having certain characteristics that make up the bureaucratic entity.

According to Max Weber, the authority in ideal bureaucracy revolves around legal competence and functions according to these criteria: 1) they are personally free and subject only to their impersonal official obligations; 2) they are organized in clearly defined hierarchy of offices; 3) each office has clearly defined competence; 4) there is free selection; 5) candidates are selected based on technical qualifications; 6) they are remunerated by fixed salaries; 7) the office is the primary occupation; 8) there is system of promotion; 9) the official works independently and without appropriation of his position; and 10) the official is subject to strict and systematic discipline and control in the conduct of the office.

He also posited that, if given the chance, the monocratic variety of bureaucracy is capable of attaining the highest degree of efficiency and would be the most rational known means of carrying out the imperative control over human beings. The primary source of the superiority of bureaucratic administration lies in the role of technical knowledge. He also likened that bureaucratic apparatus should be independent and possess there own means of subsistence. Like in the case of war, if the bureaucratic machinery is technically efficient, it will continue to function normally just as it had for the previous legal government.

This model of ideal bureaucratic organization can be summarized to possess the following characteristics: 1) Management by rules. A bureaucracy follows a consistent set of rules that control the functions of the organization. 2)...
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