Webers Ideal Type Bureaucracy

Topics: Max Weber, Authority, Bureaucracy Pages: 9 (3023 words) Published: January 18, 2011
Topic 1: An Analysis to Weber “Ideal Type” Bureaucracy
1 Introduction
Max Weber’s study of bureaucracy look for develops a historical and sociological account of the rise of modern organizations. (Linstead et al.2004 p130). He used an ideal type to analysis appear of the bureaucracy form of organization. The ideal type, according to Weber, is a tool used to identify the characteristics of social phenomena such as bureaucracies. The ideal type is used by Weber to make a distinction from other forms of organization (Linstead et al.2004 p130). The Prussian Church, Army and Civil Services are the examples of this bureaucratic form. Also, Weber saw a power instrument of the first order, and the bureaucracy as embodying a powerful combination of knowledgeable calculable basis, and the power case would dare the bases of democracy (Nicos 1975 p38). So it is worth to explore Weber’s theory, this essay will describe the principal characteristics of the Weber “Ideal Type” bureaucracy, the roles of power and authority as well as discussion of the bureaucratic form of organization. In order to achieve these, objectives are taken as below. Firstly give the introduction to ideal type bureaucracy; Secondly, by giving the relation between power and authority as well as studying three major kinds of authority, then roles of power and authority in this model can be explored. Flow this is the critical discussion of strengths by studies McDonald’s case as well as the weakness. At last give the conclusion and the limitations of this essay. 2 Weber’s “Ideal Type” bureaucracy

2.1 Introduction to “Ideal Type” bureaucracy
Weber’s ideal type of bureaucracy is the start point and the main source of promethean fire for many students of organization. At the same time it has been the focal point of criticism. (Nicos P. et al. 1975 p38-39) Generally speaking, it is important to analyze and criticize it in some detail and should pay more much attention; meanwhile it is a conceptual construction of certain empirical elements into a logically precise and consistent form. As Daft said, the reason why Weber predicted the winning of bureaucracy is its ability to ensure more efficient functioning of organizations in both business and government background, and put employees of average ability into rational decision makers serving their customers with efficiency(Daft 2004 p289), which is the same opinion to Hatch.

2.2 Characteristics
Indeed, the characteristics contained in the ideal type, although altered and showed in a certain way, somewhat, to concrete features of existing organizations (Kieran 2004 p20). So, the characteristics of the Weber “ideal type” bureaucracy are as follows: 1 Division of labor: It defines the classification of responsibilities and assignment of work tasks within organizations (Weber 1968 p956-p1005). Take the pin manufacturing firm as an example, the work of the organization is divided among employees, each member performs only a piece of the whole; 2 Hierarchy of Authority: It means the distribution of authority in an organization. A high position in the hierarchy confers legal authority, make up the right to make decisions, give direction and reward as well as publish others (Hatch 2006 p104); 3 Higher formalization: Management is based on written documents based on precedent and abstract rule, serve as rules for organizational action, and it usually can’t be changed; 4 Impersonality and impartiality: Members are named to be judged not on the prejudgment of the community but according to the rules, without your identity; 5 Separation of organizational and personal lives. For example, if you are paper purchase officer, you can’t do the favor to your family who are run the paper company (Clegg 2008 p51); 6 There is a career structure in which promotion is possible either by merit of service by individuals with similar credentials, any new decisions about taking new person into an organization are based on merit; 7...
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