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Bureaucratic management, one of the schools of classical management, emphasizes the need for organizations to function on a rational basis. Weber (1864 − 1920), a contemporary of Fayol, was one of the major contributors to this school of thought. He observed that nepotism (hiring of relatives regardless of their competence) was prevalent in most organizations. Weber felt that nepotism was grossly unjust and hindered the progress of individuals. He therefore identified the characteristics of an ideal bureaucracy to show how large organizations should be run. The term bureaucracy (derived from the German buro, meaning office) referred to organizations that operated on a rational basis. According to Weber, a bureaucracy is a highly structured, formalized, and impersonal organization. In other words, it is a formal organization structure with a set of rules and regulations. The characteristics of Weber's ideal bureaucratic structure are outlined. These characteristics would exist to a greater degree in ideal organizations and to a lesser degree in other, less perfect organizations. Major Characteristics of Weber's Ideal Bureaucracy Characteristic Description Work specialization and division of labor The duties and responsibilities of all the employees are clearly defined. Jobs are divided into tasks and subtasks. Each employee is given a particular task to perform repeatedly so that he acquires expertise in that task. Abstract rules and regulations The rules and regulations that are to be followed by employees are well defined to instill discipline in them and to ensure that they work in a co-coordinated manner to achieve the goals of the organization. Impersonality of managers Managers make rational decisions and judgments based purely on facts. They try to be immune to feelings like affection, enthusiasm, hatred and passion so as to remain unattached and unbiased towards their subordinates. Hierarchy of...
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