Max Weber‘S Understanding of Bureaucracy

Topics: Max Weber, Rational-legal authority, Charismatic authority Pages: 3 (573 words) Published: November 1, 2010
Principles of Management
Question 2: (A) Describe Max Weber‘s understanding of bureaucracy.

(A) The term bureaucracy was used from Weber studies published in 1947. It described a rational form of organisation that today exists to some extent in practically every organisation whether it is public or private.

Max Weber theory and philosophy is largely focused on the idea of bureaucracy as an efficient method for organizing and prioritizing the routine tasks of business. Max Weber‘s studies in organizations was to understand why people obeyed authority over them.

In his research he discovered three types of legitimate authority.

* Traditional authority: The hereditary leader, who comes with authority that has been vested elsewhere (either because his father was chairman before him, or because of success in another organisation), is suitable for an organisation whose rules and processes are well established.

* Charismatic authority: The charismatic leader suits an organisation in its early days, when it relies on the vision of a single person to push it towards its goal.

* Rational legal authority: The rational legal leader, who comes with authority that has been vested elsewhere (either because his father was chairman before him, or because of success in another organisation), is suitable for an organisation whose rules and precedents are well established. Weber attributed bureaucracy from rational legal authority and still today exists in organisation. Max Weber’s main features of bureaucracy are as follows.

* A continuous organisation of functions bound by rules.
* Specialisation of work.
* Hierarchical arrangement of jobs
* Appointments to offices are made on grounds of technical competence. * The separation of officials from the ownership of the organisation. * Official positions exist in their own right, and job holders have no rights to a particular position. * Rules decisions and actions are formulated...
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