Max Weber

Topics: Max Weber, Authority, Bureaucracy Pages: 10 (2600 words) Published: July 4, 2013
* In the classical approach to administration, Weberian model of bureaucracy finds a central place, because it was primarily developed in the context of Public Administration & also applicable to private administration. * Max Weber is the first thinker who has systematically studied the bureaucracy. He has provided a theoretical framework and basis for understanding bureaucracy. S name is synonymous with bureaucracy. * 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. Weberian model is being used as a reference base for other models of bureaucracy as it largely reflects the spirit of modern bureaucracy. * His writings reflect the social conditions of Germany of his time. He saw the decline of liberalism and threat to individual in the bureaucratization of the society. * Unification of Germany under Bismarck and elimination of liberal middle class movement convinced Weber that the great goal could be achieved through power policies. Taylor vs Weber

* While Taylor attempted to rationalize functions of modern factory, Weber made an attempt at the rationalization of bureaucratic structures. Both of them emphasized on control and discipline in the working of organisations. *

Theory of Bureaucracy
* The invention of word bureaucracy belongs to Vincent de Gourney, a French economist in 1745. * Though the Bureaucracy existed much earlier to Weber, and made attempts to understand it by different eminent writers, Weber is considered to be the first person to attempt at the systematic understanding of the bureaucracy. Max Weber on Rationality & Authority

* Max Weber’s concept of bureaucracy is closely related to his ideas on legitimacy of authority. * He differentiated authority, power and control. His theories on domination, leadership and legitimacy merit special mention. * To him, any event based on consistency or coherence can be referred as Rational. i.e. logical correlation b/w means & ends [+ve aspect] & anything that avoids magical element is Rational [-ve aspect] * Process of increasing the consistency/coherence is Rationalization. * Acc to Weber, Domination is one of the key concepts in the process of rationalization. Domination basically refers to the relationship b/w ‘ruler’ & ‘ruled’, thereby ruler has the ‘right to rule’ & ruled has the ‘duty to obey’. * Acc to Weber, Power is the ability to get things done irrespective of resistance in the communal (Social) situations. Acceptable exercise of power => legitimacy=> ‘Domination’ Unacceptable exercise of power=>Illegitimacy

(Legitimate = acceptance, Rational = coherence/consistency)
* He used the ‘Authority’ while referring ‘domination in the arena of politics & administration’. Authority manifests when a command of definite content elicits obedience on the part of specific individuals. For Weber, ‘authority’ was identical with ‘authoritarian power of command’. Unlike in ‘power’ there is willing obedience on the part of clientele to legitimize authority. Components of Authority

* Weber identified five essential components of authority. They are: a) an individual or a body of individuals who rule,
b) an individual or a body of individuals who are ruled,
c) the will of the rulers to influence conduct of the ruled, d) evidence of the influence of the rulers in terms of the objective degree of command, and e) Direct or indirect evidence of that influence in terms of subjective acceptance with which the ruled obey the command.

Categories of People in Organisation
* The authority exists as long as it is accepted as legitimate by the ruled. Thus, an administrator or organisation can rule only when it has legitimacy. * While explaining authority in various organisations, Weber concluded “all administration...
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