Sie sind auf Seite 1von 3

Max Webers Ideal Type Bureaucracy: A Theoretical Review Max Weber is considered as the founding father of organization theory

mainly due to his ground breaking theory of bureaucracy which has been remained a dominant form of organization since its inception. He presented his ideas of bureaucracy in his work Economy and Society in 1922. The bureaucratic form of organization was hailed as a benchmark of success and development in the organizational literature and it was perceived as a symbol of the most efficient and highly successful organization in the field of management. Historically need for a new organizational model was felt after Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century to manage enormous number of people dealing with a large number of functions in the organizations. As a result of this remarkable industrial growth in the world unprecedented complexities and challenges in the realm of organization and management were emerged. In this regard, Max Weber provided an ideal form of bureaucracy to deal with such complexities in a rational and scientific manner. Max Weber envisaged organizations that would be managed on an impersonal, rational basis. The ideal form of Weberian bureaucracy contains six elements (Hall, 1963) of 1. A division of labor based upon functional specialization 2. A well-defined hierarchy of authority 3. A system of rules covering the rights and duties of positional incumbents 4. A system of procedures for dealing with work situations 5. Impersonality of interpersonal relations 6. Promotion and selection for employment based upon technical competence In Webers view, the existence of qualified career officials, a structured hierarchy, and clear, rule based specifications of duties and procedures made for precision, speed, clarity, consistency, and reduction of costs (Rainey, 2009).He believed that an organization based on rational legal

authority would be more efficient and adaptable to change because continuity is related to formal structure and positions rather than to a particular person, who may leave or die. He saw the spread of such organizations as part of a movement toward more legal and rational forms of authority and away from authority based on tradition or charisma. According to him, rationality in organizations meant employee selection and advancement based on their fitness and competencies rather than on other innate personal characteristics like sex, race or family background. The bureaucratic organization depends upon rules and written records for continuity (Samson & Daft, 2003). The managers depend not on their personalities for successfully giving orders but on the legal power invested in their managerial positions. Therefore the importance is of the impersonal authority not a particular person enjoying this authority. The later theoretical advancement and progress in the field of organization and management provided several other forms of organization. With this development in the literature of organization theory and success of other organizational models engendered a wave of unending criticism on the very basic assumptions and concepts of theory of bureaucracy. As a result the term bureaucracy has been given a negative connotation in todays world of organizations and is linked with an organization having a plethora of rules and regulations and red tape. Despite such an intensive criticism, the form of bureaucracy is still prevalent globally especially among the organizations which are considered most important in any country of the world like civil service and army. Max Weber tried to mechanize the human relationships in the organizations after the pattern of machines and their parts. As a complex machine works according to its specific design that follows a set of rules, so the same can be made true in the case of human behavior in the modern organizations which are the of complex composites of numerous functions and massive

resources. In this regard, this form of organization has its distinctive features which make it an unavoidable choice for the organization with a large size. The cause of its relevance for the large size of organizations is its high level of control and coordination. This provision of advantage, however, is not free of cost rather it causes of dehumanization of organizations or stahlhartes Gehuse the term used by the Max Weber and has translated as Iron Cage in English. Moreover concentration of a large portion of powers (often unregulated) at the higher levels of the organizations makes them inflexible and to control one complex organization tends to generate another (Downs, 1964). The adoption of Webers elements of bureaucracy there will be an evolution of an iron cage, which will be a technically ordered, rigid, dehumanized society.

Downs, A. (1964). A Theory of Bureaucracy. Hall, R. H. (1963). The Concept of Bureaucracy: An Empirical Assessment. Rainey, H. G. (2009). Understanding and Managing Public Organizations. Samson, D. A., & Daft, R. L. (2003). Historical Foundations of the Learning Organization. In D. A. Samson, & R. L. Daft, Management.