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Educational Management Administration & Leadership

http://ema.sagepub.com Weber on Education and its Administration: Prospects for Leadership in a Rationalized World
Eugenie Samier Educational Management Administration Leadership 2002; 30; 27 DOI: 10.1177/0263211X020301006 The online version of this article can be found at: http://ema.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/30/1/27

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Educational Management & Administration 0263-211X (200201) 30:1 SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi) Copyright 2002 BELMAS Vol 30(1) 2745; 020666

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Weber on Education and its Administration


Prospects for Leadership in a Rationalized World
Eugenie Samier

Introduction
Max Weber would appear to be an unproblematic author in administrative studies, as his contribution, so frequently noted, is regarded as a promotional or at least uncritical presentation of the bureaucratic model. This simple view permeates educational administration thoroughly, with the rare exceptions of scholars like Richard Bates (notably 1989), Thomas Greeneld (1975, 1976, 1979, 1991, 1993), Best et al. (1980), and Peter Ribbins (1985), who stress Webers critique of instrumental or technical rationality (or in proper Weberian terminology, legal-rationality). Typical of Webers maltreatment is the recent contribution of Tony Bush to the Routledge International Companion to Education (2000), in which he claims for Weber a historical relevance only to an unsophisticated view of educational management brought into question in the last few decades by political models, collegialism, ambiguity theory, cultural studies, and Greenelds subjective, phenomenological and interactionist approaches (Bush, 2000: 2767). A comprehensive reading of Weber would demonstrate not only that he rather savagely criticized bureaucratized organization (e.g. see 1930: 182), but that he laid important foundations to political and cultural studies, analysed various forms of collegiality in his magnum opus, Economy and Society, and recognized ambiguity as fundamental to the human condition and its manifold social constructions. The most important feature of Webers sociological writings Bush attributes to Greeneld (1973). Greenelds theory gives primacy to individual interpretations of events which are likely to differ according to participants values, experience and background. Structure is regarded as a ction and goals are perceived as individual rather than organisational (Bush, 2000: 277). This perspective Greeneld attributes to a rereading, that is a more correct reading, of Webers subjective and valuational conception of human social action, as well as other major European authors. Weber outlines in considerable detail this orientation of individual social actors in the introductory section of Economy and Society, and it is upon this foundation that the subsequent sections on types of legitimate domination (or authority types) and economic, political, religious, and legal analyses rest. It is also on this conceptual base that his methodological essays and interpretation of historical developments are constructed. While it is important to recapture Webers complex and interdisciplinary approach to administration, it is equally important to integrate his discussion of education as it

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conditions in a valuational sense administrative and leadership qualities and practices appropriate to it. This latter area has received no attention in educational administration literature to date (with the exception of King, 19801), and very little in the general Weberian literature.2 Weber indicated in The Religion of China, that it would be possible to construct a sociological typology of pedagogical ends and means (1951: 119) as an instrument in historical and cross-cultural comparison. One can only speculate about the reasons for the persistent and widespread misrepresentation and under-use of Weber in educational administration, however, the manner in which his contributions have been reduced to an efcacious support for bureaucratization suggests that a rationalization of scholarship in administration has produced this problem with Weberian studies. Weber has been stripped of his most important contributions to administrative theory generally, and as a foundational author to interpretive and critical analyses of education and its administration. The writings of Max Weber have played little role in the burgeoning literature on educational leadership, except as a foil for anti-bureaucratic theories, despite some attention to his authority typologies (often misidentied as leadership types). It is the purpose of this article to reclaim for Weber the higher, that is, more critical ground of administration outlined by Bush as it relates to educational institutions. This involves reconstructing his views on education, administration, and leadership, as well as relating them to the most signicant current developments in educational change, variously called self-management, reform, restructuring, or, from a more critical perspective, the corporatization and commercialization of education (largely a function of the encroachment of the New Public Management in all areas of the public sector). This necessitates examining his writings on education generally, and the university in particular, especially on the proper role of government in relation to educational organizations. It also involves incorporating into an analysis of educational administration and leadership the relationships Weber saw between education and other social spheres.

The Historical Development of Education


Webers treatment of education is conditioned by his primary interest in the historical development of the rationalized economy, and how other social spheres, such as religion, politics, and law, either contribute to or constrain this development.3 His extensive comparative writings on religious organization, The Religion of China (1951), The Religion of India (1958), Ancient Judaism (1952), and The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1930),4 for example, were undertaken rst to identify causal factors in the development of modern industrial capitalism, but later broadened to demonstrate these religions various ethics as a motivating or non-motivating force in the process of Occidental rationalization. In contrast to Marxist materialism, Weber proposed a historical explanation in which ideas and ideals, as well as material conditions, can act as independent forces in bringing about socioeconomic change. Very frequently the world images that have been created by ideas have, like switchmen, determined the tracks along which action has been pushed by the dynamic of interest (Weber, 1946: 280). His pronouncement that ideas become effective forces in history (1930: 901) occasioned his use of the concept of elective afnity as a more appropriate notion of historical causality. Two other facets of the rationalization problem of interest to Weber were: the problems of reason and ethical responsibility in the face of capitalism he termed a system of masterless slavery; and the tension between rational and irrational process in world history (Gerth

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and Martindale, 1952: p. xi). For Hennis, one of Webers most important themes is the possibility of personal contract and objectiveimpersonal properties that deny such possibilities, or expressed as a cultural theme, the subjective particularity of modern man , and the manner of his tting in with or adaptation to modern society (1987: 689). As Hennis points out, Webers concern about depersonalization is located in all social sectors, and Webers major writings, from his studies of the organization of labour, through the rationalization of the state, to the modern enterprise of scientic organization (1987: 69) bear this out. Intellectual developments and educational practices, therefore, as they play a causal role in rationalization and as they condition human reason and freedom, are important in the context of Webers writings. References to education, and related topics such as intellectuals, literati, and culture, are found throughout the volumes on world religions and Economy and Society (1968). In addition to the historical relationship between education and the development of rationalized economics and social institutions, Weber did write about two other aspects of modern education: short journalistic pieces on government policy and the university in Weimar Germany, collected and published in English as Max Weber on Universities (1974), and on the ethics of scholarship in Science as a Vocation (1989). Webers sociohistorical concerns are twofold. First, central to his iron cage thesis, the progressive disenchantment (Entzauberung) of the world through rationalization is the problem of people nding an escape from what appears to be an inevitable permeation of all societal sectors by bureaucratized structures and practices. Second, that the value rationalities appropriate to various social spheres should be maintained, particularly those in the cultural sphere. Therefore, the major question or central problem for Weber in the educational realm was, as Edward Shils describes in his introductory remarks to Webers writings on the university, the complaisance of the German academic profession in its eager subservience to the authority of the state and the erosion of its moral rectitude. This point constituted for Shils, Webers fundamental principles of the liberal conception of university autonomy and academic freedom (Shils, 1974: 2). The implications for our contemporary situation can be clearly and directly drawn in Commonwealth countries, despite the temporal and cultural distance to Germany in the early 1900s. In Weberian terms, the current corporatization and commercialization of educational institutions is not different in kind from the rationalization process at the last n-de-sicleposed by Weber in Science as a Vocation as: The fate of our age, with its characteristic rationalization and intellectualization and above all the disenchantment of the world, is that the ultimate, most sublime values have withdrawn from public life, either into the transcendental realm of mystical life or into the brotherhood of immediate personal relationships between individuals. (1989: 30) Most of Webers historical discussion of educations role in societal development is found in the comparative volumes on world religions, devoted primarily to the role of religious ideas in the structure and development of society. The many references to education and intellectuals in The Religion of India primarily deal with the role education serves in supporting religious goals of Hinduism (1958: 15862) and Buddhism (e.g. 1958: 225). For example, in the case of Hinduism, Weber examined educations role in reinforcing the

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caste system of social ranking accompanying this belief system, particularly in legitimizing Brahminic authority through sacred law scholarship and institutions of higher learning (1958: 25, 65, 110),5 a theme discussed also in Ancient Judaism in which Levitical priests in Deuteronomic times, as an exclusive status group, monopolized priestly teaching and priestly positions (1952: 171, 1769). He also established linkages between religion and economic classes (expanded in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism) where social classes are differentiated also by religious education and afliation (1958: 246). Education is used to reinforce related occupational stratication in Indian literate professions of administrative ofcials, scribes, learned professions (law, medicine, engineering), and journalism (1958: 756), and in establishing the xed system of apprenticeship for artisan castes in India (1958: 99) and guild traditions in China (1951: 1719). In ancient Palestine, education contributed to establishing the differentiation of status groups, especially the warrior (1952: 25, 26, 56), artisan (1952: 289), and judicial (1952: 84, 87) classes, and served as a qualication for military, and thereby political, status in China (1951: 37). While much detailed discussion of education by Weber pertains to the educational roles and practices of monks and other religious literati, for example the teacherdisciple relationship in China (1958: 196, 2245) and the rabbinical tradition (1952: 3917), belief systems have a profound inuence on economic stratication in a society. For example, prohibitions of Jainism and Buddhism prevented entry into many occupational areas, such as industrial trades endangering life (1958: 199, 218), and, as was common with many intellectual strata, the prohibition of exploiting their abilities for prot among the Nebiim, religious leaders of old peasant communities in ancient Palestine (1952: 102). Educational practice also contributed to a dismantling of class barriers where knowledge qualications exceed other social qualications, as in the case of China where the rationalized examination system (see 1951: 11519; Miyazaki, 1981) allowed for recruitment from lower social classes to higher social strata in the mandarinate (1951: 43, 50), contributing to a struggle between the old nobility and the literati over the formers original monopoly of high ofce (1951: 446). The high social status achieved through education also effectively prevented serious contemplation of increased educational standards for the masses (1951: 101). This theme is developed in its most famous and detailed form in The Religion of China, where the relationship between educational attainment and achievement in the bureaucratic hierarchy of the state administrative mandarinate is discussed (see 1951: 10741). The relationship is complex: education derives its value in large part from its use in recruitment to government ofce, and the mandarinate takes on its literati character from the emphasis on classical literature (see 1951: 1635) in the educational system. The literary character of intellectual life is explained by Weber as a product of an administrative tradition based upon written documents, notably ofcial courtly chronicalism and calendarmaking (1958: 159). The most important section on education in this text is the Literati, and it is also one of the most important sections on administrative theory and practice written by Weber, accompanying his writings on charismatic, traditional, and legalrational (i.e. bureaucratic) administration in Economy and Society. For Webers rationalization thesis, many features of literati education as conservatively classical are identied for their contribution to a fundamentally traditional ethos, including the Confucian world adjustment rationality, ultimately preventing the development of a rational economic system, that is, modern capitalism, in contrast to the Puritan rational mastery of the world orientation described in The Protestant Ethic. Orthodoxy was enforced through the

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Academy, essentially a theocratic board of literati, that effectively controlled the imperial administration (1951: 102). What differentiated the Chinese literati as a traditional social force, among other societal forces, in preventing the development of modern rationalized society, from modern German education as a prerequisite for an ofcial career (typifying Occidental development) as a contributing force to rationalization, is the latters rational and specialized expert training (1951: 1201). Weber also noted the relationship often cohering between politics and education, particularly in those cases where political authority attains greater social distinction through undergoing religious education or apprenticeship in manual construction work, as the Babylonian princes did, thereby elevating dutiful vocational work to a high social status (1952: 2523) and affecting the educational preferences and practices of the laity (1958: 242). Political authority also uses religious systems in their educational capacity to domesticate the masses (1958: 245). Political authority can be heavily inuenced by an advisory literati (1952: 197; 1951: 41): the literati can attain their power and cultural signicance through ministration to political authority (1952: 242), in the case of China, serving as a political commodity in competition among princes (1951: 41). In China their power was sufcient politically, and their control of the administrative machinery nearly absolute enough, to receive great deference from the princes (1951: 110). However, literati can also occupy positions of conict with political and bureaucratic authority, as Weber notes of the Nazarites and free Hibiim (1952: 112). He also observed, through world-historical comparison, that acculturation of diffused elements of a rational and intellectual differentiated civilization compel the old rationalized structures to adjust to entirely new and relatively simple conditions where the series of ideas are not stereotyped, or sublimated, through priestly, ofcial, or literary elaboration (1952: 1267). Religious beliefs and organization are found by Weber to affect the development of knowledge, particularly science and mathematics as it relates to preventing development of capitalist economy and the modern monocratic bureaucracy. The differentiation of Buddhist ranks within monasteries contributed to the organization of knowledge into faculties, and the manner in which instructional traditions developed (1958: 288). The metaphysical presuppositions of Hinduism oriented toward achieving individual salvation from this world also had a conditioning effect on substantive developments in education, promoting the development of mathematics and linguistics, and a formal logic as the technology of rational proof (1958: 1467) oriented toward serving practical purposes and supporting an other-worldly purpose through the technology of contemplation, thereby constraining the development of experimental science in comparison with the Occidental world (1958: 1612). In the opening pages of The Religion of India, Weber attributes the development of rational science and mathematics in India to the basic need for rational consistency which was expressed in the most varied spheres of life (1958: 34). While this did provide some educational support for capitalism, along with rationalized forms of justice and occupational specialization, the religious ethic of Hinduism, and religious educational practices derived from it, ultimately preventing the development of modern capitalism. Buddhism in India, too, did not provide the valuational support for the development of rationalized science, as it contributed to the maintenance of traditionalism in agricultural occupations and inhibited the development of industrialized practices (1958: 2612). Modern colonial education in India, along with other social, industrial, and economic changes, became an instrument in the modern period in undermining this traditional social system (1958: 30), allowing for a greater access to education and

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competition for positions previously not held by socially degraded or unclean castes in the Hindu world (1958: 11213). In China, systematic and naturalistic thought also failed to mature due in part to the politics of patrimonial bureaucracy (that is, traditional bureaucracy, as opposed to modern rationalized monocratic bureaucracy) and the lack of industrial capitalism (1951: 1512). Chinese educational practice at all levels is compared internationally by the degree to which its curriculum contained rational method and subjects, evaluated in terms of its causal contribution to calculable and abstract knowledge necessary to social rationalization (1951: 1258). The educational system, in turn, can have determining effects on religious practice, especially if entrenched in economic or administrative institutions, as it did for Confucianism through the academically organized Chinese system of study and examinations (1958: 282). This pattern was found by Weber also among the ancient Palestinian administrative literati (1952: 1956). Rationalizing education practices were demonstrated to have an effect on political and social orders, for example, the institution of rational method of the Levites contributing to the decline of the ancient ecstaticirrational war prophets and Nebiim of the peasant militia (1952: 1789). While the importance of educations role in these texts is relegated by Weber to an explanatory function in determining historically why modern capitalistic development and the political and legal institutions necessary to it did not occur in other areas of the world as it did in the Occident, The Protestant Ethic essay establishes a historical development of rationalized society. Distinctive educational factors Weber identies as relevant to this historical development are: an emphasis on a rational, systematic, and specialized pursuit of science (1930: 1315) and its technical utilization by economic interests (1930: 245) and accompanied by rationalized law and administration (1930: 26); an ethic peculiar to Protestants (in contrast to Catholics) attracting them in greater numbers to positions of ownership and management of economic concerns (1930: 378), and reinforced by the type of education consonant with the religious ethos of family and community (1930: 39); and an ascetic pragmatism fundamentally hostile to culture without any immediate religious value (in Protestant terms, detracting from an ethos oriented toward capitalist labour) such as everything which smacked of superstition, of all survivals of magical or sacramental salvation, applied to the Christmas festivities and the May Pole and all spontaneous religious art, everything containing the erotic or nudity, ostentation, and decoration (1930: 1689). Capitalism, in turn, once dominant in economic life, educates and selects the economic subjects which it needs through a process of economic survival of the ttest (1930: 55). Education most suitable for capitalism is described by Weber as one demonstrating the ability of mental concentration, as well as the absolutely essential feeling of obligation to ones job combined with a strict economy which calculates the possibility of high earnings, and a cool self-control and frugality which enormously increase performance providing the most favourable foundation for the conception of labour as an end in itself (1930: 63). Herein one can see the essential seeds of both rationalized bureaucratic administration, and its entrepreneurial rationalized cousin, corporatized and commercialized education. The current conditions of educational rationalization are historically a continuation of developments Weber traces in the modern period, beginning in the 17th century, through The Protestant Ethic. In other words, the rationalization, or bureaucratization, process Weber analysed at the turn of the 19th century continues to take place. In the most

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resistant societal sectors, such as education, we are, in Weberian terms, experiencing the continuation of the permeation of bureaucracy in institutions like the university that have remained relatively traditional and charismatic in character. Webers most important contributions on education in the modern Occidental world are contained primarily in the lecture Science as a Vocation,6 mostly dealing with the ethics of scholarly teaching and research and the organization of science as a career (1989: 8), journalistic writings on German universities in Max Weber on Universities dealing primarily with the proper relationship between educational institutions and government and the potential negative effects of the rationalization of educational organizations through this relationship, and educational references in Economy and Society examining educational requirements and practices peculiar to various forms of religion (1968: 4447, 50017), law (1968: 78492), bureaucracy (1968: 9981002), and politics (1968: 11435). There are two basic, and competing, educational themes of interest to educational administration and leadership in these writings: the ethic appropriate to scholarship, and the organizational principles of higher education in industrial capitalist society, experienced in Webers time as incipient rationalization. Scholarship, for Weber, is regarded as an inner calling in which the individual should demonstrate an inner devotion to the subject and only to the subject [raising] him to the height and dignity of the subject which he claims to serve (1989: 12). This vocation is characterized by passion, inspiration (1989: 9), and a willingness to be overtaken in science (1989: 12) in serving the common goal of scholarship. Weber distinguishes between the necessary thoroughgoing specialization in scholarship given the stage that various sciences reached by the early 20th century, requiring the capacity to put on blinkers, and contemporary conceptions of scholarship as an arithmetical problem, which is produced in laboratories or statistical card-indexes as in a factory , widespread among the younger generation by 1919 (1989: 89). The latter form of intellect, to Weber, lacks the determination of signicance that passion, inspiration, and imagination provide, or soul (1989: 9; see also Samier, 1997). It is this latter function, of intellect derived from calculation, that Weber regarded as the rationalization of academic disciplines (1989: 30), providing a foundation not only for economic enterprise through science and technology, but also one that ultimately contributes to a change in the mentality of the professoriate making it more amenable to conspiring in its own transformation into an instrument of political and economic interests (1974: 78; see also Samier, 1997). The fate of an epoch which has eaten of the tree of knowledge is that it must know that we cannot learn the meaning of the world from the results of its analysis, be it ever so perfect; it must rather be in a position to create this meaning itself. It must recognize that general views of life and the universe can never be the products of increasing empirical knowledge, and that the highest ideals, which move us most forcefully, are always formed only in the struggle with other ideals which are just as sacred to others as ours are to us. (Weber, 1949: 57) The political and economic conditions of universities in modern society Weber saw as increasingly hostile to a scholarly ethic. This problem was characterized by him both as a government intrusion into what should be the autonomy of the academy, in order to support government policy and activities, and the increasing transformation of the university organizationally into a market-place actor.

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Government intrusion was characterized by Weber as taking a number of forms. First, universities in Germany were used by government bureaucracy to train future bureaucrats for the civil service, a condition that he saw coming to American universities as a consequence of administrative reforms under way in the early 1900s and which would eventually undermine their independence (1974: 245). Ministry personnel, therefore, are represented as viewing the university as a means primarily of career credentialing, thereby serving vocational rather than scholarly purposes, and ultimately changing the character of university programs towards an increasing proportion of professional programs. Second, academic appointments are used by government to advance its political interests. Weber refers to academics appointed through government inuence, or to satisfy government desire, as operators, or opportunists who serve extra-scholarly ends, such as political or ecclesiastical ones (1974: 4). Such operators are the beneciaries of patronage, and, in Webers view, contribute to the growing number of compliant mediocrities (1974: 5) thereby creating a favourable market for ascent of more compliant academic operators (1974: 6). Operators are not only those whose appointments are directly inuenced by government, but are deemed to be those whose mentality is infused with economic and bureaucratic values. While many university systems do not appoint senior academics in the manner that German universities do, directly through culture ministries, other practices can contribute to effectively giving government greater control over the nature of appointments, such as the new controversial program of Research Chairs in Canada, or the restructuring of government funding to universities targeted to programs meeting political and economic policy objectives, such as applied science and technology. Any concessions made by faculty to non-intellectual considerations take their revenge in the ultimate weakening of the moral authority of the faculties (1974: 6). These conditions contribute to a problem for academic freedom. Weber devoted two short articles, The Alleged Academic Freedom of the German Universities and The Academic Freedom of the Universities (1974: 1423), to an examination of the intrusion of other interests in scholarly affairs as they apply to appointments, research, and teaching (that is, to the academic freedom of both professor and student). For Weber, the freedom of science [sic] exists in Germany within the limits of political and ecclesiastical acceptability (1974: 17)in more secular societies, the external authorities are political and economic. The consequence for many in universities is regarded by Mommsen, commenting on the educational implications of Webers Objectivity essay (Weber, 1949), as alienating. [Individuals] are required in all intellectual sincerityalmost the last substantial relic of Enlightenment thoughtto play out in their own hearts the relentless conict between competing ideal values, in a situation of extreme intellectual solitude, or even if need be to sacrice the intellect and, fully conscious of the irrational nature of their own actions, to give themselves over to an explicit religious doctrine or to an absolutely valid principle, or even just to one that is held to be absolutely valid, no matter how agrantly this may contradict everyday reality. (Mommsen, 1992: 134) The origins of the economic rationalization of education in the West can be seen in Webers study of ascetic Protestantism, which he described as fostering the practical and . . . methodical inclusion of national science in the service of the economy (1978: 1129). The distinguishing characteristic of modern capitalism from historically ubiquitous capitalism is the development of rational calculation to a fundamental and exclusive principle, with a

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routinized, calculated administration, regularized investment of capital, and the rational capitalistic organization of (formally) free labour (1930: 21). In other words, education is subjected to rational economic values, treated as capital, and is susceptible to exchange theory and calculation by costbenet analysis as it becomes an economic enterprise (1930: 18). Two other developmental factors of relevance to the transformation of education into a rational enterprise are: the separation of business from the household, which completely dominates modern economic life, and closely connected with it, rational book-keeping (Weber, 1930: 212). In the modern university organization, lecturers and professors no longer work with libraries and other technical resources they own, and their rights become the same as those of a factory worker organised as bureaucratically structured apparatus in the hands of the person who has command over (beherrscht) this human apparatus (Weber, 1994a: 2801). One can draw an analogy from the role the Protestant ethic played in bureaucratization for the role intellectualism has played in rationalization. The moral energy of the Puritans was one of the precipitating conditions for the development of modern capitalism, along with a number of changes in economic, political, and social activity, the religious elements of which were later eradicated by the established economic order (Giddens, 1930: pp. xviiixix). Similarly, the scholarly ethic associated with Enlightenment humanisman emphasis on rationality and free inquiryis ultimately eradicated as an end in itself in institutions of higher education once its method is harnessed to capitalist pursuits. Webers contention that all logico-theological systems of belief eventually demand the sacrice of the intellect (Gerth and Martindale, 1952: p. xiii) applies not only to religious systems, but educational systems as well. For Hennis, a major theme in Science as a Vocation is the fate of the individual in the academic profession, in which Weber demonstrates that for both German and American universities the inner calling is compromised by the separation of the academic worker from the means of production in the modern university, a fate shared by all in a modern industrialized capitalist, that is, rationalized, society (1987: 54). This theme is taken up by Gronow, who reads Science as a Vocation as a commentary on the rationalized and impoverished spiritual destiny of modern times (1988: 319). Gronow further connects this theme with a historical thesis of the Protestant Ethic essay: scholarship and academia are subject to the two forces typifying the rationalization process, namely, that . . . a rational and methodical conduct of life becomes detached from its original embedment in a ethic of calling derived from a religious and metaphysical world view; and the spheres of lifescience, art, morality and lawbecome differentiated, thereby losing the original quality of values and becoming, in the process, mutually incompatible. (1988: 320) For Karl Jaspers, in The Idea of the University, Either we will succeed in preserving the German university through a rebirth of its idea in the decision to create a new organizational form, or the university will end up in the functionalism of giant institutions for the training and development of specialized scientic and technical expertise. This is why it is crucial to envision . . . the possibility of a renewal of the university on the basis of its idea. (1960: 36) As Habermas points out in discussing this essay, Jaspers proceeded from premises derived

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from Idealism, that institutions are forms of objectied spirit, rigidifying into mechanism once the spirit has left it, and rather naively ignoring a lesson from Weber that the capacity of differentiated operations and institutions to function depends upon the detachment of organizational goals and functions from its members motivations (1989: 1012). Once a detached organizational form has been instituted, that is, the university has become bureaucratized (and one may add commercialized), the prospects for reconstituting the valuational and interpersonal social behaviour typical of the traditional and charismatic character of the premodernized university is remote. The lifeless machine of the materialization of the mind which bureaucratic organization represents for Weber, he regarded as among the most difcult social creations to destroy (in Mommsen, 1984: 1667). Bureaucratized education is as difcult to eradicate as any other form of bureaucratized sector of society.

The Possibilities of Educational Leadership in the Modern World


The possibility for leadership in modern, rationalized universities is problematic from a Weberian perspective for two reasons. First, the traditional scholarly ethic itself mitigates against leadership in certain respects. Second, the bureaucratic does not allow for leadership, essentially a political role for Weber, in administrative positions. In order to determine leadership activities appropriate to scholarship, one must differentiate three fundamental roles a scholar plays: teacher, research, and member of the professoriate. In The Academic Freedom of the University, Weber argues that in ones teaching role, a scholar is constrained by an ethical obligation to refrain from instructing ultimate values and beliefs and proposing his own position in the struggle of ideals, instead using his position of academic authority to create a forum where the understanding of ultimate standpointsalien to and diverging from his ownis fostered (1989: 22). Weber places the burden of decision on the conscience of each individual; the primary responsibility of the scholar as a teacher is to oblige the individual to account to himself for the meaning of his own actions (1989: 21). The basic principle of academic freedom pertaining to students is further developed in Science as a Vocation, where Weber presents the undue inuence over students ideas as a problem of abuse of authority by professors who use the lectern as an opportunity for prophesy and demagoguery (1989: 201). Professors, in their relationships with students, therefore are teachers not leaders, a clear distinction he maintains even in the face of what he regards as a desire on the part of many students to seek leadership in the lecture hall and classroom (1989: 24). Politics has no place in the lecture-room (1989: 19). As noted in the section above, scholars are bound by an ethic of the inner calling requiring devotion to the subject.7 Where leaders, as politicians, are required to compromise, scholars must not, even when they are engaged in research with an explicit political and policy reform orientation, as Max Weber was in the academic organization the Verein fr Sozialpolitik, which endorsed legislative interventions in the economy to benet the common good rather than narrowly dened class interests (Demm, 1987: 88) and undertook a number of large-scale research projects designed to investigate economic conditions in Germany in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Webers own participation in the research activities of the Verein involved the methodological design, data collection, and analysis of the conditions of industrial and agricultural workers, concentrating on bureaucratic and economic constraints and structures, emphasizing the

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theory of bureaucratic domination and the political and economic assertion of state power (Demm, 1987: 95). While the Vereins activities were useful in informing political leadership, its activities were bound in the rst place by scholarly ethic. Party politics . . . does not belong in the lecture-room as far as the lecturer is concerned and it belongs least of all when he is scientically concerned with politics. For opinions on practical political issues and the scientic analysis of political structures and party positions are two different things. (Weber, 1989: 20) As a scholar, one must detach oneself from ultimate value positions, but as a political actor, one has to make ultimate value decisions.8 In their corporate role, as members of an academic organization, professors have more latitude in political activity and in assuming leadership roles. However, their leadership should be derived from protecting scholarly interests and taking an intellectual leadership role within their disciplines. As noted above, those operators who curry favour with the ministries ultimately erode the corporate solidarity of the professoriate (1974: 7). By analogy with a distinction Weber makes between politicians who live off politics, and those who live for politics, that is, those who strive to make it into an enduring source of income and those for whom it provides meaning and purpose and in an inward sense are devoted to it as a cause (1994b: 318), academic operators live off education. Weber regarded as not only possible but necessary that a professorial leadership is necessary in combating the practical point of view characteristic of rationalization. An organisation of university teachers with intelligent leadership could reawaken the sense of corporate pride of the next academic generation to offset the practical point of view, and it could thereby contribute to a gradual re-establishment of the diminishing moral weight of the universities . . . (1974: 78) particularly in relation to the intrusions of political life through government policy. The ethical demands on an individual in a disenchanted world are met for Weber, as Mommsen describes, through a . . . maximum of tension between ultimate ethical and extra-ethical norms prescribed for individuals and everyday reality; it was to some extent in his own words, a sort of heroic ethic which places fundamental demands on a person to which he is generally incapable of doing justice other than at exceptional highpoints in his existence. (Mommsen, 1992: 135) The second problematic for educational leadership in modern universities, inheres in the nature of bureaucracy. For those academics occupying bureaucratically dened administrative roles, the capacity for leadership is reduced proportionate to the degree to which they assume a rationalized mentality. In order to understand why leadership cannot take place in a bureaucratized environment, one must look at Webers characterization of bureaucracy and how it mitigates against the characteristics Weber associated with leadership. From a Weberian perspective, all forms of authority are conferred. Based upon his methodological individualism, authority is regarded as dependent upon the value

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orientations of followers who legitimize authority. To Weber, not all exercise of power is leadership. Power, as the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability exists, is distinguished from domination, or authority, as the probability that a command with a given specic content will be obeyed by a given group of persons (1968: 53). Weber further distinguishes leadership from authority. In their ideal-typical form, traditional and legal-rational types of authority are not regarded as leadership. Only the charismatic form is, dened as . . . a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is considered extraordinary and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specically exceptional powers or qualities . . . and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as a leader. (1968: 241) In other words, not everyone with authority is a leader. From this perspective, it is necessary to distinguish between a formal administrative position, and incumbents who may exert leadership inuence. While titles or positions are sources or means of acquiring leadership, they are not leadership per se. In actual situations, however, characterized by Weber as reecting a combination of ideal-typical elements, this leadership, or charismatic, quality will appear in some individuals to varying degrees in traditional or bureaucratic roles. In contrast to much literature on Weber, Eisenstadt (1968: p. ix) maintains that a deep chasm does not separate charismatic aspects of social relation from routinized organizationinstead they are continuously interrelated in social life. However, the more bureaucratized social relations in an organization become, the less room there is for charisma to play a role. If one accepts Webers denition of authority types, and that occupying a legal-rational authority position does not by itself confer leadership, then leadership is reserved for those who exhibit exceptional or special personal characteristics outside those desired and required by bureaucratic convention. Leaders do not come from the ranks of the apparatchiki in any political tradition. This does not mean that bureaucrats cannot be leadershowever, leadership characteristics are most often found in those who occupy the ranks of senior administration whose responsibilities are quasi-political. Those senior bureaucrats, whom Hegel described in the Philosophy of Right (1967) as the highest stratum of civil service, the executive or higher advisory ofcials, manage the state itself and are distinguished from the lower strata who perform technical duties. And, a categorical distinction exists between those who exercise leadership in establishing bureaucratic systems, such as vom Stein and Hardenberg, or those referred to by Hegel in Philosophy of Right as world-historical individuals like Alexander and Napoleon who themselves are not rational but bring about the conditions for and create rational administrations, and the managers who later maintain them through technical-rational mentality and means. More recent administrative theorists, such as Heclo and Wildavsky (1974: 3), also identify the most senior as political administrators who share with cabinet ministers the tasks of integrating political and administration goals with the maintaining of formal and informal mechanisms to achieve them. The constraints on even those in executive administration in bureaucracy are, according to case study analyses by Kaufman, considerable, and comprise two basic types: prior programming of the behaviour of the bureaucracies work force represented through the technically rationalized methods of written directives, budgetary cycles, and the habits and

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routines they engender; and the imposition of agendas on bureaucratic chiefs by events and conditions and people not under their control represented by unpredictable events, demands, complaints, and potential mineelds originating both within the organization and beyond its boundaries through politicians, lobby groups, and other ofcials (Kaufman, 1981: 91). Both pressures encourage the adoption of a technical-rational organizational ideology, including the roles that people occupy. Administrative roles, if viewed this way, become managerial and prescribed, and, as Weber argued, compartmentalize individual experience by separating the emotional, spiritual, and moral, that is, ultimate values, from the calculative. As Hennis points out, rationalized institutions for Weber have only a partial use for human beings, isolating for itself specic utilizable qualities (1987: 62), reducing a bureaucratized organization to structural leaderlessness. The continued permeation of bureaucratic values and ways of thinking have produced the passion for bureaucracy, establishing as an ideal men who need order and nothing but order, who become nervous and cowardly if for one moment this order wavers, and helpless if they are torn away from their total incorporation in it (Weber, 1976: 362). This is a mentality reinforced in organizational and management literatures devoted to structural-functional or environmental determinist conceptions of administration in which individuals in their full human character play little or no role. Webers concern on a normative level for the modern economic order is that it does not contain within it the possibility for regulating relationships in ethical terms, since the logic of rationalization excludes moral and religious inuencean inwardly oriented interpretation and individually determined conductrendering it ethically vacant (Nichtethisierbar) (Hennis, 1987: 65, 67). This concern has been discussed by more recent social theorists critical of bureaucratic systems and authority. As a moral problem of obedience, Milgram investigated the propensity of people for divesting themselves of responsibility by attributing moral accountability to legitimate authority, resulting in a shift of moral agency from standards of conscience to a consideration of how well the expectations of authority are met (1974: 78). Similarly Jennings characterizes the traditional perspective on ethics in the professional practice of the public administrations as obedience to higher political and constitutional authority (1991: 65). Denhardt, also, views the eld as marked by diversity bordering on chaos, due to a large extent to cultural and organizational barriers: an unwillingness to talk about morality directly for fear of being accused of moralizing; a lack of consensus in the moral foundations of public administration for educational and socialization purposes; and the general reliance on institutions rather than individuals to promote appropriate behaviour (1991: 91). From a technically rationalized perspective, rational techniqueslaws, mechanisms, hierarchies, policies, rules, and regulationsare normatively necessary and sufcient. These concerns of bureaucratic mentality were not new in Webers time. Shortly after the term bureaucracy was coined in 1745 by Vincent de Gournay, it was used pejoratively to denote government by ofcials and excessive ofcial power. By the early 19th century Balzac, in a celebrated denition, described it as a gigantic power set in motion by dwarfs. Frederic Le Play regarded it as a diseased form of administration, and the bureaucratized state had been critiqued extensively by Marx in the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1963: 477), as a dictatorship based on a bureaucratic machine, stiing all parts of civil society as objects of intrusion, and in Critique of Hegels Philosophy of Right (Marx, 1970: 47), as a general spirit of secrecy and mystery, preserved inwardly by means of hierarchy and externally as a closed corporation. What Weber brought to a critique of

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bureaucracy was a valuational and authority analysis based upon individually oriented social actionin other words, a rationalized mentality of the members of an organization who view calculative means as legitimate. However, the very bureaucracy which historically had helped create the conditions for the democratic ideal, an essential feature of collegial governance in the traditional university, was perceived by Weber as threatening the moral, spiritual, and emotional qualities necessary to further democratic freedom as it moved beyond being a mere instrument for political ends by increasing its autonomy and becoming a societal authority. It is in such an evolution that we are already caught up, and the great question is therefore not how we can promote and hasten it, but what can we oppose to this machinery in order to keep a portion of mankind free from this parceling out of the soul, from this supreme mastery of the bureaucratic way of life. (1976: 362) Robert Michels, drawing in part from Webers work, regarded the relationship between bureaucracy and democracy to be paradoxical: bureaucracy is necessary to a modern state, but is incompatible with the welfare of the public. He regarded bureaucrats, especially lower ranking ones, as sworn enemies of individual liberty and initiative. Their dependence on superior authorities suppresses individuality, one of the basic components for leadership, corrupts character thereby engendering moral poverty, produces . . . place-hunting, a mania for promotion, and obsequiousness towards those upon whom promotion depends; there is arrogance towards inferiors and servility towards superiors . . . the more conspicuously a bureaucracy is distinguished by its zeal, by its sense of duty, and by its devotion, the more also will it show itself to be petty, narrow, rigid and illiberal. (1962: 191) Michelss view reects Webers concern about the role technical-rationality plays in crippling the personality of the bureaucrat, reducing him to a cog in a machine that clings to his position, desperately hoping to be a bigger cog. It is the value orientation of technical rationality that is responsible for the replacement of cultured people by technical experts, whom Weber regarded as specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved (1930: 182). The conict of the specialist with the cultivated personality is determined by the irresistibly expanding bureaucratization of all public and private relations of authority and by the ever-increasing importance of expert and specialized knowledge. This ght intrudes into all intimate cultural questions (Weber, 1946: 243). The emphasis on staff with technical expertise is one of the main characteristics of the current corporatization of the university, contributing in large part to the proportional increase in administrative staff, the creation of new administrative units in university organizational structure (e.g. units devoted to recruiting and managing private sector partnership relationships), and the growth of professional programs, usually at the expense of traditional academic faculties. For Wittfogel, no society is free of authoritarian elements; in a democracy, for example, large corporate bodies such as business, labor organizations, and state bureaucracies, are repositories for authoritarian ideas, behavior, and forms of organization (1957: 366). In other words, societies are tensions of competing forms of social organizationin modern societies, democratic versus bureaucratic values and forms of authority. Where democratization

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emphasizes liberalism, individualism, the right to dissent, and willingness to compromise (Alford, 1967: 71), embodied in universities in principles of autonomy, academic freedom, and collegial governance, bureaucratization emphasizes authority, collectivism, obedience, and calculation. As oppositional forces in society, bureaucratization erodes both the mental disposition and conditions for the development and expression of leadership, and democratization involves the liberation of the individual from the enveloping mechanism of the state, the rescue of his personality, as well as the recognition of a necessary commitment by the individual to the community (Jacoby, 1973: 185). More recently, drawing heavily upon Weberian analysis, Etzioni-Halevy (1983) has characterized the paradox of a society achieving democratic political values, yet operating through indispensable bureaucratic organizations, as a dilemma-ridden relationship of interdependence and mutually eroding power in which bureaucracy is expected to be both independent and subservient, both politicized and non-politicized at one and the same time (1983: 2). Bureaucracy precludes both the value orientations and the conditions for leadership, part of what Weber termed disenchantment. Webers fear was not only that we would become ruled by bureaucrats, but that we all would become bureaucrats; we are threatened with an existence without extra-organizational qualities, much as William Whyte argued in The Organization Man (1956), and Robert Musil described in his novelistic treatment of modern society in The Man Without Qualities (1930). Leadership as a functional concept in bureaucratized organizations has been bled of its traditional virtues, ironically, promoting in its place a form of facilitative management deemed democratic, yet tame enough to provide little effective challenge. Webers critique of bureaucracy must be read in the context of his concern for individual freedoms, and in the educational context as a concern for the autonomy of the university and the protection of academic freedom from state intervention, as well as the intrusion of state bureaucratization. For educational organizations in modern societies, increasingly subjected to nancial pressures and a cultural context imbued with technical-rational values, is the bureaucratization of universities through an increasing shift toward an ideal of effective management style exhibiting technical-rational characteristics? Replacing traditional academic forms of governance, the collegium, is the increasing power of administrative staff, accompanied by the regularization of teaching and researching activities, and introduction of accountability schemes derived from nancial models? The objective for educational leadership in a rationalized world is to preserve and reassert ultimate values organizationally. In political terms, the task is the same as that Weber sets for democracy: the minimalization of the authority of ofcialdom (1968: 985), that is, domination by professional civil servants, in favour of domination by the collegium. Webers studies on bureaucracy, as Frye suggests, convinced him that only an able leader, that is someone with charismatic qualities, could overcome the stultifying inuences of ofcialdom (1971: 4), however, herein lies a dilemma for the traditional collegium. On both ethical and epistemological grounds, collegial governance mitigates against the requisite qualities of leadership in playing the modern instruments of power (1994c: 164).

Conclusion
General conclusions that can be drawn from Webers writings on education, administration, and leadership are threefold. First, educational systems require examining as they

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are embedded in other social institutionspolitical, economic, religious, and legal. Educational organizations are conditioned by, and affect the character of, these other social spheres through a complex and dynamic relationship of material and ideational means. It is clear from his approach to authority and leadership that the political structures and practices of a society, as well as the character of its economic system, profoundly affect the course of educational policy and its management. The implications of this interconnectedness for educational administration study is interdisciplinary if not multidisciplinary requirements. Educational administration is not simply a managerial or leadership science, but a discipline requiring strong (that is, foundational) theoretical and methodological training in the social sciences (sociology, political science, and economics) and humanities (history and philosophy), and international comparative analyses in order to identify institutional congurations and causal relations. Second, education and its administration and leadership are historical phenomena. The rationalization of education, particularly as it is examined in Webers combined works on world religions, demonstrates that it occurs through a complex process of historical development. The current commercialization of higher education has its genesis in early modern history, and is causally related to continuing developments in economic and political spheres. The bureaucratization of universities, for example, is found in a societally widespread growth of rational formalism affecting the conditions for labour in all spheres and the suppression of ultimate values. And the uneasy relationship between government and universities is a long-standing arena of tension and struggle over a material and ideational resource: for governments, universities represent a policy instrument, and for those in a university of traditional scholarly mentality, a sphere which by virtue of its orientation to ultimate values requires independence from external authority. The implications of this historical dimension are not just that history and historical methods as well as policy studies are important to an understanding of educational organizations, but that a critical spirit is required in examining the current and possible future developments of education in modern societies. Third, the character of an educational organization is determined by the value orientations of the individuals comprising it. The style of administration and leadership possible in education is a function not only of extra-organizational factors, but also of the values held by educational actors that confer legitimacy on styles of authority. Therefore, it is also the responsibility of organizational actors to determine whether the leadership they support politically reinforces or opposes various developments in the purpose to which education is structured. If one takes Webers scholarly ethic as a true expression of the goals of higher education, then legitimate university leadership has three fundamental tasks: restricting governmental inuence in educational policy and regulation, resisting the transformation of the university into a market-place actor, and reducing managerialism in university administration. Educational administration studies, to meet this valuational requirement, cannot simply be a discipline of description and explanation, but one of Verstehen. Educational administration and leadership, therefore, are not reducible to a study and training in managerial competence, or more importantly, not reducible to a program of training in sequential managerial fads. Administration is a discipline, as Weber notes, of valuational orientations as they are expressed in authority dispositions, requiring the combined investigation of traditional, legal-rational, and charismatic practices. The promise Webers writings hold for educational administration is not a joyous one.

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Dominating his many studies was a concern for the future of human freedom and creative potential in a world increasingly succumbing to rationalization, or bureaucratization more famously known as the iron cage. Described as a liberal in despair by Mommsen, Weber maintained the position that eventually rationalization and intellectualization being the two most effective revolutionary forces in world historywould no longer permit individual creativity and personal values to play any signicant role in social relations (Mommsen, 1984: 99), elements essential to a liberal education. And administration is complicit in this process. Bureaucracy is, however, distinguished from other historical bearers of the modern, rational way of ordering life by the fact of its far greater inescapability (Weber, 1994c: 156). The manner in which the discipline and practice of educational administration is conducted can, in large part, either contribute to this inescapability or provide a means by which to circumvent it.

Notes
1. Kings essay on Webers contributions to the sociology of education deals predominantly with methodology, primarily the methodological individualism, and various sociological concepts of authority, power, social class, status, and party, and the role of values and ideology in contrast to Marxist approaches. There is little discussion of Webers substantive work on education with only short references to the Chinese literati. This essay is an example of the quarrying of Weber for sociological concepts, an approach critiqued frequently by Mommsen (2000: 366). 2. With the exception of Sadri (1992), for example, who examines Webers conception of intellectuals as societal carriers of ideas. 3. For example see Hennis (1983). 4. Originally published in German in 1916, 191617, 191719, and 19045, respectively. 5. See pp. 139143 on the genteel literati character of the Brahmin caste in comparison with the Chinese literati, and pp. 1557 on school organization and practices. 6. Delivered to the Federation of Liberal Students at the University of Munich in 1919. 7. For a more detailed discussion of Webers writings on academic ethics see Samier (2001). 8. A detailed discussion of this principle is contained in his essay Objectivity in Weber (1949).

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Correspondence to:
DR EUGENIE SAMIER,

Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Colombia V5A 1S6, Canada. [esamier@sfu.ca]

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