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Fenster schliessen

Characteristics of Bureaucracy (8)

  1. All tasks regulated by general rules
  2. Specificaiton of jobs with detailed rights, obligations, responsibilities, scope of authority
  3. Firmly ordered system of super- and subordination (office hierarchy)
  4. Extensive use of written documents ("the files")
  5. Impersonality of administration
  6. Recruitment of officials based on qualifications
  7. Pre-defined career path (pre-defined levels of salary)
  8. Contractual appointment (vs. election) ot officials to the office
Fenster schliessen

Two implications of the characteristics of bureaucracy

→ objectivity, impersonality and predictability (= rationality)

→ high degree of efficiency due to "machine-like nature"

Fenster schliessen

Implications for the Bureaucrats

Dehumanization of Bureaucrats

Fenster schliessen

Leadership in Bureaucracy (3)

  1. Top ot the hierarchy is not strictly bureaucratic
  2. Bureaucracy should be headed by charismatic authority
  3. Creativity and initative can only come from the top
Fenster schliessen

Advantages of Bureaucracy (5)

  • Specialised administrative knowledge
  • Task-related allocation of resources
  • Protection against arbitrary acts
  • Reliability of administration
  • Stability
Fenster schliessen

Disadvantages of Bureaucracy (6)

  • "Housing of Enslavement" / "Cage of Bondage" (Gehäuse der Hörigkeit)
  • Domination of the administrative apparatus
  • Difficulty of control
  • Bureaucrats lack creativity and personal responsibility
  • Work devoid of any emotional involvment
  • Equal treatment characterized by formality and indifference
Fenster schliessen

2.5 Critical Appraisal


Fenster schliessen

Importance of the Theory (3)

  • First comprehensive description of bureaucracy
  • Integration into a general social theory
  • Starting point of organizational research