Max Weber on Bureaucracy Essay

Max Weber on Bureaucracy Essay

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Weber believed that bureaucracy created stable, and predictable actions and outcomes because it allowed organizations to work in a rational manner, like a machine, and helped account for the fact that humans had only limited intelligence. Though Weber discussed the perfect model of an organization, bureaucracy allows for even imperfect organizations to function in a more reliable and predictable way because it’s structure controls how individuals behave.
One of the aspects of bureaucracy is that it creates fixed division of labor. The benefit of fixed division of labor is that it allows humans to become specialized at what they do as they can learn from their experiences and gain more in depth knowledge on the topic. When individuals work with similar environmental uncertainties on a constant basis they obtain a better understanding of how to deal with those uncertainties. They often use their experiences to deal with the situation in ways that worked for them previously. In addition when there are assigned jobs, it is easier to hold specific individuals accountable for their tasks. This allows the organization to quickly find who caused a certain problem and fix it. Accountability leads to people being more likely to work in the best interest of the organization, as they know that there could be repercussions for not doing so. People will use the techniques that they have previous experience with and that they know work in order to not make a mistake and be held accountable. And so they will work in a stable and predictable manner. When the people in the organization work in a stable and predictable manner the organization is likely to work in the same way. Accountability also helps in solving problems and quickly getting the ...


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...irm as an Adaptive Institution.” Pp. 117-134 in A Behavioral Theory of the Firm. London: Blackwell, 1992 [1963].

Freeland, Robert F. “IV. 6 Aspects of Bureaucracy- Weber.” University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lecture.

Alvin Gouldner. Excerpt from Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy, 1954, pp. 59-85.

Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch, excerpts from Organization and Environment. Cambridge: Harvard Business School, 1967, pp. 1-20; 23-53; 84-108.

Charles Perrow. Excerpt from “The Neo-Weberian Model: Decision-Making, Conflict, and Technology.” Chapter 4 from Complex Organizations, 3rd ed., 119-131.

Charles Perrow. “Why Bureaucracy?” from Complex Organizations, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986, pp. 1-48.

Herbert Simon. 1976 [1945]. “The Psychology of Administrative Decisions.” Chapter 5 (pp. 79-109) from Administrative Behavior. New York: Free Press.

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