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Analysis of Max Weber’s Characteristics of Bureaucracy

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Table of contents

  1. Hierarchy:
  2. Division of Work:
  3. Chain of Command of Organization:
  4. Composed Rules and Regulation:
  5. Generic Quality and Specialization:
  6. Indifference and Impersonality:
  7. References:

The model of bureaucratic administration dates back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt to China, India and Rome. It is known for its keen interest in official organization and its insistence on the rules, official methods and purely procedural aspects. But it was developed in theory by Max Weber to make it a model that looks like a silent machine that works regularly, with precise coordination and mechanics that ignores the human nature, human considerations, and the different values that are based on creativity and the freedom of the individual. Max Weber (1864-1920) is considered one of the most important sociologists, so he did not only care about the management of individual projects but his interest in large organizations as social units. One of the most important ideas contributed by Max Weber in scientific management is the bureaucratic model of management. His analysis of the ideal bureaucratic model is an important starting point for understanding bureaucracy, as it serves as a basis for the study of bureaucratic organizations. This essay will analyze Max Weber’s characteristics of bureaucracy and whether they are relevant and effective in the management world today.

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According to CCSE (2013), “etymologically, the bureaucracy comes from the word burocratie (Germany), burocrazia (Italy) and bureaucatie (France), which means table or office. The term was raised again by the French philosopher, Baron de Grimm on record of Vincent de Gournay. Cracy (kratos) alone means power or rule”. A bureaucracy is an arrangement of association noted for its size and multifaceted nature. Everything inside a bureaucracy — duties, occupations, and assignments — exists to accomplish some objective. Bureaucrats are found at state, district, and city dimensions of government, and even extensive private partnerships might be bureaucratically composed. Individuals who work for government organizations, from superior state supervisors and officials to administrative staff, are bureaucrats or civil servants. The administrator of a huge urban school region is a civil servant, similar to the educators, bookkeepers, attendants, and security monitors. The term ‘bureaucracy’ has been broadly utilized with various meanings coordinated at government and business. Bureaucracy is a managerial framework intended to achieve regulatory undertakings by methodically planning the work of numerous people. Weber has remarked that there are three kinds of authority in associations: conventional, alluring or charismatic and bureaucratic. He has confirmed, after years of research, that the bureaucratic type of power is the optimal one. Max Weber was keen on the investigation of hierarchical structure and sorted six primary qualities of perfect bureaucracy; which are as pursue, hierarchy, division of work, chain of importance of association, composed standards and guideline, indifference and business dependent on specialized aptitudes. He says that, regardless, what the sort of association is, whether it is open or private, it will show similar attributes.


The fundamental element of bureaucratic association is that there is progressive system of positions in the association. Chain of importance is an arrangement of positioning different positions in plunging scale start to finish of the association. In bureaucratic association, workplaces additionally pursue the guideline of chain of command that is each lower office is liable to control and supervision by higher office. Subsequently, no office is left uncontrolled in the association. This is the principal idea of chain of importance in bureaucratic association. This chain of command fills in as lines of correspondence and appointment of power. It infers that correspondence descending or going up must go through each position. So also, a subordinate will get specialist from his prompt unrivaled. In any case, this pecking order is net unitary however sub-pyramids of authorities inside the substantial association comparing and so forth useful divisions exist. In this manner, there are workplaces with a similar measure of power yet with various types of capacities working in various zones of capability. For instance, the Government associations, we can watch separate workplaces caring for specific capacities. This occurs in business associations as well.

Division of Work:

As per Max Weber, in an association everybody needs to play out a particular errand. For instance in a college instructors work is just to educate, the person who works in organization should take care of the upkeep and acquirement. Instructors ought not to play out the activity obligations of manager and head ought not educate, everybody in the association have been allocated explicit undertakings and they ought to perform just those assignments. Weber trusted that, such kind of division of work will expand the dimension of ability of worker in his field and increment the effectiveness and efficiency of association. Be that as it may, as indicated by struggle scholar Karl Marx, division of work can result in the sentiment of estrangement in representatives since it isolates them from different specialists. Besides, the representatives cannot see and become familiar with the undertaking start to finish which may prompt the less profitability.

Chain of Command of Organization:

Every one of the representatives working in the association are not approach, its structure is progressive. Every worker is under the expert of higher position the structure of association resembles pyramid. It elucidates the workers that who are in control and have expert of basic leadership in the association. Then again, it may prompt the sentiment of hardship among workers of basic leadership, especially those, who are at lower dimension of chain of importance.

Composed Rules and Regulation:

Every one of the representatives working in the association works as indicated by the composed principles and guidelines. It gives workers clear image of their activity obligations. It will likewise prompt Uniform execution, feeling of solidarity and coherence to an association. In any case, an excessive number of principles and guideline may prompt objective relocation, representatives could get occupied in following the standards and overlook their genuine objective. These rules or guidelines are pretty much steady and thorough. At the point when there is no standard on any part of hierarchical activity, the issue is referred upward for choice which consequently becomes point of reference for future choice on the comparative issue. Standards give the advantages of solidness, congruity, and consistency and every official knows unequivocally the result of his conduct in a specific issue.

Generic Quality and Specialization:

The word generic quality may appear like an antagonistic term; in any case, Max Weber implied by, indifference that, each representative in the association should lead their movement in fair manner. As indicated by him, it will guarantee the equivalent treatment of representatives inside the association. Workers in an administration perform particular undertakings that call for preparing and mastery. Trained staff can achieve their occupations proficiently. The drawback of specialization is that officials regularly can’t (or deny to) ‘work out of class’ — that is, take on an undertaking that is outside the extent of their set of working responsibilities.

Indifference and Impersonality:

Max Weber trusted that, enlisting of the representative ought to be founded on their capability. He implied that, the required activity duties should coordinate the capability and range of abilities of the representative. Just those candidates ought to be contracted who meets the criteria of occupation. It will diminish the dimension of segregation based on cast, statement of faith, sexual orientation and religion. An eminent component of bureaucracy is that connections among people are represented through the arrangement of authority expert and guidelines. Official positions are free from individual involvement, feelings and emotions. Therefore, choices are administered by objective factors as opposed to individual components. This idea of indifference is utilized in managing hierarchical relations just as relations between the association and outsiders.

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In conclusion, through a comprehension of the attributes of organization above, as well as the truth of the modern world bureaucracy, it appears to be hard to totally applying the characteristics of Weber bureaucratic style, the recuperative bureaucracy is essential that address the present difficulties without relinquishing the standards of perfect administration itself. Adjustment is expected to every trademark that has positive pertinence, but then can be kept up as indicated by the necessities and attributes required in any bureaucracy in our world today. Negative relevance can be dispensed with, changed and modified by the requirements of bureaucratic associations. In other words, bureaucracies in the modern world are numerous and differ from one another, which means following a traditional administrative style like Weber’s can be difficult to achieve. However, some of those characteristics may still be applicable, because organizations and associations, different they may be, have to adopt a well-organized managerial style in order to for them to function with total success.


  1. Jayne Thompson(2018) Six characteristics of bureaucracy Retrieved from: [Accessed 01/05/19]
  2. Kdkasi(2017) Characteristics of ideal bureaucracy Available from: [Accessed 01/05/19]
  3. Ken and Shannon Johnston(2013) Bureaucratic form according to Max Weber – his six major principles Found in: [Accessed 01/05/19]
  4. E.Austin(2018) What are the Max Weber basic characteristics of a Bureaucracy? Available from: [Accessed 02/05/2019]
  5. Shericka Wilson(2017) Max Weber’s ideal bureaucracy Found in: [Accessed 02/05/19]

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