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criticism of weber's bureaucratic model

Beginning with Max Weber, bureaucracies have been regarded as mechanisms that rationalize authority and decision-making in society. Yet subsequent theorists have questioned the rationality of bureaucracies. Which features of modern-day public bureaucracies are rational? Which are not? Buttress your argument with citations from organization and/or public administration theories.

language english
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Preview of the essay: criticism of weber's bureaucratic model

Max Weber’s work about bureaucracy, translated into English in 1946, was one of the major contributions that has influenced the literature of public administration. However, Van Riper (1997) argues that the work of Weber on bureaucracy has no influence on American PA until the 1950’s. The word bureaucracy is derived from two words; “bureau” and “Kratos.” While the word “bureau” refers to the office the Greek suffix “kratia or kratos” means power or rule. Thus we use the word “bureaucracy” to refer to the power of the office (Hummel, 1998, 307). “Bureaucracy” is rule conducted from a desk or office, i.e. by the preparation and dispatch of written documents and electronic ones. Bureaucracy is borrowed by the field of public administration (PA) from the field of sociology. It was ...

... clear that the problems administrators have to contend with do not easily fit the existing structure of hierarchy and authority based structure. Hence, the need to restructure or readjust the bureaucracy to adapt to new and complex problems becomes apparent. Unfortunately, there is no consensus regarding how the restructuring can be done and this issue will remain one of the hot debates in the field of PA for the coming decades.
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Public Administration


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