Weberian Bureaucracy Paper

Weberian Bureaucracy Paper - Lauren Chambers Dr. Cohn SOCI...

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Lauren Chambers Dr. Cohn SOCI 205-970 24 March 2008 Weberian Bureaucracy Perrow In the first chapter of his book Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay , Charles Perrow begins his interpretations of organizational theory. As he acknowledges a number of problems that exist in current systems, he offers bureaucracy as a potential solution. While he admits to some faults of bureaucracy—control of the many by only a few whose intentions may be less than favorable in the eyes of their underlings—he seems to suggest some benefits of such a system. In seeking to create the most efficient system possible, a true bureaucracy has no place for particularism, favoritism, or nepotism. Such methods hire and promote people not based on competence but on connections, relations, or traits that are not actually related to the job at hand. Unfortunately, because organizations are social in their existence, it is difficult to weed out such processes entirely. Even so, a bureaucracy attempts to put in place more universalistic criteria which ensure that maximum efficiency is attained. By doing this, there is hope of eliminating some of the corruption that comes along with such practices. A bureaucracy seeks to reward long-term rather than short-term productivity. As a result, we find systems like tenure in place. Such a system assures those who master an obscure skill that they will still have a place with their organization in the future, even if the demands of the job change. Because of this, people are willing to make the “large investment in skills.” One of the tenets of bureaucracy is written rules which leave no ambiguities about things. Perrow discusses this tenet in detail. On first glance, people see large numbers of rules as restricting their ability to make independent decisions; further examination shows, however, that this is not the case. Rules leave nothing unclear in terms of what actions can and cannot be taken; as a result, individuals know what decisions are and are not theirs to make. Instead of resting in uncertainty and inaction, they can confidently make decisions which are theirs to make on their own without consulting with their superiors first. Without written rules, it takes years of trial and error to learn what is expected of you, what you can and cannot do, and so on. Bureaucratic systems reduce the amount of time that it takes an individual to master his or her by
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Weberian Bureaucracy Paper - Lauren Chambers Dr. Cohn SOCI...

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