You are on page 1of 14

The Bureaucratic Theory

• The term Bureaucracy was coined by Vincent De Gourney. • Weber differentiated between power and authority

• A person could be said to possess power if his will could be enforced in a social relationship despite resistance. • For Weber authority was identical with authoritarian power of command. • He identified 5 essential components of authority-

1. An individual or body of individuals who rule. 2. An individual or body of individuals who are ruled. 3. The will of rulers to influence the conduct of the ruled.

4. The evidence of influence of rulers in terms of objective degree of command. 5. The direct or indirect influence of that command in terms of subjective acceptance. • Authority exists as long as it is accepted by ruled as legitimate.

• An organization thus can rule only when it has legitimacy. • Weber prescribed three states of legitimacy1. Legal Authority- is found in organizations where rules are applied judicially and in accordance with ascertainable principles valid for all members of the organization. The members who exercise powers are superiors and are appointed by legal procedures. The subject person to the commands are legal equals who obey the law.

2.Traditional Authority- Derives its legitimacy from acceptance of it since hoary past. The persons exercising authority generally are called masters. Their commands carry legitimacy because of customs but they can also give orders based on personal decisions. Thus conformity with customs and personal arbitrariness are two characteristics of traditional authority.

3. Charismatic Authority- The power exercised by a leader may be a prophet, a hero substantiating the claim by virtue of his magical powers or heroism or other extraordinary gifts or qualities. The persons obey leader because they believe in his extraordinary capabilities. The leader selects his disciples on basis of personal devotion.

• Weber believed that all these authority claim legitimacy as long as ruled accept them. • He states that these pure types of authority are always found in combination rather than separated from each other. • Weber preferred the legal type of authority due to inherent rationality in it.

According to Weber legitimacy of authority depends on1. That a legal code can be established which can claim obedience from members of organization. 2. That law is a system of abstract rules which are applied to specific cases and administration looks after the interests of organization within the limits of law.

3.That individual exercising authority also obeys impersonal order. 4.The obedience falls not to the person who holds authority but to impersonal order which grants him the position. These elements substantiate the view that Weber laid great stress on relationship between legitimacy and impersonal order.

The Model of Legal Rational Bureaucracy
Characteristics: 1. Official business is conducted on continuous basis 2. An administrative agency functions in accordance with stipulated rules and is characterized by three inter-related attributes(a.) The powers and functions of each official is delimited in terms of impersonal criteria. (b.) The official is given authority according to responsibility (c.) The means of compulsion at his disposal are strictly limited and the condition of employment is legitimate and clearly defined.

3.Every official & every office is part of hierarchy of authority. Higher offices supervise while lower offices have right to appeal. 4.Officials do not own resources necessary for rendering the duties but they are accountable for the use of resources. 5.Offices cannot be appropriated by incumbents as private property which can be sold or inherited. 6.Administration is conducted on basis of written documents.

Characteristics of officials1. He is personally free and appointed to an official position on basis of contract. 2. He exercises authority delegated to him in accordance with impersonal rules, his loyalty is expressed through faithful execution of his official duties. 3. His appointment and job placement depends on his technical qualification.

4. His administrative work is his full time occupation. 5. His work is rewarded by a regular salary and by prospects of regular advancement in his career.