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He locates the emergence of bureaucracy with the rise of mass democracy, suggesting that bureaucracies emerge when societal differences become leveled.
Bureaucracies require financial support, so these organizations typically require a money economy and stable government resources.
While a modern reader may have a somewhat negative connotation with the term bureaucracy, Weber argues that bureaucracies tend be superior to other organizational forms in their speed of action and ability to maximize outputs for the minimal inputs.
These include a system of rules that govern organizational behavior and procedures and the presence of a well-defined hierarchy among positions within the bureaucratic order.
Also featured in a bureaucratic system are formal, written communications and files — Weber would have been referring to literal letters and documents, whereas a contemporary bureaucracy would fulfill this through emails and electronic files.
Specialization is another feature; these positions typically require a specific expertise. While Weber suggests that bureaucracy is a product of optimization within an organization, foundational New Institutional theorists have argued that bureaucracy arises from the codification of institutional myths Meyer and Rowan ; these rules then lay the groundwork for the formal, bureaucratic structure that ensues.
DiMaggio and Powell further comment on the proliferation of the bureaucratic organizational form, suggesting that the dominance of the bureaucratic form has not come about through competition or efficiency as Weber would suggestbut rather organizations tend to imitate one another institutional isomorphismresulting in organizations that are more similar over time but not necessarily more efficient.
Bureaucracy is a particularly useful lens for understanding organizational founding and emergent organizations, as it provides a framework for analyzing the formalization process within organizations.
In the religious realm, as new churches are started, new denominations emerge and the parachurch sector continues to grow, bureaucracy is a way to study the trajectory of these organizations as they develop from an idea to a fully functioning organization.
References DiMaggio, Paul J. Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony.
Edited by Gerth, H. An Outline of Interpretive Sociology. Edited by Guenther Roth and Claus Wittch. University of California Press. Select a Theory below to learn more: Select a Concept below to learn more:Gerth, Hans Heinrich and Mills, Charles Wright. (Eds.). () From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology.
Oxford University Press. Title From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology Resource Type collection Author(s) Hans Heinrich Gerth, Charles Wright Mills: Year Publisher. From Max Weber: essays in sociology / translated, edited and with an introduction by H.H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills. This concise and accessible textbook overviews the place and continuing centrality of the concept of class in cultural studies and sociology.
The book reopen. Skip to main content by H.H. Gerth and C.W. Mills . Weber, M. (c).
‘National character and the Junkers’. In From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. (Edited and translated by. Sociology September 30, Max Weber. 1. Importance and Influence.
Weber is often regarded as the most important classical sociological theorist since he investigated many areas and since his approach and methods guide much later sociological analysis.
Table of Contents for From Max Weber: essays in sociology / edited, with an introduction by H.H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills with a new preface by Bryan S.
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From Max Weber: Essays in sociology. [Max Weber; Hans Gerth; C Wright Mills] -- An introduction to the work of the greatest German sociologist and a key figure in the development of present-day sociological thought.
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