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Weberian Bureaucracy

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PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > W, X, Y, Z > Weberian Bureaucracy
 

Weberian Bureaucracy 

The bureaucratic ideal that theoretically was the most rational possible form of management.

(Aucoin, 1995, p.157.)

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Weberian bureaucracy aims to allowing an organization to create the most rational form of management possible, by allowing organizations to: “…secure staff with the appropriate technical competence not only to learn the knowledge of the organization but to also apply it to particular cases."

The modern conception of bureaucracy is generally thought of in Weberian terms. The bureaucratic ideal was the most rational form of management possible and would allow an organization (i.e. bureaucracy) to “…secure staff with the appropriate technical competence not only to learn the knowledge of the organization but to also apply it to particular cases.” In a bureaucracy there are many different levels of function and complexities, based on Weber’s highly structured organization, with complex structures of loyalty built into it.

In an empirical study of the German bureacracy, Weber identified a series of related characteristics that made up the 'ideal-type' bureaucracy. These were: hierarchy, unity of command, specialization of labour, employment and promotion based on merit, full-time employment, decisions based on impersonal rules, the importance of documentation and a separation between the bureaucrats’ work-life and private life.

References 

Peter Aucoin, The New Public Management: Canada in Comparative Perspective. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1995.

Kernaghan, Kenneth. Public Administration in Canada. Scarborough: Nelson Canada, 1995.

     

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School of Public Policy and Governance