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Characteristics of Bureaucracy by Max Weber

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Characteristics of Bureaucracy

1. What characterizes modern bureaucracy?

The characteristics of modern bureaucracy are: (a) there is the principle of fixed and official jurisdictional areas which are ordered by rules, that is laws and administrative regulations; (b) hierarchy and levels of graded authority where the lower offices are supervised by the higher ones; (c) management is based on official documents (the files); (d) the officials have thorough and expert training; (e) it requires the full time work of the official; (f) management follows rules.

2. Does bureaucracy contribute to separation public/private?

Bureaucracy is fully developed in political and ecclesiastical communities only in the modern states, and in the private economy, only in the most advanced institutions of capitalism. It does not matter for the character of bureaucracy whether its authority is called public or private. Therefore, bureaucracy does not matter in the separation of public and private but rather it is part of each element.

3. What does Weber mean by "office holding is a vocation"?

This is shown in the requirement for training, which demands the capacity of work for a long period of time; and in the generally prescribed and special examinations which are prerequisites of employment. Entrance to an office is considered the acceptance of a specific obligation faithful management for a secure in return for a secure existence. It is a device for the specific nature of modern loyalty to an office that, in the pure type, it does not establish a relationship to a person.

4. How is the official considered to be autonomous?

The elected official does not derive his position from above but from below, or at least not from a superior authority in the hierarchy but from powerful party men (bosses), who also determine his further career. The career of the elected official is not, or at least not primarily, dependent among his chief in the administration.

5. What are the 5 characteristics of the official?

The five characteristics of the modern official are:

1) Social esteem and status element. The official's social esteem is characterized but the prescriptive rules of rank order and, for the political official, by special definition of the criminal code against 'insults of officials' and 'contempt' of states and church authorities. The possession of educational certificates is usually linked with qualifications for office, enhancing 'status element' in the social position of the official.

2) Appointment and Election. Bureaucratic officials are usually appointed, and elected officers are not purely bureaucratic.



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