A Business Encyclopedia

Bureaucratic Theory

Definition: The Bureaucratic Theory is related to the structure and administrative process of the organization and is given by Max Weber, who is regarded as the father of bureaucracy. What is Bureaucracy? The term bureaucracy means the rules and regulations, processes, procedures, patterns, etc. that are formulated to reduce the complexity of organization’s functioning.

According to Max Weber, the bureaucratic organization is the most rational means to exercise a vital control over the individual workers. A bureaucratic organization is one that has a hierarchy of authority, specialized work force, standardized principles, rules and regulations, trained administrative personnel, etc.

The Weber’s bureaucratic theory differs from the traditional managerial organization in the sense; it is impersonal, and the performance of an individual is judged through rule-based activity and the promotions are decided on the basis of one’s merits and performance.

Also, there is a hierarchy in the organization, which represents the clear lines of authority that enable an individual to know his immediate supervisor to whom he is directly accountable. This shows that bureaucracy has many implications in varied fields of organization theory.

Thus, Weber’s bureaucratic theory contributes significantly to the classical organizational theory which explains that precise organization structure along with the definite lines of authority is required in an organization to have an effective workplace.

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