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bureaucracy, specific kind of organization defined by complexity, department of labour, permanence, expert management, ordered coordination and also control, strictly chain the command, and also legal authority. It is identified from informal and collegial organizations. In its appropriate form, administration is impersonal and also rational and also based on rules fairly than ties that kinship, friendship, or patrimonial or charismatic authority. Administrative organization can be discovered in both public and also private institutions.

Characteristics and paradoxes the bureaucracy

The foremost thinker of administration is the German sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920), who described the ideal characteristics of bureaucracies and offered an explanation for the historical emergence of administrative institutions. Follow to Weber, the defining features of administration sharply differentiate it indigenous other varieties of organization based upon nonlegal forms of authority. Weber observed the the advantage of administration was that it to be the many technically proficient type of organization, possessing committed expertise, certainty, continuity, and also unity. Bureaucracy’s development as a preferred type of organization emerged with the climb of a money-based economy (which at some point resulted in the development of capitalism) and the attendant need to ensure impersonal, rational-legal transactions. Instrumental institutions (e.g., public-stock business firms) soon arose because their administrative organization fitted them to manage the various demands of capitalist production much more efficiently 보다 small-scale producers.

Contemporary stereotypes of administration tend come portray it together unresponsive, lethargic, undemocratic, and incompetent. Weber’s concept of bureaucracy, however, emphasizes not only its to compare technical and proficiency benefits but also attributes its prominence as a kind of company to the diminution the caste solution (such together feudalism) and other creates of inequitable social relations based top top a person’s status. In the pure kind of bureaucratic organization universalized rules and also procedures would certainly dominate, rendering an individual status or relationships irrelevant. In this form, bureaucracy is the summary of universalized criter under which comparable cases room treated an in similar way as encode by law and also rules, and under i m sorry the individual tastes and also discretion the the administrator are constrained by due process rules. In spite of the prevalent derogatory stereotypes that bureaucracy, a system of government grounded in regulation requires administration to function.

Nevertheless, the words bureaucracy and also bureaucrat are commonly thought of and used pejoratively. Lock convey images of red tape, excessive rules and also regulations, unimaginativeness, a lack of individual discretion, main control, and an absence of accountability. Far from gift conceived together proficient, popular modern portrayals regularly paint bureaucracies as inefficient and lacking in adaptability. Due to the fact that the attributes that define the organizational advantages of bureaucracy likewise contain in ~ them the possibilities of business dysfunction, both the flattering and also unflattering depictions of administration can it is in accurate. Thus, the qualities that make administrations proficient paradoxically also may create organizational pathologies.

Jurisdictional competency

Jurisdictional competency is a key element of governmental organization, i beg your pardon is damaged into devices with defined responsibilities. Fundamentally, jurisdictional competency advert to administrative specialization, with all aspects of a bureaucracy possessing a defined role. The duties of individuals broaden with movement upward with an business hierarchy. The organizational division of labour permits units and individuals within an company to master details and skills and to revolve the novel right into the routine. Return the division of labour is highly efficient, it can lead come a variety of harmful organizational pathologies; for example, systems or people may be unable to identify and respond adequately to difficulties outside their competency and also may technique all problems and priorities solely from the purview that a unit’s specific capabilities. This attribute of bureaucracy likewise can lead organizational units come shirk duty by allowing them to specify a difficulty as belonging to some other unit and also thereby leaving the concern unattended. Alternatively, every unit in ~ an company is apt to placed a challenge on a problem congenial largely to its own interests, skills, and also technologies.

Command and control

Bureaucracies have actually clear currently of command and also control. Governmental authority is arranged hierarchically, with duty taken at the top and also delegated with decreasing discretion below. Because of the hazard of organizational parochialism produced by limited and details jurisdictional competencies, the capacity to coordinate and also control the multiplicity of units is essential. Authority is the glue that holds together diversity and also prevents units from working out unchecked discretion. Yet, few features of administrative life have actually received so much adverse fist as the duty of ordered authority together a method for achieving organizational command and also control. Popular objections emphasize that ordered organization strangles an innovative impulses and injects hyper-cautious modes of behaviour based on expectations that what superiors might desire. Command and control, i m sorry are necessary to name: coordinates the disparate aspects of bureaucratic organization, administer for enhancing responsibility upward, delegation, and decreasing discretion downward.


Continuity is another crucial element of governmental organization. Rational-legal authority necessitates uniform rules and procedures for created documents and also official behaviour. A bureaucracy’s papers (i.e., its past records) carry out it with organizational memory, thereby allowing it come follow criterion and conventional operating procedures. The capability to utilize conventional operating actions makes organizations an ext efficient by diminish the expenses attached to any kind of given transaction. Organizational files record procedures, antecedent behaviour, and personnel records. They also permit an organization to be constant and, thus, elevation of any particular leadership. ~ above the whole, continually is an important to one organization’s volume to maintain its identity and even its culture. Without its records, it would certainly be impossible to keep transactions base in legality. Yet continuity additionally has a dysfunctional side, leading establishments to behave predictably and conservatively or, worse perhaps, merely reflexively. Continuity also may command a bureaucracy to repeat regularly tasks that may be inaccurate and whose inaccuracies in order to cumulate.


Professionalization the management, another basic element that bureaucracy, requires a full time corps of public representative whose attention is committed exclusively come its managerial responsibilities. In government, professionalization is forgive in the corps of civil servants who positions have normally been acquired through the i of exam based top top merit. The civil company is sometimes considered a permanent government, distinctive from the transient political leaders who serve just for a limited time and also at the satisfied of the electorate in democratic political systems.

In businesses and in various other nongovernmental governmental organizations, there is also a expert cadre the managers. Professionalization boosts expertise and continuity within the organization. Also when institutions are temporary leaderless or suffer turmoil in your top leadership positions, the skilled cadre help to preserve an organizational equilibrium. The virtues the professionalization are clear: there is no a expert corps, establishments would endure from crises induced by incompetency. Professionalization thus contributes come the superior technical proficiency the Weber claimed was the hallmark of bureaucratic organization.

Despite that is virtues, professionalization also carries potential risks. Frequently the professional corps that managerial experts itself becomes a covert source of power because it has actually superior knowledge contrasted with those who space its nominal but temporary superiors. Through virtue of higher experience, mastery that detail, and also organizational and also substantive knowledge, skilled bureaucrats might exercise solid influence end decisions make by your leaders. The presence of an effective bureaucrats raises worries of accountability and also responsibility, specifically in autonomous systems; bureaucrats room supposedly the agents of their leaders, however their superior knowledge of detail can location them in a place of indispensability. In addition, return a irreversible corps that officials brings expertise and also mastery of information to decision making, it additionally deepens the natural conservatism that a bureaucracy. The permanent corps is usually unconvinced of novelty since the significance of administrative organization is to turn past novelties into existing routines. Experienced bureaucrats, be they in the polite or personal sector, likewise tend come favour the organizational status quo due to the fact that their invest (e.g., training and status) space tied come it. Consequently, the more professionalized the cadre becomes, the more likely that is to stand up to the intrusion of outside forces.


Rules space the lifeblood of governmental organization, offering a reasonable and constant basis for procedures and also operations. An organization files administer the inventory of built up rules. Governmental decisions and—above all—procedures are grounded in encode rules and also precedents. Back most civilization dislike rules that inhibit them, the existence of rules is properties of legal-rational authority, ensuring that decisions are not arbitrary, the standardized steps are not conveniently circumvented, and that order is maintained. Rules are the significance of administration but are also the bane of leaders who want to get things excellent their way instantly.

Rules restrain arbitrary behaviour, but they likewise can administer formidable roadblocks to achievement. The accumulation of rules periodically leads to the development of inconsistencies, and the procedures compelled to readjust any aspect of the status quo may become extraordinarily onerous together a an outcome of the rule-driven character of bureaucracy. One perspective holds the the strictly adherence to rules restricts the ability of a administration to it is adapted to brand-new circumstances. Through contrast, markets, which have the right to operate through very few rules, pressure rapid adaptation to transforming circumstances. Yet, most major business institutions are arranged in bureaucratic form because hierarchy and also delegated responsibility reduce the transaction prices of do decisions.

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Thus, the most straightforward elements the pure bureaucratic organization are its focus on procedural regularity, a hierarchical system of accountability and responsibility, specialization of function, continuity, a legal-rational basis, and an essential conservatism. The development of capitalism and also the focus on standard currency transactions over and above barter systems developed the need for governmental forms of company in both the private and public sectors. However, the an important elements the the bureaucratic form of organization likewise can conflict with one another and also are often at the basic of criticisms that regard administrations as dysfunctional. In sum, what makes administration work additionally may work versus it.