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Introduction to Bureaucracy

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What is it?

So what exactly is a bureaucracy?  As the father of the modern day bureaucracy, Max Weber, has made a few key characteristics of a bureaucracy:[1]




  1. specification of jobs with detailed rights, obligations, responsibilities, scope of authority
  2. system of supervision and subordination
  3. unity of command
  4. extensive use of written documents
  5. training in job requirements and skills
  6. application of consistent and complete rules (company manual)
  7. assign work and hire personnel based on competence and experience


In all, this creates a hierarchical system where members must follow a set protocol and are hired based on their skills.  This is what a bureaucracy is.Keep in mind that the bureaucracy is not limited to the Federal bureaucracy we are going to talk about in this chapter.  Private businesses and schools often consist of a bureaucracy as well.  Also, the Federal bureaucracy is not limited to the Executive Branch, but rather each branch of the government has its own bureaucracy (thought the one in the Executive Branch is largest by far).
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  1. The following takes information from- http://www.analytictech.com/mb021/bureau.htm

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