Max Weber’s Theory of Management

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Max Weber's work is divided into three main parts: 1) The theory of bureaucracy; 2) The theory of capitalism; 3) The theory of religion. Let's focus on the theory of bureaucracy only in this post.


In the first part of his work, Weber deals with the question of how modern society can be organized. His answer is that it cannot be done by means of traditional institutions such as monarchy or aristocracy. For example, they cannot provide a stable rule for large groups of people. They also have problems dealing with the complexity and diversity of modern societies. This is why he suggests that we need new forms of organization. He calls these organizations "bureaucratic" because they resemble the bureaucratic structures found in the government offices of the time.

Bureaucracy theory of management

It is a system of rules that all employees follow to do their jobs efficiently, effectively, and safely. The main idea behind bureaucracy is to make sure that people follow the rules to work together as one team. This would be done through different levels of supervision. There is no room for individualism or creativity because everyone has to follow the same rules.

Theory of Bureaucracy: (Source: Wikipedia)

  • A rigid division of labour is established that clearly identifies regular tasks and duties of the particular bureaucratic system.
  • Regulations describe firmly established chains of command and the duties and capacity to coerce others to comply.
  • Hiring people with particular, certified qualifications supports regular and continuous execution of the assigned duties.


Taylor, Weber and Fayol

Weber and Fayol were both influenced by Frederick W. Taylor, a forerunner to management science.

While Taylor focused on frontline managers, those who handle workers, Weber focused on middle managers, who implement the strategy. Fayol's 14 Principles of Management focused on top managers, who set strategies.

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