Weber's Theory of Bureaucracy and Authority
Max Weber (1947 trans.) was a sociologist writing at the turn of the 20th
century. In broad terms, he wrote about the emergence of rationality in
the West by comparing and contrasting differing cultures and historical
periods (Scott p. 38). His writings on administration were part of this
His typology on authority -- traditional, rational-legal,
and charasmatic -- proposed that rational-legal authority was becoming the
dominant system (supplanting traditional authority) through the modern state
and capitalism, mainly due to it's "purely technical superiority over
any other form of organization" .
Charasmatic authority mainly arises in times of crisis. (Scott p. 39) and
has to move to traditional or rational-legal forms for long term stability.
Bureaucracy arose by sub-dividing the functions
that the owner-managers originally did themselves (Bendix p. 211) such as
supervision, personell selection, accounting and financial management, record
keeping, job design, and planning.