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Max Weber & How Bureaucracy Affects Effective School Management

Max Weber How Bureaucracy Affects Effective School Management


One of the famous classical management theories is the theory of Bureaucracy by Max Weber (1864-1920 ) that describes a rational and efficient form of organization characterized by rule-oriented form of organization . According to Miller (2005 , Weber 's bureaucracy is believed to dominate the society due to its technical superiority (p .10 . The Weber 's concept of bureaucracy disregards the components of social and cultural variations , while emphasizing more on authority or leadership as practical indestructible component . According to Littlejohn and Foss (2004

, the ideal concept of Weber in the system of bureaucracy is an organization characterized as hierarchical and layered , rule-driven and insensitive to individual differences and needs (p .242 . Within this closed system is the strict adherence to rational-legal form of authority wherein adherence on rules , division of labor and establishment of hierarchy in power is centralized

In application of the bureaucratic theory and its elements , we examine the implementation of so-called ideal bureaucracy in the field of educational leadership , specifically in the organization , Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC . The collaboration of National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE ) and National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA ) has led to the development of ELCC , which is an authoritative form or rule-motivated system that aims to harness educational leadership , skills and knowledge among learner-centered school (Bjork and Kowalski , 2005

.62 . Despite of its idealistic goals and aims , ELCC has been criticized for imposing closed-systems , and policy-oriented management


Overview of Bureaucratic Theory

Weber 's idea of bureaucracy involves three principal perspectives particularly (1 ) authority (2 ) specialization and (3 ) rules . According to Littlejohn and Foss (2004 , Weber utilizes a rule oriented and iron-fist form of organization that shall manage the complexities of work under a universal aim and common goal (p .243 . In the essence Weber 's form of bureaucracy is introducing a machine metaphor of organization , which follows a dominant-subordinate rule . In relation to education administration , Smith and Meier (1995 ) have stated that the politicians and interest groups are the primary initiator of education bureaucracy through their imposed norms of , reducing the discretion of schools and their personnel to ensure that America 's children would be properly educated , socialized and disciplined (p .39 ' In this form of organization , hierarchical authority provides the decision while the targets of this decision are only required to follow and obey the higher authority

Weber 's bureaucracy has provided six different facets that illustrate his elements of bureaucratic administration and management . First , Weber considers a clearly defined hierarchy as the principal guidance of operation . Second , bureaucracy should possess and organized workforce or human power resources in to conduct a well-planned labor-division Third , Weber emphasizes the idea of centralization wherein decisions are made by one central power . Fourth , Weber mentions about the nature of bureaucratic system wherein bureaucracy should shut itself from the possible external influences and interruptions in to prevent the alteration of its bureaucratic function hence , terming it as closed systems...

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