Week 4 Bureaucracy
Weber: as most efficient type of 2ndary groups,
When someone says bureaucracy: automatically assume bunch of clerks in court working, small
cubicles, and endless trails of ‘red tape’ that create needless waste an dfrustrate the goals of
clients. The idea that bureaucracies are efficient may be odd.
Why weber says efficient? He was comparing it with older organizational forms. That is basis of
either rtraditional practice or charisma of leaders. And we must recognize weber through
bureaucracies could operate properly in ideal case.
Dehumanization: bureaucracies treat clients as standard cases and personel as cogs in giant
machine. This treatment frustrates clients an dlower worker morale
Bureaucratic ritualism: involves bureacts becoming so preoccupied with rules that they make it
difficult for the organization to fulfill its goals
Oligarchy: rule of the few, supposed for power to become increaisly concentrated hands of a
few people at the top organization group.
two factors bureaucratic ineffieciency : size and social structure. Larger the bureaucracy: more
difficult to function. Social structure is based on hierarchy, bureaucracy has a head, the power
of the staff increases etc.
3 factors reason what motive *to kill them (schindler’s list)
1. Norms of solidarity demand conformity: , when with friends and family we build norms of
2. Structures of authority tends to render people obedient ( people have hard time to disobey
authorities b/c they fear ridicule punishment)
3. Bureaucracies are highly effective structures of authority .
Bureaucracy: large, impersonal organization comprising many clearly defined positions arranged in a
herarchy. A bureaucracy: permenant, salaried staff qualified experets, to find ways to run it
Division of labour
A good thing,
o Hierarchy of authority
Someone has to command,
o You need rules and regulations
o Qualification-based employment
Bounded set of individuals who are linked by the exchange of material or emotional resources.
Patterns of exchange determine boundaries of the network. It may be formal or informal (based
Unit of analysis or nodes in a network can be individuals, groups, organizations and important.
Example: finding a job: strong ties with close friends and family to provide you? Or weak ties?
Granovetter: weak ties are more important than strong because more effort is placed on
weaker ties, and more information can be provided to you about the job in clear.
Urban network: community marked by intimnate and emotionally intense largely by self interest
like big city in a society By Tonnies.
Building Blocks Social Network
Two examples: DIAD: according to Simmel any interaction nerves . 2 units interact : diad
interaction 2 basic character = 1 essntial equality 2 all highly invested instruction … Keep the
essential characteristics. Second : 2. Tiad: stable characteristics.. unequal 3 person into group =
open equal power to all party ..3 people = decision can be made which cannot exist
Dyadidc: make up social networks ar ebased on regular patterns of social exchange. In stable
dyadic relationshps, people give each other things they want and need . So long as these
relationsho satisfy their needs, people stay in these relationships
Triad: initensity & intimacy reduced, restrict individualiy by allowing a partner to be constrained
for collective good, coalitions possible, 3 party mediation conflict between two , and rivarliy.
Divide & conquer strategy, shift respinsibitly to largely collective. 3 nodes relationship.
Primary & secondary group
Social group: comprises oen or more networks of ppl who identify with one another and adhere
to define norms, roles and status.
Social category: Sets of people who do not interact but have a shared characteristics ,
Significance of categories is socially constructed (racial groups)
Note: also structurally based
Primary Groups: 1 small face to face interaction , subjectively important to members, long
Secondary groups: Informal and formal social groups: rules, organization formal organization
with specialtiy actively (tepperman : goal) members will not be viably important audience in
concert, religious groups. Informal group vs formal group: Inofrmal: no written rules. Formal:
written rules (secondary groups_
Group Conformity: integral part of group, primary group life to generate more pressure to
conform than do secondary group. Strong social ties create emotional intimacy , they also
ensure that primary group memebrs share similar attitude, beliefes and information.
Like WW2: study of power of conformity to get people to face extreme danger. Like “asch experiment”: by Solomon Asch: how group pressure creates conformity, 7 men , and
1 was experimental, other 6 was were asch’s confederates. Experimenting card game. Likelihood
increases group size increases three or four members, group cohesiveness increase, and social
Disadvantage of Group Conformity: Groupthink: group pressure to conform despite individual
misgivings. Dangers of group think are greatest in high stress situation.
Group conformity, Group Conflict and Group Inequality
Functionalist: ignore conflicts within groups can avert disaster and ignore ways in which group
conformity encourages conflict and reinforces inequality
Ingroup: memebrs are ppl who belong to group, Outgroup: memebrs are ppl who are excluded
from an in group
Group boundaries emerge when people compete for scarce resources like old immigratns and
new immigrants compete for jobs.
“robbers’ cave study” two groups of 11 yr old to summer camp , were strangers to one another
and for about a week two groups were kept apart. Each group came to hodl the other in low
esteem, and eventually boys draw together quickly
Dominant Groups: functionalist: increase the means by which individual sare mobilized to
achieve group goals. Conflict: caution us to recognize that too much conformity can be
Conformity: group norms = functional, to mobilize and achieve goals, or can be dangerous in the
ability to think ‘outside the box’ and be problematic to increase social inequality.
Groups & Social imaginzatino
Reference group: comprises ppl against whom an individual evaluates his or her situation or
Exercise our imagination vigoursly to participate in the group life of a society like ours be.c much
social life in a copmplex society involves belonging to secondary groups without knowing or
interacting with most groups memebrs.
Canada as ‘imagined community’ , they are imagined b/c you cannot possibly meet most
members of the group and can only speculate about what they must be like.
Formal organization: secondary groups designed to achieve explicit objectives
Mcdonalidization of Society—George Ritzer
o Efficient, calculable, predictable
Automated, no surprises, fast-track
Military, clinics and etc., Ambivalence to Bureaucracy
o Red tape, ritualism
o Iron cage
In the military, they use spit and polish inspections or others
Shaving kits have to be perfectly clean
Departures from Efficiency
o Goal displacement
SOPS- standard operating procedures
Information cutoffs—it’s when you have information flowing upwards but you
cut it off at a certain points, because people don’t want to hear or you might get
Techniques of behavorial control
Film on taylorism and scientific management
o Deskill work
Remove control from workers
Seek speed and efficiency
Rise of informal organization
o Workers develop culture and norms independent of formal structure
Productivity norms- not written, but they’re present among the workers
“rate busters” – push the norms up
Underworld of institution
Sabotage—working harder, so you hide it
Taking a break—workers don’t like to be yelled at and etc.,
Weber focused on formal structure or chain of command in a bureaucracy. He didn’t pay much
on social network that underlie the chain of command
Social networks and operation of bureacries goes back in 1930 Informal interaction is common in highly bureaucratic organizaitno. A water cooler, for example
can be a place of echanging infomratino an dgossip and even a place for decision making
Brings bureaucratic performance. Least effective leader allows suboridn