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POLS 2250 (94)
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Chapter 2

POLS Chapter 2 Summary.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLS 2250
Professor
Tim Mau
Semester
Winter

Description
POLS: Public Administration Chapter 2 - Investigate the basic structures that constitute the bureaucratic organization in government and their interactions with the other bodies in the political process. - Examination of theories of organization, theories grapple with the challenge of offering clear and accurate descriptions of organizational forms. - Put forward suggestions for enhancing the performance of organizations and ensuring that services are provided more fairly and efficiently. Above all, theories of organization offers us the framework for better explaining the behavior or operation of various structures that may arise in public administration - Chapter focuses on Max Weber and the feature of traditional bureaucratic organizations and thoughts about the place of bureaucracy in society and government - Characteristics of Weberian Bureaucracy: - Hierarchical structure: unity of command, clear line of authority and each person only answers to 1 superior. - Specialization of labor: people become more efficient when able to concentrate on a specific job - Employment and Promotion based on merit: people not given positions based on favor (i.e. heredity, outright purchase, bribery, etc…) - Full-time Employment: ensures the person does not need to seek another job. All attention is devoted to the public service - Decisions based on impersonal rules: bound by certain rules that apply equally to all - Importance of Written files - Employment is separate from the individual bureaucrat’s life: power lies in the position, not the person themselves - Although Weber foresaw many problems with bureaucracy (appointed individuals could potentially hold influence over elected officials for instance) he still believed it to be the most efficient form of organization - Central challenge of a society was to propose practices that oppose the machinery of bureaucracy and keep a portion of humanity free from this pigeon-holing of the spirit from this total domination of the bureaucratic ideal - Criticisms of Weber: - Dwelt too much on the structural aspects and not enough on human side of organization - Informal systems of authority may emerge and effectively displace the formal systems - Emphasis on the strict division of labour increases the chances that workers will becomes bored with doing the same thing every day - Must be careful however, to not see Weber’s democracy as an organizational dinosaur - Taylor and Scientific Management: - Dealing with the problem of slacking off or ‘soldiering’ - Natural tendency of employees to do as little work as possible - Work sometimes arranged in such an awkward manner that
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