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Chapter 2

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 2250
Nanita Mohan

Week 2 – Chapter 2: PublicAdministration and Organization Theory: The Structural Foundation **(BCY = Bureaucracy) Max Weber and Classical Bureaucratic Theory:  Max Weber- first person to study the emergence of the bureaucracy  German Scholar- studying bureaucracy in the context of authority in any society-  Theorized that there was three sources of authority-  Under Traditional Authority- Right to exercise authority is legitimated by such factors of : heredity, religious beliefs, or divine right-  CharismaticAuthority- Authority is based on outstanding personal characteristics of an individual- Jesus, Hitler, John F Kennedy-  Legal or Rational Authority- Authority is legitimated by rules and regulations obeyed by both the rulers and the ruled- “Obedience is not owed to a person, but to a set of impersonal principles” The Characteristics of Weberian Bureaucracy:  Studied German BCY- theorized that modern BCY consisted of a number of characteristics- when characteristics were combined in the same organization, it resulted in the “pure” or “ideal type” BCY-  The following are the characteristics: Hierarchical Structure:  BCY is described as a unity of command- meaning that for each position in the hierarchy, there is only one supervisor-  Organization is arranged in a series of superior subordinate relationships, at the pinnacle of which is one and only one superior- Specialization of Labor:  Hierarchical structure allocated responsibilities to subordinates in a clear unambiguous way- division of responsibilities would allow people to become very efficient in their areas of study- for them to become experts in their areas allowing them to solely concentrate on mastering their area- Each person is specialized in their area- Employment and Promotion Based on Merit:  Earlier times, people obtained organizational positions through heredity or outright purchase-  There was no guarantee that the person in such position was the best for the job or even competent- not all organizations could operate effectively and efficiently-  German BCY- employment and promotion was based on objective tests of merit- increasing ability of the operation- Full-Time Employment:  Employment based on merit had the principle of employment in the BCY was a full time activity and a major source of income for the official-  Ensured that the official would develop allegiance to the BCY and that the superior could exercise real control over the day to day activities of the official- Decisions Based on Impersonal Rules:  BCY is bound by certain rules when dealing with the public  Rules are impersonal as they apply equally to all clients in similar situations-  Bureaucrats cannot substitute their own set of rules for those legitimately proclaimed by superiors-  Reliance on impersonal rules increases confidence in the bureaucracy by establishing a regime of certainty in dealings- Importance of Written Files:  If the bureaucrat must prove that he or she has abided by the rules in making decisions, then he or she must maintain written records, first of the rules themselves, and second, of all the decisions made and the rationale for those decisions-  Allegiance to the rules are more important than the allegiance to his or her superior- Bureaucratic Employment is Separate from the Individual Bureaucrats Private Life:  Recognition of the autonomous nature of the BCY as an organization, and the fact Bureaucrats do not own his or her position and the rights that go with it-  Bureaucrats possess great deal of authority-  Result of their decision- not permitted to obtain any personal gain, other than a fixed salary from the position- Weber’s Views on Bureaucracy:  Held a love hate relationship with the German Bureaucracy-  1)Argued that the BCY was the most efficient method of organization- Precision, Speed, Unambiguity, Continuity, Discretion-  2)Also foresaw many problems throughout his interaction-  Technical superiority of BCY officials might put them in a position to overwhelm leaders of appointed officials in government- Feared that the BCY values of order and security might prevail over those which we cherish and see as essential to an open and thriving community- Criticisms of Weber:  1) Weber dwelt too much on the structural aspects of the BCY and not enough on the human side of the organization- suggested that because Weber viewed bureaucrats as mere cogs in the mechanism, he overstated that impact of the organization on the worker and overlooked the effect of the worker on the organization- may pursue goals that are inconsistent with the professed aims of the organization but satisfy their particular needs-  2) Rational bureaucratic structures may produce irrational or inefficient outcomes- emphasis on rules (which are designed as means) may become the ends of the organization-Bureaucrats seek strict compliance with the rules even though such action might be detrimental to servicing customers or recipients off a government service- red tape-  3)Criticize Weber because of perceived internal inconsistences in his model of BCY- Model relies on professional and expert decision making to ensure efficiency, but it is possible that superiors may lack knowledge to make the best decisions, who do they turn to-  4) Modern trends of social change and the increasing professionalization of the workforce make the BCY obsolete- To be productive, organizations require fewer rules, less hierarchy, and employees from to innovate and meet the challenges of an increasingly complex and competitive world-  5)Hierarchy organization could produce so many levels that it becomes difficult to operate within-  6) Emphasis on a strict division of labor increases the chance that people will be bored with doing the same activities every day-  7) Full time employment ignore the cost advantages of part time or casual workers- Frederick W. Taylor and Scientific Management:  Frederick Winslow Taylor – mechanical engineer – began career working as a technician on the factory floor and was promoted to supervisory of advisory capacity dealing with problems of production management-  Major concern was proper management and arrangement of human and mechanical resources to minimize waste-  Experienced in factory the a great deal of slacking off or “soldering” was taking place- and developed two reasons for such activity-  1) Natural tendency of employees to do as little work as possible  2) Work was sometimes arranged in such an awkward manner that no reasonable human being could physically perform what was expected by superiors-  Soldiering = squandering of a resource- thus it management needed to end it-  Soldering might be eliminated if the employer used scientific principles rather than informal calculations to determines an employee’s appropriate workload-  Employees knew that in the short run they could earn more by working hard and producing above standard- but in the long run it was counterproductive, because employers simply raised the standard- Thus it was better to work at a steady pace and receive adequate pay than to be a “rate buster”  Problem was that employers had no idea what an employee could do in an average shift- thus most employers used unscientific rules to establish standards and so did not have the confidence of their employees-  Solution=establishing a scientific standard based on the proven physical capacities of workers and then refrain from adjusting them-  Taylors approach to establishing a scientific standard was to select an employee who performed a particular task exceptionally well-trained management would then scrutinize the actions of these employees-watching and timing their every movement- “time and motion” study- when the best set of physical motions was determined, it was the responsibility of managers to teach the technique to all employees-  Taylor believed that workers could be more productive if management took greater care in organizing work- believed it was important to have a clear division of duties between management and labor-  Job of the management to select employees for specific jobs in a scientific matter so that physical and mental characteristics fit the job-also to teach the laborers the optimum way to perform their duties- Laborers job to supply the strong backs-  Taylor- financial factors as a motivating force-singled out the best workers for the privilege of working in a higher paid group- able to determine in a scientific manner how much work should be accomplished-  Workers who had met the standard in their previous days work were given a white slip and the beginning of their next shift, while those who had not were given yellow slips- responsibility of management ro provide
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