Classical Organization Theory

Classical Organization Theory
BUREACRACY -- Max Weber (1916)
To Weber, this represented an ideal or
completely rational form of organization
Used to describe a structure based on the
sociological concept of rationalization of
collective activities
Had NONE of the negative connotations
the terms has today (“red tape,” etc.)
Key Features of Bureaucracy
Clear division of labor: each task
performed by employees is formally created
and recognized as an official duty (yours and
no one else’s). Specialization.
Hierarchical arrangement of positions:
each lower position controlled and supervised
by a higher one. Chain of Command
Key Features of Bureaucracy
Formal rules and regulations: uniformly
guide employee behavior. Provide continuity
and stability to work environment. Reduce
uncertainty about task performance.
Impersonal relationships: managers
don’t get involved in employees’ personalities
and personal preferences. No emotional
attachments. Provides for fairness.
Key Features of Bureaucracy
Employment based entirely on
technical competence: get job
because you can do the job, not
because of who you know. Rigid
selection criteria. No arbitrary dismissal
or promotion.
Fayol’s Fourteen Principles
Fayol: French industrialist and general
administration theorist
Worked at same time as Weber
Identified a set of “principles” of
And the principles are……….
Division of Labor: Specialization
increases output by making employees
more efficient
Authority: Managers must be able to
give orders. Authority and
responsibility go together
Discipline: Employees must obey and
respect the rules of the organization.
And the principles are……….
Unity of Command: every employee
should receive orders from only ONE
Unity of Direction: Each group of
organizational activities that has the
same objective should be directed by
one manager using one plan.
And the principles are……….
Subordination of Individual Interests to
the General Interests: the greater good.
The organization’s interests come first.
Remuneration: workers must be paid a fair
wage for their services.
Centralization: degree to which
subordinates are involved in decision making.
What works best for the organization?
Centralized: management-driven.
Decentralized: subordinate-driven
And the principles are……….
Scalar chain: line of authority from
top management to the lowest ranks.
Communications should follow this
chain whenever possible.
Order: People and materials should
be in the right place at the right time.
Equity: Managers should be kind and
fair to their subordinates
And the principles are……….
Stability of Tenure of Personnel:
High employee turnover is inefficient.
Initiative: Employees who are
allowed to originate and carry out plans
will exert high levels of effort.
Esprit de Corps: Promoting team
spirit will build harmony and unity
within the organization.