As identified by the sociologist Max Weber, a bureaucracy is a type of formal organization in which a rational approach is used to handle large tasks. Weber believed that as societies modernize, they become more rational, resulting in the creation of bureaucracies. As they industrialize, they grow larger, which means that the tasks to be accomplished become more numerous and complex (CliffNotes).
According to Weber, a bureaucracy has several characteristics that distinguish it from other formal organizations.
• A bureaucracy is characterized by a division of labor. In a bureaucracy, people specialize in the performance of one type of work. Using the fast food restaurant as an example, there are people who take and place the orders; there is the cook who prepares said order; there is the person who cleans the facility and there is a manager who oversees the flow of work.
• In a bureaucracy, there are written rules for how jobs are to be performed. Each job is categorized and must be performed exactly the same way, regardless of who is doing the work. Each person who performs a specific job receives similar training, and the same standards for job performance are applied equally to everyone. The generality of the rules require that job functions are categorized (Shafritz, Ott and Suk).
• Jobs are arranged in a hierarchy. In a workplace hierarchy the power flows down as in the form of a pyramid. In this format he top levels would represent upper management and the bottom levels would represent the rank-and-file workers. The top spot is usually occupied by a single person, while the bottom levels are occupied by an increasing number of jobs. Each level assigns tasks to the level below it, and each level reports to the level above it. Most bureaucratic offices have the expectation of life-long services or tenure no matter what direction the company might be heading (Shafritz, Ott and Suk).
• Official communication is written down to minimize confusion and to...