Bureaucratic Storytelling Organization                  

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What is Bureaucracy? by Kun Wang 

Bureaucracy is supposed to be about scientific (operational and administrative) management. It is far from the aesthetics and poetics of quest and postmodern organization. Here are some summary points:

Strengths of bureaucracy as seen by Max Weber? Weaknesses of bureaucracy?

1. A division of labor into spheres of influence

2. A definite hierarchy of official offices

3. Clear norms and rules

4. Selection to office is  by technical qualification.

5. Promotion by seniority.

6. Disciplinary control over the incumbent of each office.

7. Better than feudal/traditional forms where people got appointed by favoritism or bribes.


1. Becomes an Iron Cage of Control (as Weber saw it)


2. Red Tape from all the rules and sign offs

3. Hard to change this form

4. Divisions of labor compartmentalize attention and response.

5. Hierarchy can mean silos (e.g. must go up and down chains of command to get things done).

6. Certain irrationalities result.


Max Weber defines bureaucracy as both positive and negative. On the plus side, bureaucracy was an improvement over the feudal system. On the negative bureaucracy can become an "iron cage". 

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