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Characteristics of Bureaucracy

Characteristics of Bureaucracy

Author: Sadie Pendaz

This lesson will define bureaucracy and how it contributes to the rationality of society; list Max Weber's characteristics of bureaucracy.

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Terms to Know

A model for organization that is designed to accomplish tasks with the maximum efficiency possible.


Calculated, practical, cost-benefit reasoning designed to accomplish tasks efficiently.

Rationalization of Society (Process of, Max Weber)

The movement from traditional ways of thinking, behaving, and feeling, to modern, rational ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.


Beliefs, values, practices, and customs that are handed down from generation to generation in society.

Weber's Six Characteristics of Bureaucracy

Max Weber argued that the bureaucratic organizational form is characterized by six features: 1) Specialization and Division of Labor; 2) Hierarchical Authority Structures; 3) Rules and Regulations; 4) Technical Competence Guidelines; 5) Impersonality and Personal Indifference; 6) A Standard of Formal, Written Communications.