Max Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, part III, chap. 6,pp. 650-78.
MODERN officialdom functions in the following specific manner:
I. There is the principle of fixed and official jurisdictionalareas, which are generally ordered by rules, that is, by laws oradministrative regulations.
1. The regular activities required for the purposes of thebureaucratically governed structure are distributed in a fixed way asofficial duties.
2. The authority to give the commands required for the dischargeof these duties is distributed in a stable way and is strictlydelimited by rules concerning the coercive means, physical,sacerdotal, or otherwise, which may be placed at the disposal ofofficials.
3. Methodical provision is made for the regular and continuousfulfilment of these duties and for the execution of the correspondingrights; only persons who have the generally regulated qualificationsto serve are employed.
In public and lawful government these three elements constitute'bureaucratic authority.' In private economic domination, theyconstitute bureaucratic 'management.' Bureaucracy, thus understood,is fully developed in political and ecclesiastical communities onlyin the modern state, and, in the private economy, only in the mostadvanced institutions of capitalism. Permanent and public officeauthority, with fixed jurisdiction, is not the historical rule butrather the exception. This is so even in large political structuressuch as those of the ancient Orient, the Germanic and Mongolianempires of conquest, or of many feudal structures of state. In allthese cases, the ruler executes the most important measures throughpersonal trustees, table-companions, or court-servants. Theircommissions and authority are not precisely delimited and aretemporarily called into being for each case.
II. The principles of office hierarchy and of levels of gradedauthority mean a firmly ordered system of super- and subordination inwhich there is a supervision of the lower offices by the higher ones.Such a system offers the governed the possibility of appealing thedecision of a lower office to its higher authority, in a definitelyregulated manner. With the full development of the bureaucratic type,the office hierarchy is monocratically organized. The principle ofhierarchical office authority is found in all bureaucraticstructures: in state and ecclesiastical structures as well as inlarge party organizations and private enterprises. It does not matterfor the character of bureaucracy whether its authority is called'private' or 'public.'
When the principle of jurisdictional 'competency' is fully carriedthrough, hierarchical subordination--at least in public office--doesnot mean that the 'higher' authority is simply authorized to takeover the business of the 'lower.' Indeed, the opposite is the rule.Once established and having fulfilled its task, an office tends tocontinue in existence and be held by another incumbent.
III. The management of the modern office is based upon writtendocuments ('the files'), which are preserved in their original ordraught form. There is, therefore, a staff of subaltern officials andscribes of all sorts. The body of officials actively engaged in a'public' office, along with the respective apparatus of materialimplements and the files, make up a 'bureau.' In private enterprise,'the bureau' is often called 'the office.'
In principle, the modern organization of the civil serviceseparates the bureau from the private domicile of the official, and,in general, bureaucracy segregates official activity as somethingdistinct from the sphere of private life. Public monies and equipmentare divorced from the private property of the official. Thiscondition is everywhere the product of a long development. Nowadays,it is found in public as well as in private enterprises; in thelatter, the principle extends even to the leading entrepreneur. Inprinciple, the executive office is separated from the household,business from private correspondence, and business assets fromprivate fortunes. The more consistently the modern type of businessmanagement has been carried through the more are these separationsthe case. The beginnings of this process are to be found as early asthe Middle Ages.
It is the peculiarity of the modern entrepreneur that he conductshimself as the 'first official' of his enterprise, in the very sameway in which the ruler of a specifically modern bureaucratic statespoke of himself as 'the first servant' of the state. The idea thatthe bureau activities of the state are intrinsically different incharacter from the management of private economic offices is acontinental European notion and, by way of contrast, is totallyforeign to the American way.
IV. Office management, at least all specialized officemanagement-- and such management is distinctly modern--usuallypresupposes thorough and expert training. This increasingly holds forthe modern executive and employee of private enterprises, in the samemanner as it holds for the state official.
V. When the office is fully developed, official activity demandsthe full working capacity of the official, irrespective of the factthat his obligatory time in the bureau may be firmly delimited. Inthe normal case, this is only the product of a long development, inthe public as well as in the private office. Formerly, in all cases,the normal state of affairs was reversed: official business wasdischarged as a secondary activity.
VI. The management of the office follows general rules, which aremore or less stable, more or less exhaustive, and which can belearned. Knowledge of these rules represents a special technicallearning which the officials possess. It involves jurisprudence, oradministrative or business management.
The reduction of modern office management to rules is deeplyembedded in its very nature. The theory of modern publicadministration, for instance, assumes that the authority to ordercertain matters by decree--which has been legally granted to publicauthorities--does not entitle the bureau to regulate the matter bycommands given for each case, but only to regulate the matterabstractly. This stands in extreme contrast to the regulation of allrelationships through individual privileges and bestowals of favor,which is absolutely dominant in patrimonialism, at least in so far assuch relationships are not fixed by sacred tradition.
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