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What are the pros and cons of bureaucracy?

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11/30/2008

Strengths 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.

Weaknesses of bureaucracy? 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.