Essays On Power And Authority

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People obey orders rationally because they believe that the person giving the order is acting in accordance with a code of legal rules and regulations.

For Weber, the modern organization differed from other forms of organization because of its rationalization of authority and legality; The rational-legal bureaucrat was similarly characterized by technical and professional expertise (Casey,2004 p.65).

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46-48): Charismatic authority: when respect and obedience will be given because of the extraordinary attractiveness, popularity and power of a person.

The person is owed homage because of his or her capacity to project personal qualities; people follow them because of what they believe to be the special nature of their personalities and the success they have achieved. Princess Diana, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela Traditional authority: occurs where respect and obedience are owed because the person who holds it by birthright.Rules, documents and filing is the order of the day as they govern official decision making and action.When we think of bureaucracy, we often think of ‘red tape’ the strict adherence to formalities (Hatch, 2006, p. Therefore bureaucracy is characterized by high formalization Weber sees the rule of man over man in the society as an inevitable historical phenomenon; he distinguished between power and rule stating that the former hinges on having ones way in a social relationship and the latter as getting things done through specific channels persons (Warner, 2007, p. Authority is a source of power; other sources of power include personal character, expertise, coercion, control; one main difference between authority and other sources of power is that the exercise of authority is directed downward in organizations while the exercise of other forms of power may work in all directions (Hatch, 2006, p. Authority particularly stands out because it is associated with hierarchy, part of the social structure of organizations (Hatch, 2006, p. Weber believed that in a bureaucratic organization members adhere to the rules of that organization, he contrasted three types of authority namely (Clegg, Kornberger, & Tyrone, 2008, pp.It is the office respected and not the officer because it is a part of a rational and recognized disposition of relationships in a structure of offices.For instance, a police officer is respected because of the office he represents and individuals would act rationally by obeying the rules of this office because of the consequences of not obeying .Prince Charles, for instance is not so much an authority because of his charisma, but because of tradition.Rational-legal authority signifies that respect and obedience are owed not to the person or the title they hold but to the role they fill.Bureaucracy has to a large extent contributed immensely to the growth of modern organization and in its contributions lays some weaknesses that result from the application of its features in the following paragraphs.Bureaucracy is characterized by high formalization which is defined as the degree to which rules procedures, regulations and communications are written and filed (Walton, 2005, p. Everything should be done by the book and this leads to the feeling of impersonality often associated with bureaucratic organizations that does not allow employees to be committed emotionally to the pursuit of economic efficiency, which is the overall goal of the organization; it restricts them because of culture of impersonality and detachment (Stokes & Clegg, 2002, p. Employees must share a managerial vision of their organization’s culture and be prepared to go an extra mile to achieve it, not just to following rules, rules should be bent sometimes to ensure that a desired outcome is achieved, there is a limit to how much of your work you can rely on policy and guideline (Clegg, Kornberger, & Tyrone, 2008, p. Therefore, Bureaucracy strangles individualism because everything has to be done in a machine-like manner.Firstly we would look at various definitions of bureaucracy drawn from other writers. Bureaucracy as a concept has come a long way, beginning from France in the eighteenth century.Bureaucracy in its ideal form is a “rationalized moral alternative to the common practices of nepotism and other abuses of power that were rampant in the feudal preindustrial world from which the modern industrial organization emerged” (Hatch, 2006, p. Bureaucracies rely on combination of rules, procedures, documentation and behavioral monitoring to achieve control and seek to place a standard on behavior and the reward for compliance with established rules and regulation (Hatch, 2006, p. Bureaucracy can be seen as a primary drive through which rationality is used as an instrument within the modern society so as to exclude alternative criteria for action. It originates from the French word for an office “bureau” rule of the bureau.


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