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"Bureaucracy" and "Rationality" in Weber's Organization Theory: An Empirical Study

Stanley H. Udy, Jr.
American Sociological Review
Vol. 24, No. 6 (Dec., 1959), pp. 791-795
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2088566
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

Seven of Max Weber's ideal-typical specifications for "rational bureaucracy" are reformulated as a system of three "bureaucratic" and four "rational" variables. It is proposed that (a) bureaucratic variables are positively associated; (b) rational variables are positively associated; but that (c) rational variables are negatively associated with bureaucratic variables. This hypothesis is supported by a comparative analysis of 150 formal organizations in 150 nonindustrial societies, using data largely from the Human Relations Area Files. Implications of the findings are explored for, first, the use of the concept "informal organization;" and, second, the development of a general organizational model. Such a model is proposed in outline and illustrated from the descriptive industrial sociological literature.

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