Reponse to Papers
The systematic approach to making bureaucracy both more efficient and effective can be attributed to a German sociologist named Max Weber and an American mechanical engineer named Frederick Taylor in the late 19th, early 20th century. Weber’s approach was more abstract whereas Taylor’s theory specified guidelines that could be followed within the organization (Shafritz& Hyde, 2012, p.146)
Specifically, Weber categorized his theory of the bureaucratic model of government under five areas; the division of labor and functional specialization, hierarchy, formal framework of rules and procedures, maintenance of files and other records, and professionalism (Shafritz& Hyde, 2012, p.146). In reading about Weber’s it was obvious to me that he was theorizing based on extensive research he had done. The overall goal of Weber’s theory is efficiency. Having been in government for nearly 20 years I have seen how inefficient our government actually is in reality. I agree with the textbook authors in that part of the inefficiency is by design from the writers of our U.S. Constitution who wanted a government separated so that no one entity could gain all of the power and authority (Shafritz& Hyde, 2012, p.149)
Fredrick Taylor’s theory of scientific management was the start of a formal organizational management system to assist non-governmental managers adapt to the industrial needs of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Taylor’s theory started with “efficiency in production”, followed by “rationality in work procedures”, “productivity”, and finally “profit”. Profit being the ultimate goal in private industry (Shafritz& Hyde, 2012, p.149-150). In reading about Taylor’s theory it brought to mind an assembly line where employees can be plugged in and out with specified training applied to all workers. In production based industry this theory would work well, however as the textbook authors point out, Taylor may have been too obsessed with efficiency and did not pay enough attention to people’s behavior like family needs and their health (Shafritz& Hyde, 2012, p150).