chapter  II
17 Pages


Weber's ideal type of bureaucracy has been, especially since the war, the starting point and the main source of inspiration for many students of organisation. At the same time it has been the object of criticism and long controversies. As such, it is important to analyse and criticise it in some detail and to pay particular attention to the way in which it has been used by modern students of bureaucracy. The first section of this chapter comments on the Weberian characteristics of bureaucracy, especially on the way in which they were used in recent organisation literature. The second section is mainly an assessment of the logical status and the methodological functions of the ideal type. In the third section, different modern uses of the term bureaucracy and their links to the ideal type are briefly discussed.