Classical Theory Structure
By way of illustration, in this document we will describe and explain the
classical structural theory as presented by Max Weber. To highlight the
advantages and disadvantages of this classical structure as used in a realistic
modern organization we will apply this theroy as used today in our public police
Classical Structural Theory
In the classical structural theory a person is hired for their technical
expertise rather than on the recommendation of a connection from within the
company. Generally these people are more inclined to work in very well-defined
process oriented positions. Employees are given titles in which the authority
to perform specific duties are vested. Outside of the defined position the
employee has little or no authority.
Lines of authority and positions are clearly defined by formally
established rules and regulations that help to ensure uniformity of operations,
and provide for continuity of business as well as making responsibility easy to
place. In his 10 points Weber implied that procedures imposed on all who fall
within their reach are formal and impersonal (Pace & Faules, 1994, p. 30-31).
In addition to these procedures, It is suggested that an attitude of discipline
is an integral part of the organization that wants to promote efficiency (Pace &
Faules, 1994, chapter 3). They are intentionally designed without attention to
personal or emotional considerations to prevent distortion of employees'
rational judgment in carrying out their assigned duties. Employees working in
a classically structured organization are encouraged to maintain distinction
between their private and professional lives. The last tenet of Max Weber's
theory involves security and advancement. He held that security in a position
was gained by tenure. For motivated individuals who want to advance their
careers, hard work and achievement are viewed in this type of organization as
the best way to develop a good rapport with the supervisor. Because
responsibility is so easily laid on individuals, awarding recognition on an
individual basis is the rule.
In today's society, even as we progress from the so-called Industrial Age
to the Information Age, such organizations still exist. The police department
is a high visibility organization that continues to utilize the ideas founded in
classical theory. Potential officers are given a series of tests, both physical
and mental, which determine to a great extent their probability of being hired.
In line with Weber's work, each position in the department has a title which is
representative of their level in the hierarchy (Pace & Faules, 1994, p. 30-31).
Strict self discipline is praised and there are many policies...