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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Discuss the theory of “Authority” and its various types given by Max Weber



Theory of Authority :

Max Weber presented this theory partially due to sociology and generally as a political interest. He defines authority‘br domination in these words:
“Authority - probability that certain specific commands (or all commands) will be obeyed by a given group of persons.”

Authority can have many bases-legitimate or illegitimate. He was more interested in legitimate authority and he has explained the base that plays an important role in making authority legitimate and acceptable to followers. These bases are rational, traditional and charismatic explained on the individual action based but rapidly he turns towards vast structure of authority and explains thus as below :

i. Legal or Rational authority :
Max Weber says that authority becomes legitimate on the base of rationality. The belief that principles and rights have legal position and orders can be issued according to those is called a legal authority.
in the words of Max Weber,
“On a belief in the legality of exacted rules and rights of those elevated to authority under such rules to issue commands.”
A legal authority may be of many structural forms but out of this bureaucracy was of most interest for Max Weber which he calls purest form of legal authority. In this type of authority power is made legal through rules. An individual or an institution gets authority through rules and regulation and issues commands on others who know the limits of the command and their relation with rule- instead of with a personality and their action upon is not the obedience of the commands of a person. This is implementation of the fixed rules and regulations.

ii. Traditional authority : 
Max Weber says that traditional authority is that in which power is gained on the basis of ancient traditions. He defines it like this:
“This is a strong belief of ancient sacred tradition that the exercise of power is its legal right holders.”
Traditional authority is based upon the belief and claim of the leader that his followers will keep the authority of his power. In this system, leader is not a high personality but is a personal master and individuals are followers of his personality and obey him because of their tradition.

Max Weber has given the following characteristics of this system:
i. There is no order in the arrangement of inferior or superior in traditional authority.
ii. There is a clear defect of arrangement of the authority.
iii. There is no system of promotion and appointment.
iv. There is no need of training for getting a post or status.
v. No payment is made to holders of traditional authority. He has described four kinds of traditional authority.
a. Gerontocracy - authority of elders.
b. Primary Patriarchalism -“ authority of hereditary elders
c. Patrismonialism- authority gained on the strength of army or administration.
d. Feudalism - authority gained on the basis of land or an economic source that forces the individual to obey the feudal.

iii. Charismatic authority :
Max Weber says, that “To devote the obedience of the command by the followers because of emotional sacredness, exemplary character or specific powers of a hero are charismatic authority.” According to Max Weber charismatic authority plays an important part but this is different from the concept being used in common communication.

According to Max Weber, that person holds a charismatic authority to whom his followers give this status whether he has or not an authority characteristic. According to Max Weber, a charisma is a revolutionary form which is the most important of all social revolutionary forces. The appearance of charismatic leader is a great threat to a present system and for a legal authority and brings about a dramatic change. It brings about a change in the minds of people, changes their mental thinking, attitude and the social way of getting solution of problems.

This force is attached with the leader and not with his manners and ways because with the death of the leader, charismatic authority ends but if he changes his charismatic authority into a legal authority then it remains after his death for some period. When people become tired of legal or traditional authority, they look
forward to a charismatic personality who relieves them from iron cage because of this fact,'legal and traditional authority should be aware of this situation.

3. Bureaucracy :
Max Weber has used .a term ideal-typical bureaucracy in a high position way. in the words of Max Weber :
“From technical point of view, bureaucracy is the best way to attain high ability efficiency and an effective way of getting authority on human beings. This is the best in confidence, control, stability and comprehension as compared to any other form of authority. It is example-less with reference to results. This is a best way of action in scope and ability usage.”
Max Weber also described his reservation about bureaucracy. He knew about red- tapism process of delay and was afraid of its dangers to the freedom of individuals. Ideal political bureaucracy is an organization and its basic units are a source of completion of formulated offices, functions and written manuscripts according to law by regarding roles.
According to Max Weber, this system has the following characteristics:
1. This is a permanent organization to do office work, bounded by rules and regulations.

2. Every office has a capability within its specific sphere of working and has the authority to do specific duties. It has power to discharge its duties and functions.

3. Offices are arranged according to status.

4. Officers have technical qualifications so that the participating people may get suitable training.

5. Office staff is not share-holder in production. Staff can use things which are necessary for doing jobs.

6. On the basis of compulsory duties, one cannot make his status or position better.

7. Rules are made and decisions are taken through action system and a written record is kept.

Bureaucracy is a rational structure which is playing its role in the modern society without any alternative and vast administrative need has made it necessary.

Max Weber presented a model of ideal typical bureaucracy. Such bureaucracy cannot be established in the world. However a guidance can be had from it but there are some organizations that dis-function. Any person out of it can control it as the president of the country operates the whole country bureaucracy
or a businessman can run a big organization easily and can control its domination.

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