- Discover essay samples

Weber and rationalisation

4.9 of 5.0 (110 reviews)

685 words

Weber and rationalisation Page 1
Weber and rationalisation Page 2
Weber and rationalisation Page 3
Weber and rationalisation Page 4
The above thumbnails are of reduced quality. To view the work in full quality, click download.

Weber and rationalisation

The rationalisation process is the practical application of knowledge to achieve a desired end. It leads to efficiency, coordination, and control over both the physical and the social environment. It is the guiding principle behind bureaucracy and the increasing division of labour. It has led to the unprecedented increase in both the production and distribution of goods and services. It is also associated with secularisation, depersonalisation, and oppressive routine. Increasingly, human behaviour is guided by observation, experiment and reason to master the natural and social environment to achieve a desired end.

Weber's general theory of rationalisation (of which bureaucratic evolution is but a particular case) refers to increasing human mastery over the natural and social environment. In turn, these changes in social structure have changed human character through changing values, philosophies, and beliefs. Such superstructural norms and values as individualism, efficiency, self-discipline, materialism, and calculability have been encouraged by the bureaucratic process. Bureaucracy and rationalisation were rapidly replacing all other forms of organisation and thought. Beginning to form a stranglehold on all sectors of Western society.

Denying the possibility of developmental laws in sociology, Weber essentially presented rationalisation as the master trend of Western capitalist society. Rationalisation is the process whereby every area of human relationships is subject to calculation and administration. While Marxists have noted the prominence of rational calculation in factory discipline and the labour process, Weber detected rationalisation in all social spheres - politics, religion, economic organisation, university administration, the laboratory and even musical notation. Weber's sociology as a whole is characterised by a metaphysical pathos whereby the process of rationalisation eventually converted capitalist society into a meaningless 'iron cage'.

For Weber, rationalisation involved: in economic organisation, the organisation of the factory by the bureaucratic means and the calculation of profit by systematic accounting procedures; in moral behaviour, a greater emphasis on discipline and training; in society as a whole, the spread of bureaucracy, state control and administration.

Weber defines bureaucracy as "a hierarchal organisation designed rationally to coordinate the work of many individuals in the pursuit of large scale administrative goals" [Haralambous, 1985].

Weber saw a hierarchal structure based on commonality of purpose, specialisation, or the division of labour held together by 'rational - legal authority'. That is each strata expects the authority of higher strata and exercises vested authorities over lower strata in pursuit of the common purpose. Individuals gain position by ability and competence. The 'consistent system of abstract rules' and norms are adhered to and administered in a spirit of 'moralistic impersonality'.

The ideal bureaucracy has an almost a machine like character - each parts fits perfectly, activates at the right time and in the right manner, known as "mechanistic" variety. Weber argued that "the monocratic variety of bureaucracy - is, from a technical point of view, capable of attaining the highest degree of efficiency", [Weber, 1964]. He saw disadvantages and dangers in it, but argued it "makes possible, a high degree of calculability of results".

To Weber, the paradigm case of the rationalisation process was bureaucracy. In the modern world, while bureaucracies continue to exist and to be of great importance, George Ritzer believes that the fast-food chains have become the model of rationality. The process in which the principals of the fast food-restaurant become dominating in relation to more and more sectors in American society as well as the rest of the world. The principals Ritzer is referring to is: efficiency, predicability, calculability, and control. He states that "the foundations of McDonaldisation" entry in society creates a society in which creativity, intelligent insight, transparency, and real human contact is more or less absent.

McDonald's and McDonaldisation, then, do not represent something new, but rather the culmination of a series of rationalisation processes that had been occurring throughout the twentieth century [Ritzer, 1992].

An example of the extent to which McDonaldisation replicates the theory of rationalisation, is the ...

You are currently seeing 50% of this paper.

You're seeing 685 words of 1370.

Keywords: weber rationalisation theory, weber rationalization examples, what is rationalization according to weber

Similar essays

Human Life And Fire

The world is full of powerful forces. There are forces that effect the entire society and there are forces that only effect a select part of it. One of the most powerful forces of nature is fire. Fire is constantly present in today's society. Whether it be by staying warm or the destruction of private memories and property, fire is an ongoing...

77 reviews
Mrp ii

MRP II While MRP I primarily address the inbound flow of inventory (materials management), MRP II adds other interfaces such as finance, marketing, and integrated logistics. Like MRP I, MRP II is a push inventory model which pushes product through manufacturing and distribution processes in order to meet forecast demand. However, it adds fur...

61 reviews
Building a Help Desk

The first thing I want to talk about is managing a help desk, I think that managing a help desk can be like running an emergency medical center, in a rough neighborhood, with no supplies, during an epidemic. I believe for some time now, help desk workers and their bosses have been surviving under these conditions, performing triage for some in...

196 reviews
Teenage sex

Teenagers in the United States are experimenting with sexual activities more and more today than ever before. According to Charles Krauthammer, "Sex oozes from every pore of the culture and there's not a kid in the world who can avoid it." (Meier, 1994, p. 7). Teenagers are surrounded by some sort of sexual connotations all the time. Whether...

48 reviews
A Simple Proposal

A SIMPLE PROPOSAL Major League Baseball has probably some of the most exciting players in sports today. Players such as Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter make watching baseball fun. But there are some people in Major League Baseball that I have forgotten who display probably more talent than those 3 combined. The people that...

138 reviews
Making a Web Page

For my science project I chose to create a web (internet) page, dealing with science. This project consists of using a computer and a html editor to create a page that can be found on the internet. The next paragraph will explain how to make an internet page. The steps to making a web page to post on the internet, is very easy. Mo...

4 reviews
College Stress

STRESS IN COLLEGE Everybody experiences stress in their lives. There are many stressors in college that start with college work. College is a big source of stress for a variety of reasons, and poor planning often leads to crisis situations. The stress of every day life in college shows itself in different ways: the expectations of making an...

70 reviews
Fuel Wars

A response to the increasing gas prices Over the past two years, it has been said that gas prices would begin to rise in 1999. Immediately, this news grasped the attention of the business sector and public. Both spent their time devising a plan, on how to keep the prices low, but the time has come for these plans to begin working. The fuel prices...

178 reviews
Friend 2

A dog is man's best friend. That common saying may contain some truth, but dogs are not the only animal friend whose companionship people enjoy. For some people, a Ferret is their best friend. Despite what dog lovers may believe, Ferrets make excellent housepets. In the first place, people enjoy the companionship of Ferrets. Many Ferrets are...

21 reviews
What is a monopoly

? When one hears the word monopoly, most think of it as the board game or as the controlling of a market. Although the game Monopoly is more of an example of what a monopoly is, it is a great example in explaining the definition. The second way people think of a monopoly is its dictionary definition as the exclusive control of a given c...

91 reviews
Credit Cards

are quickly becoming a major problem for the American people. It is so easy to get into debt with a credit card, and anyone with a mailbox and a pulse can get one. Many Americans can't get out of debt and they run into credit problems; some even file for bankruptcy. The reason it is so easy to use a credit card is that when you use plastic instead...

197 reviews
What makes a good doctor

What defines a good doctor? On the basis of sources such as the British Medical Council and interviews with patients it is possible to divide the qualities needed to be a good doctor in to two categories. The first of these categories involves qualities associated with creating a good doctor-patient relationship. The attributes requir...

89 reviews

A great deal of variation? The main cause of terrorism is reform, weather it be political, governmental, or religious. The most common cause of terrorism is religious reform because it usually last much longer than the other two types. The fighting in Ireland and Middle East has been going on for a very long time and they have many people...

131 reviews
Bartleby And Civil Disobedienc

The extremely simplified definition of civil disobedience given by Webster's Dictionary is 'nonviolent opposition to a law through refusal to comply with it, on grounds of conscience.' Thoreau in 'Civil Disobedience' and Martin Luther King in 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' both argue that laws thought of as unjust in one's mind should not be adher...

175 reviews
Atsisiųsti šį darbą