Managing local practices in global contexts
Managing local practices in global contexts

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Managing local practices in global contexts

4.2 Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy as a concept has had an interesting career: it begins in France in the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, the German state constructed by its first Chancellor, Bismarck, was a model bureaucracy in both its armed forces and civil administration. Weber (1978) realised that the creation of the modern state of Germany had only been possible because of the development of a disciplined state bureaucracy and a bureaucratised standing army – innovations pioneered in Prussia – that became the envy of Europe. At the core of Weber's conception of organisation as bureaucracy was the notion that members of an organisation adhere to the rules of that organisation. He contrasted three types of authority, based upon the rule of charisma, the rule of tradition and the rule of rational, legal precepts.

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