Bureaucracy “iron cage”

According to sociologist Weber, bureaucracy is one of the best administrative structures for fulfilling an organization's objectives. He continues by explaining how bureaucracy organizes several people to pursue administrative tasks.
The significance of the term in the sociological sphere was determined by Weber's sociological analysis of the phrase. According to Weber, among other features of bureaucracy include hierarchy in the administrative sector, set salaries and allowances, office and file maintenance, and distinctions between work-related and personal affairs.
According to Weber, bureaucracy has both positive and negative traits. Some of the positive attributes include provision of an opportunity for division of labor and enabling people in an organization to perform complicated tasks .bureaucracy enhances maintenance of order in an organization and the performance of repetitive tasks. Bureaucracy allows the head of an institution to mobilize and centralize resources so that to increase the efficient and rightful usage (De Balzac, 2014).

Some of the negative attributes of bureaucracy are the static rules controlling dynamic situations. These static rules may fail to provide the services for the human need because the human conditions are always changing. Bureaucracy also wastes time in an organization due to the hierarchy in the organization .that is, files has to be passed from the high office to the lowest to give a message which indeed is a waste of time. Officials of the bureaucracy follow the written rules blindly and stick to them without even reason with the matter at hand. Conflicts among the officials and constantly expanding then employees are some of the dysfunctional aspects of bureaucracy.

Weber explains the term “iron cage” sociologically as the rationalization social life. The "iron cage "has the very important role that traps individuals in an organization to do their work according to the rules to achieve efficient work was done (Fulcher, & Scott, 2011).


Weber as a sociological person who came up with this type of an administration will always be remembered because the rules will never be forgotten or they can never be avoided in social life for example, if you live in a society with division of labor, there is nothing you can do but live by the rules.


De Balzac, H. (2014). Bureaucracy (1st ed.). New York: Sheba Blake Publishing.

Fulcher, J., & Scott, J. (2011). Sociology (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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