Classical Theory Structure Essay Research Paper Classical

Classical Theory Structure Essay, Research Paper

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 in place to ensure

that rational judgment is maintained. The most common way to advance in the

police department is through time on the job. Seniority, especially when

combined with competency, is given a great deal of weight. Maintaining the

premise that authority is vested not in a person but in the position, when an

officer leaves the force he or she looses the power to chase criminals through

red lights, arrest drug lords, and perform other duties for which the authority

rises out of the position once held.

Advantages of Classical Structural Theory

The opinion that easily identifiable structure and tightly managed rules

and regulations are advantageous in public organizations is widely held.

Structure and policy are of tremendous interest to all those interested in the

uniformity and continuity of public safety.

The advantages of the classical structure within our example have multiple

impacts on how the organization operates. As affirmed by Frederick Taylor, with

a clear and concise reporting path we can visualize how the police department

utilizes this in their daily operations (Pace & Faules, 1994, p. 32-33). In a

crisis situation it is imperative that the police department work in a unison

direction with as little verbal interaction as possible. This allows partners

to communicate with a structural nonverbal direction. Strict rules guiding the

behavior of officers on duty help to protect the public from officers acting out

domestic aggressions at work. In this way, the separation of private and

professional lives is a distinct advantage.

Disadvantages of Classical Structural Theory

Despite the many advantages associated with this type of arrangement within

the police department, a number of disadvantages also exist. For employees,

goals of advancement maybe slow to realize due to the tenure required to obtain

various levels in the hierarchy. In addition to tenure, employees of the police

department are also limited by budget restraints and number of employees needed

to provide an acceptable level of service. For the public, the rules and

regulations followed by officers leave little room for consideration of

individual circumstances.


As a result of several years of this type of structure, and the culmination

of several high tech jobs in the market place, many companies are beginning to

move away from this type of organization. Companies have come to realize that

employees’ personal goals and environment are critical to their work

performance, which classical structure tends to stagnate. Thus, it is the

consensus of the group that classically structured organizations should start to

examine the impacts that a more subjective approach to organizing may have on

their specific organizations.


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