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Bureaucratic Management Theory
Max Weber


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Bureaucratic Management Theory
Presentation Title


Max Weber – Bureaucratic Management Theory
Birth & Life
Weber was born in 1864 in Prussia, Germany
His father was a lawyer, mother led an ascetic lifestyle
Weber went to university after high school to study law, history, philosophy and economics
He became a professor
He suffered mental breakdown in 1897 and did not work for five years
Presentation Title
Max Weber contracted the Spanish flu and died in Munich, Germany in 1920


Max Weber – Bureaucratic Management Theory
Weber wrote three books on religion in sociological context : The Religion of China (1916); the Religion of India (1916); and Ancient Judaism(1917-1918)
His last work on Economy and Society was published by his wife after his death 1922
Also published after his death was the series of volumes of collected essays on religion, methodology, and economic history (Mulder, 2017)
Presentation Title
Spender (2013) described Weber as a politically active historian, economist and sociologist
Weber summarized that bureaucracy administers public or private policies based on knowledge and characterized by six principles
Bureaucratic Management Theory


Max Weber – Bureaucratic Management Theory
Six principles delineated by Weber:
Policies shall be executed by technically qualified personnel
Occupying offices that shall be defined by (a) learnable rules that give officials specified powers of decision, command, and control and (b) productive and administrative resources that remain the property and purview of the office.
Which offices shall be related in a hierarchy of authority and reciprocal communication.
Presentation Title
The official’s decision making shall be rational, impersonal, and based on records and systematically gathered data (statistics).
The official’s compensation shall be by regular salary and career-determined benefits in the expectation his or her work comprises a fully occupying long-term career.
A reciprocal expectation that the official is bound to a “faithful and impartial” execution of his or her organizational-defined duties.
Bureaucratic Management Theory Cont:
Bureaucratic Management Theory Cont:


Max Weber – Bureaucratic Management Theory
Weber described leadership as a process involving a bit of magic that defies the social realities, tradition and bureaucracy surrounding its appearance (
Although Weber’s ideal typical model of bureaucracy was developed primarily in relation to the state, studies of private sector organizations typically adhere to its formal-rational conceptions with little adjustment (Hodson, Roscigno, Martin, & Lopez, 2013).
Presentation Title
Bureaucracy is a portmanteau word combining the French term for desk or office (“bureau”) with the ancient Greek word for government or rule (“kratos”). Thus, bureaucracy is “government from the desk,” or “rule by office (Bauman, 2013).
Bureaucracy is mechanical and does not line up with the humanity side of caring and loving others
Bureaucratic Management Theory
Biblical Theology and Evaluation


Max Weber – Bureaucratic Management Theory
Religion in general is bureaucratic because of hierarchy of governance and rules and regulations that are followed
In Christianity God is at the top of the hierarchy and governance moves down through the ranks from Jesus, down to Christian leaders, lay leaders, group leaders and to the youngest person in the church
Humanity has been put in charge on earth by God
Throughout the Bible there are examples of hierarchy of governance that leads to order
Presentation Title
Exodus 18:13-18 Jethro tells Moses not to do all the work by himself, but to set teams of one thousand; one hundred, fifty, ten (Exodus 18:25)
Just like Weber’s theory the teams were organized in hierarchy of governance
In New Testament, this hierarchy of governance seen in the synagogue is despised by Jesus
The bureaucratic manner practiced the Pharisees is religious of dos and don’ts that leaves God out of the equation
Biblical and Theological Evaluation
Biblical and Theological Evaluation


Max Weber – Bureaucratic Management Theory
Weber’s theory is still being used in many organizations today
Hierarchy of leadership is essential in organizations and churches – It must be flat to be effective
Its vital that Ministry Leaders must not let their ministries be purely bureaucratic
Rules and regulations must be consistent with the bible
Hierarchy governance should not be for selfish gains
Presentation Title
Bauman (2017) says that bureaucracy removes the humanity out of the governing bodies
Conscience, discernment, community and compassion are gone
Makes ministry leaders cold when the ministry its purely bureaucratic
Followers are unheard and overlooked
May have some ministry leaders act like demigods
Potential Integration, Application or Implication for Ministry Leadership
Potential Integration, Application, or Implication for Ministry Leaderhip


Miriam Midzi

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