n Journal of Public Administration - Max Weber's bureaucracy - a structure or obstacle to improved service delivery?

Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



With the focus of many discussions and debates centered on public sector service delivery this article examines Max Weber's bureaucracy in the 21st century. Many are of the opinion that Weber's bureaucracy depicts red tape, delays and rigidity. However, this author's intention is to demonstrate that the bureaucracy is indeed a rational organization that, if adapted to modern day political, social and economic conditions can contribute towards improved service delivery by the South African public sector. The article also makes reference to the complexities of the rational organization against the New Public Management theory. Here reference is made to public sector reforms which include, , the principles ofand Performance Management Systems. The initial discussion focuses on Max Weber's bureaucracy as advocated in the 18th century. The discussion progresses to highlight the demands improved service delivery places on the South African public service today. Finally, the author concludes with the assertion that the rational organization is in fact suited to realizing government's objective of improved service delivery in the 21st century.

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