COM 320 Chapter 2 — Week 3

This week in COM 320 we learned about classical approaches to management. When most people think about the word classical they associate it to another time, maybe even outdated. Some of the topics I found most interesting were machine metaphors and Weber’s theory of bureaucracy.

One of the key topics we learned about is machine metaphors. Machine metaphors comes from the industrial era that looked at things through a mechanical perspective. The three aspects of machine metaphor are specialization, standardization, and predictability. Specialization as referred to as division of labor has to do with every part has a specific function. Standardization focuses on how employees are like cogs in a machine and are replaceable. Predictability is important because it sets a specific standards and rules. The great benefit of predictability is if something goes wrong its easier to find out whats wrong with it. The reason I found machine metaphors so interesting was because it gave a perspective of how workers were viewed. I understand the methods and reasoning for these metaphors.

Another interesting topic we went over was Weber’s theory of bureaucracy. Weber’s theory is all about how a bureaucracy should be operated through a clearly defined hierarchy. There is traditional authority, charismatic authority, and rational-legal authority. Traditional authority has to do with power is vested in people because of long-standing beliefs such as the Hawaiian monarchy. Charismatic authority deals with power is based on an individual’s personality and ability to attract followers. An example of charismatic authority would be Martin Luther King Jr. Rational-legal authority has to do with obedience is given to that position a person holds rather than the person itself. An example of rational-legal authority would be a police officer. The reason why I found Weber’s theory of bureaucracy so interesting was because of the examples we went over in class, I could picture each one and it made perfect sense.