Although the term bureaucracy was used before Max Weber's elaboration of the notion and his well-known analysis of the phenomenon, his work and theories framed all subsequent approaches to the subject. From this perspective, the bureaucratic organization is a professional corps of officials organized in a pyramidal hierarchy characterized by a rational, uniform, and impersonal regulation of inferior-superior relationships. That hierarchy is based on the specialization of tasks and division of labor, with clear and specific supervision and appeal systems. The officials are not elected, and they cannot appropriate their offices. A derivative, popular usage of the term has the pejorative meaning of organizational pathology, functional rigidity, excessive formalism, abuse of official influence, and even corruption.

The libertarian perspective focuses mainly on political bureaucracy. It takes ...

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