Q405. Weber says (103.5) that "rule over a considerable number of persons requires a staff…." If you read carefully you will see that the types of "authority" he is talking about refer to the leader's capacity to control and direct the staff as much as to the leader's capacity to dominate "the led." Discuss Weber's types of legitimate domination as forms of maintaining organizational integrity.
NOTE: see also Q. 378 and Q. 380.
First and foremost this question is asking you to "get" the idea that social order usually requires AN organization and that sustaining AN organization over time is a serious sociological challenge.
It also asks you to have a gut level appreciation for what we mean by staff as in people to carry out the business of an organization. In other contexts you might here, in this connection, a distinction between LINE and STAFF. Line people are the bosses and sub-bosses and sub-sub-bosses up and down the "chain of command." Staff are the people who work at each level and actually carry out the work.
You will probably want to describe how Weber says that rational calculation by subordinates (want to do what the boss wants so boss will treat me well) or feelings (I like working for this boss) or values (I agree with organization's goals) are not sufficiently reliable for ongoing organization. The trick to showing what you know here is how to get from this to the idea that to make this thing work, we need to have subordinates believe IN THE ORGANIZATION (or maybe even the "organization-ness of the organization).
This is an opportunity to show that you are paying attention to the metanarrative that Hechter and Horne use to organize the selections in the text as well as an opportunity to show off what you know about Weber.
Hector & Horne cites Nozick 1974, “To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-drive, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated at controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have either neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so…” It is a very expensive proposition for the state watch all of us all of the time. Hobbes can have his Leviathan, but does he, perhaps underestimate how much effort goes into being a Leviathan if that's all there is? Or Engels has this oppressive state serving the interest of the ruling class - but how do they pull it off on a day to day basis? The system is much more efficient if people actually want to do what the state mandates.
Weber: if state is seen as legitimate, the rules will be obeyed in the absence of coercion. He finds three different authority structures that are seen as legitimate sources of authority:
- patrimonial - based on personal loyalty
- bureaucratic - exploits a division of labor, relies on expertise rather than personal dependence
- charismatic - based on devotion exceptional sanctity of charismatic authority
“Every genuine form of legitimate domination implies a minimum of voluntary compliance, that is, an interest (based on ulterior motives or genuine acceptance) in obedience.” — Weber (103.3)
- Do you know who Weber is?
- Do you make the connection - why is this question about Weber?
- Do you understand what Weber means when he says most wielding of power requires a staff?
- And that if you have a staff to wield power then you have this multilevel obedience problem?
- And that just paying everyone enough to get their allegiance is tough business.
- And so you need something else. And can you tell us what that is? And define it?
- And can you then describe how Weber saw there being three ideal typical varieties?