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The Bureaucracy

Review Questions

Reforming the Bureaucracy

The Bureaucracy Quiz

1. According to Max Weber, what are the basic characteristics of bureaucracy?

Weber says the basic traits of bureaucracy are hierarchy, division of labor, specialization, and standard operating procedure.

2. Critics assert that bureaucracies act in an acquisitive manner and behave like monopolies. What do these criticisms mean?

The acquisitive model of bureaucracy states that agency chiefs seek to expand their agency’s power, size, and budget. The monopolistic model argues that because bureaucracies face no competition, they have no real incentive to improve efficiency.

3. Why does the president so often have difficulty controlling the bureaucracy?

The bureaucracy has substantial independence, stemming from its civil service laws, size, expertise, clientele groups, and role in implementing policy. All of these sources of power make it hard for the president to control the bureaucracy.

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