Material Type:
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Oss0212, Social Life, Sociology
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Media Formats:

Education Standards

Identify the components of a bureaucracy and determine the implications of a bureaucratic form of organization on social life


OER Text Material

Formal Organizations

Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, 6.3. This section defines the ideal type characteristics of bureaucracies, explains some disadvantages of bureaucracies and explains the iron law of oligarchy.

Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

Characteristics of an Ideal Bureaucracy (Video)

This video from Khan Academy details the characteristics of an ideal type bureaucracy and identifies some potential drawbacks of this structure including: stifling individual creativity, goal displacement, alienation and the Peter principle.

Formal Organizations: Crash Course Sociology (Video)

Summary: “Today we are exploring the world of formal organizations. We’ll go back to the historical process of rationalization and its impact on organizations in the form of bureaucracy and then discuss how organizations change in response to their organizational environment. We will also go over the negative consequences of rationalization in organizations.”

“Living in a McDonaldized World” by Todd Schoepflin

Everyday Sociology Blog, January 14, 2010. Schoepflin summarizes McDonaldization and explores the steady encroachment of the irrationality of rationality in his own community and juxtaposes it to independently owned and operated businesses.