Any endeavor to understand how modern organizations work without studying Weber’ s work would be deficient because Weber made extensive contributions towards understanding organizations, especially in regard to their sociological, philosophical, and economic structures. Indeed, Weber has widely been regarded as the father of sociology alongside Emile Durkheim (Turner, 1992). Weber’ s contributions are also of great historical importance from a managerial standpoint. The management theory thought out by Weber is known as bureaucracy – an interesting conceptualization of how organizations can be managed efficiently. The theory was derived from his earlier concepts of leadership, power, and authority (Weber, 2009).
Although this concept has come under a great deal of criticism in modern times, it is easy for one to appreciate, by examining its context, that Weber was a revolutionary thinker. Furthermore, in the same manner, that Weber was influenced by the times in which he lived, it would be easy to understand his theories by examining his own personal growth and development. Biography of Max Weber Weber was born in 1864 in the Effort province of Saxony Prussia. He was born the eldest son of Max Weber Senior, a wealthy a prominent public leader in Prussia and Helene Fallestein partly descended from the French Huguenot immigrants who held strong absolutist ideas, His father’ s involvement in politics and academia greatly influenced Weber due to the fact that his father frequently entertained guests in his home where ideas were debated.
Indeed bored in his class by teachers that he viewed as being unimpressive who in turn viewed him as disrespectful, Weber is said to have secretly read all the 40 volumes of Goethe in class, which consequently shaped his thought and methodology later in life.
In addition to this, his father was a patronizing authoritarian who expected absolute obedience from his sons while at the same time his lifestyle brought conflict with his wife who was a devout Calvinist seeking to lead an ascetic life. This bleak environment caused by his parent’ s conflict and his father’ s authoritarianism is also believed to have haunted Weber into his adulthood (Turner, 2002; Gerth & Mills, 2014; Weber, 2009). Weber went on to enroll in Heidelberg University where he studied economics, medieval history, philosophy, and law and a brief period of military service brought him under the care of his uncle Merman Baumgartner a historian and his wife who was involved in charitable activities.
With his uncle being a liberal who treated Weber as an intellectual peer and his aunt’ s deep sense of social responsibility, the experience created a sharp contrast to the bleak home environment that Weber had grown up in (Turner, 2002; Weber & Heydebrand, 1994). It is probably during this period that Weber began to develop an aversion to the way people mostly gained power and authority through nepotism and accident of birth – factors that Weber considered to be lacking in legitimacy.
Consequently, he began to give serious consideration to thought on how to free the individual from personal judgment, or judgment which was clouded by either emotion or self-interest (Nanda, 2006; Turner, 2002; Weber & Heydebrand, 1994). Career After a brief period as a legal scholar at Heidelberg University and the University of Berlin, Weber rapidly rose through the ranks in his professional career due to his obvious brilliance and high intellectual discipline which he had must have inherited from his Calvinist mother.
He rose to become a full professor at Freiburg University in 1894 and in Heidelberg in 1897. In 1890, Weber had written a comprehensive analysis of the agrarian problems of East Germany for the Union for Social Policy which was one of the country’ s most important academic societies. The high point of his early scholarly career was the 1895 Freiburg inaugural address where he pulled together his study of the agrarian problems of East Germany into a devastating indictment of the Junker class which he viewed as being historically obsolete (Weber, 2009; Turner, 2002).
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