It has standardized procedure (rule-following), formal division of responsibility, hierarchy, and impersonal relationships. However, in practice, the interpretation and execution of policy can lead to informal influence.
Bureaucracy is a concept in sociology and political science. Four things are central to any definition of bureaucracy: a well-defined division of work between persons and offices, consistent patterns of recruitment, and stable careers. There is a hierarchy among offices, such that the authority and status are distributed between actors. Formal and informal networks connect people to one another, through flows of information and patterns of cooperation.
- Abstracts of academic books and articles about bureaucracy Archived 2009-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
- Kevin R. Kosar, "What ought a bureaucrat do?" Archived 2009-01-08 at the Wayback Machine Claremont.org, (A review piece that ponders the values that should guide bureaucrats in their work.)
- Scientific Management and the Bureaucratic Organization Summary of key concepts from on-line course.