It is characterized by standardized procedure (rule-following), formal division of responsibility, hierarchy, and impersonal relationships. In practice, the interpretation and execution of policy can lead to informal influence.
Bureaucracy is a concept in sociology and political science. Four structural concepts are central to any definition of bureaucracy: a well-defined division of administrative labor among persons and offices, a personnel system with consistent patterns of recruitment and stable linear careers, a hierarchy among offices, such that the authority and status are distributed among actors, and formal and informal networks that connect organizational actors to one another through flows of information and patterns of cooperation.
- Abstracts of academic books and articles about bureaucracy
- 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.