describe the 3 bases of authority identified by weber. is it possible for each of these types of authority co-exisit within an organisation?
The influential sociologist Max Weber proposed a theory of authority that included three types: traditional, charismatic, and legal-rational authority. Traditional authority is legitimated by the sanctity of tradition. The ability and right to rule is passed down, often through heredity. It does not change overtime, does not facilitate social change, tends to be irrational and inconsistent, and perpetuates the status quo. Charismatic authority is found in a leader whose mission and vision inspire others. It is based upon the perceived extraordinary characteristics of an individual. Weber saw a charismatic leader as the head of a new social movement, and one instilled with divine or supernatural powers, such as a religious prophet. Legal-rational authority is empowered by a formalistic belief in the content of the law (legal) or natural law (rationality). Obedience is not given to a specific individual leader - whether traditional or charismatic - but a set of uniform principles. These types of authority coudn't co-exisit within an organisation because the leader in traditional authority may emerge naturally (on the basis of age), or is selected on the basis of adherence to traditional principles and the charismatic leader gains and maintains authority solely by proving his strength in life.
Weber viewed the future as one where rational-legal types of authority would become more dominant. While a charismatic leader or movement might emerge, the dominant tendency was for organizations to become more routinized, rational and bureaucratic. It is in this sense that legal authority can be interpreted. In modern societies, authority is in large part exercised on the basis of bureaucracies.