Expertized Power or Political Allegiance in the State Bureaucracy of Iran

Document Type : Research Article (with qualitative approaches)


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Objective: The present study aimed to use Weber's ideal bureaucracy as a framework for adaptation, considering one of its structural features, namely specialization, which utilizes rationality, the expertise, scientific and expert calculations as the bases for decision-making instead of personal preferences and political tendencies, and consider the fact that administrative decisions are generally taken either as a result of political or administrative opinions (specialization) to determine to what extent the political powers, which govern the process of organizational decision-making in Iranian ministries and public agencies, or in a more general sense, in the Iranian state bureaucracy are compatible to the specialization and technocratic power of Weber's ideal bureaucracy model.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Data of the present research were collected by a qualitative approach based on inductive thematic analysis, purposive snowball sampling, and semi-structured interviews with 10 executive experts of the Ministry of Education, and then they were coded and analyzed, and the network of extracted themes was drawn
Research Findings: There were 19 themes organized and identified in the study included policy-based power, non-compliance with documented laws and guidelines, disregard for existing infrastructures and facilities, the superiority of political considerations over decisions, nepotism, redundant bureaucracies, weakness of accountability, short-term records of ministerial service, failure to set goals, formalism, disregard for environmental ecology, corruption, periodic decisions, weakness in the use of expertise and acceptance of experts in decisions, weakness in scientific competence and background of decision-makers, poor participation in decisions, limited evaluation system in decisions, instability, lack of coordination, and weakness in the implementation of planning.
Limitations & Consequences: The final model is presented by the researcher and the results of the research may not be generalizable in all public sector organizations.
Practical Consequences: The results of the research show that in the government bureaucracy of Iran, in the framework of Weber and Sala model bureaucracy, specialized power is more inclined to sala model and political obedience is a priority.
Innovation or value of the Article: In the researches conducted in the country so far, the degree of adherence and commitment of the Iranian government bureaucracy to structural features such as specialization and technocratic power proposed in Weber's ideal bureaucracy as a basis for solving many problems and administrative problems have not been investigated

Paper Type: Research Article


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