The epistemology of social growth and development is quite a contentious and subjective matter in sociology. The debate surrounds the structural disposition of economic aspects and the type of economy in a given society. The existence of cultural values, traditional and social norms were perceived to be the cornerstone for economic progress of the society in pre-modern societies. However, the Western society perceived this in a different way, that is, a society’s behavior either economic or otherwise depended on its rationality. Max Weber acknowledged Western rationalisation as an aspect of social order and a key determinant of the economic function of a society. Whilst there exist distinct features between rationalisation and traditionally-based perception of social development, our discourse on how we can get more out of work will be based on features of rationality.
How can we get more out of work?
In modern capitalism, rationalisation is the most predominant practice. The production processes and legal and administration aspects in rational capitalism features an important concept in sociology known as bureaucracy. Just how bureaucracy affects productivity in a country, requires a critical analysis in the features of rationalism; calculability, control, measurement, and predictability. The calculability of certain aspects that can improve productivity is an imperative take. This is to mean that economic decisions based on qualitative and quantitative data can sufficiently determine economic output. Rational calculability in terms of the availability of manpower, raw materials and technology and determination of the proportional mix of inputs can help get more out of work. With the right information regarding market operation, industries can be able to calculate demand, and therefore, can be able to estimate input requirement to meet such demands. Calculability in production is important as well as legal and administration calculability.
Legal environment need to be considered because they affect production processes. For instance, standardisation measures can be wanting for industries thereby, affecting their production processes. Industries may invest in employee development or shift to capital-intensive methods of production. But because all factors of production are important, a firm may be required to calculate and determine rate of technical substitution to see how production may be affected by changes in these factors. The administration calculability is equally important.
Control in rational capitalist countries is a prevalent feature. The production process is dependent on the level of controls. Rationalist believe that social behaviour can be controlled through a bureaucratic form of leadership, where most decisions or policy formulation is centralised. In an organisational context, control is achieved through policies. The manner in which employees behave in an organisation is influenced by these policies that result from administrative control. Control is important because many employees have diverse cultural beliefs. Without a system of control, this would mean that increasing productivity of the organisation may be difficult. Therefore, to make more out of work, cultural aspects of employees would be rationalised, implying that their behaviour will be influenced by such controls in order to achieve maximum productivity. Bureaucracy in organisation brings a form of control which ensures that social interactions are autocratically controlled in a manner that it will improve organisational performance. This is consistent with strategic actions in rationalisation where an individual’s action is influenced through sanctions and other means. Control comes in form of management. The level of output that is targeted depends on how effective the management is. Through observing the function of the management such as planning, coordinating, controlling and staffing, the way organisational behaviour is directly influenced.
Measurement is also an important aspect of rationality in post-modern societies. What needs to be understood is the rationality clearly views measurement and calculability as different concepts. With measurement, resources not to have some values which will influence decisions. In capitalist markets, the market exchange is greatly influenced by the accuracy of measurement of certain market aspects. For instance, the quantity supplied in the market will be reasonable if measured against the quantity demanded. Measurement concept also provides a basis for capital accounting, which is a feature in modern capital marketing (Brubaker, 2013, p.12). In the contemporary society, monetary measurement has been prevalent in the process of ensuring that decision making is facilitated. With a perfect measurement conventions, productivity can be improved through evaluation of certain factors based on measurements attached to them.
The structural and behavioural aspect of a society may be defined by the traditional beliefs. However, in rational capitalism, it is believed that behaviours in the society may not necessarily be influenced by traditional beliefs or norms, but can be influenced by rational practices. This concept has been important in explaining how a country can get more out of work. This can be achieved through proper administrative and legal calculability, productivity calculability, efficient management of resources and adopting effective accountability strategies of resources.
Brubaker, R., 2013. The limits of rationality (Vol. 16). Routledge. Retrieved from