Post-bureaucracy?

M. Alvesson, P. Thompson, S. Ackroyd (Editor), R. Batt (Editor), P. Thompson (Editor), P.S. Tolbert (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

If it is the case that organizations have been perfecting bureaucracy since the 1930s, it would also be true to say that academics have been engaged in an equally long battle to demonstrate its imperfections. In this they have had many allies among intellectuals, politicians, and those in the business world. The traditional commentary and critique of bureaucracy is a well-trodden territory that is unnecessary to repeat in any detail here. Suffice to say that most academics writing about bureaucracy have operated within either or both of two sets of assumptions. First, that while bureaucratic rationalization is the dominant organizing logic of modernity and managerial capitalism, it produces degrees of inefficiency, dehumanization, and ritualism. Case studies (Blau 1955; Merton 1949) questioned whether the bureaucratic ideal type was fully rational and efficient, or developed typologies that emphasized different forms of bureaucracy appropriate to organizational context and type of work. Alongside such neo-Weberian writing was another category of 'structure critics' (including McGregor, Argyris, and Bennis), who emphasized the psychological dysfunctions of bureaucracy and the need for participative work design from a Human Relation's perspective.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization
Place of PublicationOxford, United Kingdom
Pages485-507
Number of pages22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2004

Fingerprint

Bureaucracy
Ideal Types
Capitalism
Rationalization
1930s
Modernity
Politicians
Organizing
Academic Writing
Logic
Dehumanization
Psychological
Repeats
Allies

Keywords

  • post-bureaucracy
  • bureaucracy
  • organisation
  • management
  • labour
  • work

Cite this

Alvesson, M., Thompson, P., Ackroyd, S. (Ed.), Batt, R. (Ed.), Thompson, P. (Ed.), & Tolbert, P. S. (Ed.) (2004). Post-bureaucracy? In The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization (pp. 485-507). Oxford, United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199299249.003.0025
Alvesson, M. ; Thompson, P. ; Ackroyd, S. (Editor) ; Batt, R. (Editor) ; Thompson, P. (Editor) ; Tolbert, P.S. (Editor). / Post-bureaucracy?. The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization. Oxford, United Kingdom, 2004. pp. 485-507
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Alvesson, M, Thompson, P, Ackroyd, S (ed.), Batt, R (ed.), Thompson, P (ed.) & Tolbert, PS (ed.) 2004, Post-bureaucracy? in The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization. Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 485-507. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199299249.003.0025

Post-bureaucracy? / Alvesson, M.; Thompson, P.; Ackroyd, S. (Editor); Batt, R. (Editor); Thompson, P. (Editor); Tolbert, P.S. (Editor).

The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization. Oxford, United Kingdom, 2004. p. 485-507.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Alvesson M, Thompson P, Ackroyd S, (ed.), Batt R, (ed.), Thompson P, (ed.), Tolbert PS, (ed.). Post-bureaucracy? In The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization. Oxford, United Kingdom. 2004. p. 485-507 https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199299249.003.0025