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Shafritz, J. M., & Hyde A. C. (1987).  Classics of Public Administration.
"Another feature of the bureaucratic structure, the stress on depersonalization of relationships, also plays its part in the bureaucrat's trained incapacity. The personality pattern of the bureaucrat is nucleated about this norm of impersonality. Both this and the categorizing tendency, which develops from the dominant role of general, abstract rules, tend to produce conflict in the bureaucrat's contacts with the public or clientele." (p. 112)
Morgan, G. (1989).  Creative Organization Theory.
"As we all know, bureaucracies are supposed to operate 'by the rules.' They are places where individual initiative, enterprise, and creativity are supposed to take second place—if they are permitted at all!—to the policies and procedures that have been defined or authorized by those in charge of the organization as a whole.

Weber observed that the bureaucratic approach to organization mechanized the process of administration, exactly as machines had routinized production in industry. And his writings make frequent reference to how this process of mechanization squeezes out the human dimension." (p. 49)

Gordon, D. M. (1996).  Fat and Mean: The Corporate Squeeze of Working Americans and the Myth of Managerial "Downsizing".
"I call it the 'bureaucratic burden'—the massive size and cost of the managerial and supervisory apparatus of private U.S. corporations. It's one of the most stunning features of the U.S. Economy." (p. 33)

"Feudal baronies prospered and grew in the European countryside in the eleventh-thirteenth centuries. And the equivalent of feudal baronies prospered and grew in U.S. corporations in the postwar period. Reflecting on this baronial culture in the early 1980's, an officer of Chemical Bank concluded: 'The way you got ahead was getting more people under you than your rival had, which created more bureaucracy, of course.'

This dynamic creates a pressure for managerial ranks to expand even to greater size than might otherwise be justified by the criteria of profitability." (p. 77)

Costley, D. L., Santana-Melgoza C., & Todd R. (1993).  Human Relations in Organizations.
"One approach in dealing with the problems of individual versus organization in the bureaucratic model is to develop an impersonal approach to human relations. Managers become more impersonal in their dealings with employees and attempt to ignore individual differences and focus on the task accomplishments. This leads to individual dissatisfaction because the employees believe that the organization is impersonal and is using them like a machine." (p. 75)
Morgan, G. (1986).  Images of Organization.
As we examine the bureaucratic form of organization, therefore, we should be alert to the hidden meaning of close regulation and supervision of human activity, the relentless planning and scheduling of work, and the emphasis on productivity, rule following, discipline, duty, and obedience. The bureaucracy is a mechanistic form of organization, but an anal one too. And not surprisingly, we find that some people are able to work in this kind of organization more effectively than others. If bureaucracies are anal phenomena encouraging an anal style of life, then such organizations will probably operate most smoothly when employees fit the anal character type and can derive various hidden satisfactions from working in this context." (p. 209)
Allen, R. F., Kraft C., Allen J., & Letner B. (1982).  The Organizational Unconscious: How to Create the Corporate Culture You Want and Need.
"One company we had the good fortune to work with some twenty years ago was shockingly changed when we visited it recently. People who had once cared deeply for one another and demonstrated high levels of creativity and innovation had become bureaucratized and uncaring, both in their work and in their interrelationships. The company had grown in size, but had shrunk in quality. Its earlier dynamism had become only a memory in the minds of the few who had originally created it." (p. 110)
KetsDeVries, M. (1991).  Organizations on the Couch: Clinical Perspectives on Organizational Behavior and Change.
"The institutionalized work group accomplishes work in a routine and rational fashion. Procedure, rules, and regulations may take priority over quality of work, substance of product and service, and overall meaning and purpose of task accomplishment. Intra- and interorganizational boundaries are often rigid and inflexible. Bureaucratic administration replaces leadership." (p. 204)
Hodson, R., & Sullivan T. A. (1995).  Social Organization of Work.
"In contrast [to bureaucratic rigidity], the conditions that have been found to promote innovation and change include the decentralization of power, low levels of formalization, equity of rewards, low emphasis on volume, low emphasis on cost-cutting, and high levels of job satisfaction (Hall, 1991). In brief, excessive bureaucracy and hierarchy may interfere with productivity rather than promote it. At some point excessive rationality becomes irrational. (Ritzer, 1993)" (p. 199)

See also: hierarchy, politics, alienation, rules, mechanistic organization, rigidity, control

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SKOS Concept Scheme

SKOS concepts and relations

Concept Scheme: business culture/management vocabulary

URI: business culture/management vocabulary


  • Concept: bureaucracy
    • preferred: bureaucracy
    • definition: nonelective government officials
    • note: bureaucracy#3 (any organization in which action is obstructed by insistence on unnecessary procedures and red tape)
    • related: hierarchy
    • related: politics
    • related: alienation
    • related: rules
    • related: mechanistic_organization
    • related: rigidity
    • broader: control
    • closeMatch:
    • keyword-45
    • linked content:
      • in scheme:
      • gloss: any organization in which action is obstructed by insistence on unnecessary procedures and red tape
      • hyponym of:
      • sense: bureaucracy
      • synset id: 108009659
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