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Howe, I. (1983).  1984 [nineteen eighty-four] revisited : totalitarianism in our century.
"Orwell came down hard in 1984 against what philosophers call mechanistic theories of knowledge, against the view that the motions of the world report to every man's senses in uniform ways." (p. 64)
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)

Pacey, A. (1985).  The Culture of Technology.
Harry Braverman draws an instructive comparison with the first industrial revolution. That was not primarily a technical revolution; there was no change in the nature of many processes, which were merely reorganized on the basis of the division of labour. Craft production was dismembered and subdivided so that it was no longer 'the province of any individual worker'. In the modem 'revolution' the whole system is transformed. New materials, techniques and machines are used in an effort 'to dissolve the labour process as a process conducted by the worker and reconstitute it as a process conducted by management'. The individual workman or operative is analysed almost as a piece of machinery; he or she is seen as a 'sensory device', linked to a 'computing mechanism' and 'mechanical linkages'. This, says Braverman, is what modern industry 'makes of humanity'; labour is 'used as an interchangeable part' and progress is seen as a matter of indefinitely increasing the number of tasks that can be carried out by machine. The final triumph is achieved when all the human components have been exchanged for mechanical or electronic ones." (p. 110)
Dale, E. (1969).  Management: Theory and Practice.
"A man of authoritarian turn of mind finds something aesthetically satisfying in the idea of the chain of command and a high degree of specialization. A man who is primarily concerned with the happiness and satisfaction of human beings, on the other hand, may tend to look upon a mechanistic approach with something approaching horror." (p. 213)

See also: bureaucracy, neo-Taylorism, automation, machine, objectification, uniformity

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SKOS concepts and relations

Concept Scheme: business culture/management vocabulary

URI: business culture/management vocabulary


  • Concept: mechanistic_organization
    • preferred: mechanistic organization
    • alternate: mechanization
    • definition: using (or as if using) mechanisms or tools or devices; "a mechanical process"; "his smile was very mechanical"; "a mechanical toy"
    • related: bureaucracy
    • related: neo-Taylorism
    • related: automation
    • related: machine
    • related: objectification
    • related: uniformity
    • closeMatch:
    • keyword-121
    • linked content:
      • in scheme:
      • gloss: using (or as if using) mechanisms or tools or devices; "a mechanical process"; "his smile was very mechanical"; "a mechanical toy"
      • sense: mechanical
      • synset id: 301499686
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