Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 24, 2006, pp. 1-17
Posted: 5 Jun 2013
Date Written: Dec 1, 2005
Our conception of the ideal organization has changed from the machine-like efficiency of Weberian bureaucracy to a post-industrial ideal (Bell, 1973) in which organizations spurn the bureaucratic form to become more adaptive, receptive and generative. Such ideal organizations, we are told, will exhibit strong employee involvement and will rely on self-organizing autonomous teams. Hierarchy will be abandoned in favor of flatter organizational structures, and authority relations will be based upon individual capability and expertise rather than position. Put simply, organizations of the future will cure all of the ills of Weber's bureaucracy while preserving the ideals of precision, speed, discretion, knowledge and, above all, efficiency.
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