Gen Mgt
an organization structure with a rigid hierarchy of personnel, regulated by set rules and procedures. Max Weber believed that a bureaucracy was technically the most efficient form of organization. He described a bureaucracy as an organization structured around official functions that are bound by rules, each function having its own specified competence. The functions are structured into offices, which are organized into a hierarchy that follows technical rules and norms. Managers in a bureaucracy possess a rational-legal type of authority derived from the office they hold. Bureaucracies have been criticized for eradicating inspiration and creativity in favor of impersonality and the mundaneness and regularity of corporate life. This was best described in William H. Whyte’s The Organization Man, published in 1956, in which the individual was taken over by the bureaucratic machine in the name of efficiency. A more recent and humorous interpretation of life in a bureaucracy has been depicted by Scott Adams in The Dilbert Principle (1996). The term bureaucracy has gradually become a pejorative synonym for excessive and time-consuming paperwork and administration. Bureaucracies fell subject to delayering and downsizing from the 1980s onward, as the flatter organization became the target structure to ensure swifter market response and organizational flexibility.

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  • bureaucracy — 1818, from Fr. bureaucratie, from bureau office, lit. desk (see BUREAU (Cf. bureau)) + Gk. suffix kratia denoting power of; coined by Fr. economist Jean Claude Marie Vincent de Gournay (1712 1759) on model of democratie, aristocratie. That vast… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Bureaucracy — Bu*reau cra*cy, n. [Bureau + Gr. ? to be strong, to govern, ? strength: cf. F. bureaucratie.] 1. A system of carrying on the business of government by means of departments or bureaus, each under the control of a chief, in contradiction to a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • bureaucracy — [byoo rä′krə sē, byo͞orä′krə sē] n. pl. bureaucracies [Fr bureaucratie < BUREAU + cratie, CRACY] 1. the administration of government through departments and subdivisions managed by sets of appointed officials following an inflexible routine 2 …   English World dictionary

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