- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Texts and Times Mapping the Changing Study of Work and Organizations
- Labor Markets and Flexibility
- Organizations and the Intersection of Work and Family: A Comparative Perspective
- Gender, Race, and the Restructuring of Work: Organizational and Institutional Perspectives
- Skill Formation Systems
- Technology and the Transformation of Work
- Groups, Teams, and the Division of Labor: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Organization of Work
- Introduction: Unmanageable Capitalism?
- The Diffusion and Domestication of Managerial Innovations: The Spread of Scientific Management, Quality Circles, and TQM between the United States and Japan
- Managers, Markets, and Ideologies: Design and Devotion Revisited
- Human Resource Management
- Knowledge Management
- Industrial Relations and Work
- Labor Movements and Mobilization
- Resistance, Misbehavior, and Dissent
- Manual Workers: Conflict and Control
- Service Workers in Search of Decent Work
- What we know (And Mostly Don't Know) about Technical Work
- The Changing Nature of Professional Organizations
- Ports and Ladders: The Nature and Relevance of Internal Labor Markets in a Changing World
- Introduction: The Reorganised Economy
- Organizations and Organized Systems: From Direct Control to Flexibility
- Interfirm Relations as Networks
- Changes in the Organization of Public Services and their Effects on Employment Relations
- Understanding Multinational Corporations
- Corporate Restructuring
- Beyond Convergence and Divergence: Explaining Variations in Organizational Practices and Forms
Abstract and Keywords
The traditional commentary and critique of bureaucracy is a well-trodden territory. Critics of the nature of bureaucracy are still around, their ranks having been swelled by some feminist academics. However, the main development in critique has seen a shift from the limits and dysfunctions of bureaucratic structure and action, to a claim of systemic dysfunctionality — that bureaucracy no longer works or is ceasing to be the prime coordination mechanism in a contemporary economy and society. This article argues that a broad set of changes have meant that the days of stable structures and fine-tuning of bureaucratic models are over and those of post-bureaucracies have arrived. It reviews the nature of these claims and examines the evidence across key territories of change. It accepts that bureaucracy is one of a number of competing coordination mechanisms, alongside markets and trust, and that the balance between such mechanisms changes over time and territory.
Mats Alvesson is Professor of Business Administration at the University of Lund, Sweden, and at University of Queensland Business School, Australia. Recent books include Qualitative Research and Theory Development (Sage, 2011, with Dan Kärreman), Interpreting Interviews (Sage, 2011), Metaphor We Lead By: Understanding Leadership in the Real World (Routledge, 2011, edited with Andre Spicer), The Oxford Handbook of Critical Management Studies (Oxford University Press, edited with Todd Bridgman and Hugh Willmott), Understanding Gender and Organizations (Sage, 2009, second edition, with Yvonne Billing), Reflexive Methodology (Sage, 2009, second edition, with Kaj Skoldberg), Changing Organizational Culture (Routledge, 2008, with Stefan Sveningsson), and Knowledge Work and Knowledge-Intensive Firms (Oxford University Press, 2004).
Paul Thompson is Professor and Head of the Department of Human Resource Management at the University of Strathclyde. His research traverses the labor process, organization theory, and workplace misbehavior and conflict, and he is the co-editor of the recent Oxford Handbook on Work and Organization (Oxford University Press) with Stephen Ackroyd, Rosemary Batt, and Pamela Tolbert.
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