Visiting the Iron Cage: Bureaucracy and the Contemporary Workplace
Yüksel, Ahmet Hakan
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Bureaucracy as an organizational form has always been a controversial issue and placed at the very heart of most discussions within organizational theory. One side of this prolonged discussion praises this administrative form as the ‘rational’ way to run an organization. It provides needed guidance and clarifies responsibilities, which enables employees to become more efficient. However, the opposition claims that in a non-linear world, where industrial organizations are forced to confront the challenging task of sensing and responding to unpredictable, novel situations of highly competitive markets, such an organizational form stifles creativity, fosters de-motivation and causes pressure on employees. Dealing with a bureaucratic form of organization and its consequences begs for a context. It would be appropriate to quit ‘taking sides’ and develop a sound analysis of this phenomenon under the conditions of today’s global workplace environment. This chapter intends to delineate the conditions under which bureaucracy has emerged and the way it has been interpreted since its inception and develop a sound and appropriate analytical approach to its functioning given the prevailing conditions of the contemporary workplace.