A Postbureaucratic Age?: Caricatures, Claims, and Counter-Evidence

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This chapter rejects the claim that the replacement of bureaucracy by post-bureaucratic has become inevitable. It interrogates the claim in a number of ways: by unpacking the notion that each age has a unitary mode organizing and instead argues that there is pluralism; by illustrating that past organization was not purely bureaucratic; by arguing that explosive growth of information communications technologies has not only enabled post-bureaucratisation but also bureaucratic intensification; by separating out a number of elided terms such as ‘modernization’ and post-bureaucratisation; by demonstrating the confirmation bias employed by some leading post-bureaucratic age aficionados; and by providing evidence from diverse social arena and territories of bureaucratic intensification. It concludes that whilst there may be a positive role for the notion of post-bureaucracy as an ideal which may aid in illuminating and constraining excesses of bureaucracy, the wholesale replacement of bureaucracy by non-bureaucracy is unrealized and unrealizable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolution of the Post-Bureaucratic Organization
EditorsPierfranco Malizia, Chiara Cannavale, Fabrizio Maimone
PublisherIGI Global Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781522519843
ISBN (Print)9781522519836
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Confirmation Bias, Core Values, Discontinuity, Epoch, Modernization, New Public Management, Periodization, Silicon Valley

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