Crozier, Michel The Bureaucratic Phenomenon

ISBN 13: 9781412811583

The Bureaucratic Phenomenon

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9781412811583: The Bureaucratic Phenomenon
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In The Bureaucratic Phenomenon Michel Crozier demonstrates that bureaucratic institutions need to be un­derstood in terms of the cultural context in which they operate. The originality of the study lies in its association of two widely different approaches: the theory of decision-making in large organiza­tions and the cultural analysis of social patterns of action. The book opens with a detailed examina­tion of two forms of French public serv­ice. These studies show that professional training and distortions alone cannot ex­plain the rise of routine behavior and dys­functional "vicious circles." The role of various bureaucratic systems appears to depend on the pattern of power relation­ships between groups and individuals. Crozier's findings lead him to the view that bureaucratic structures form a neces­sary protection against the risks inherent in collective action. Since systems of protection are built around basic cultural traits, the author presents a French bureaucratic model based on centralization, strata isolation, and individual sparkle-one that that can be contrasted with an American, Russian, or Japanese model. He points out how the same patterns can be found in several areas of French life: education, industrial relations, politics, business, and the colonial policy. Bureaucracy, Crozier concludes, is not a modern disease resulting from organiza­tional progress but rather a bulwark against development. The breakdown of the traditional bureaucratic system in modern France offers hope for new and fruitful forms of action.

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