, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 294–298 | Cite as

Some Enchanted Bureaucracy

  • James G. PoulosEmail author
Culture and Society


With group psychology and business management hand in hand, a major cultural imperative is to strengthen the intensity and intimacy of corporate human resources programs. Stressing an ethic of authentic individuality, the human resources industry seeks to leverage the competitive spirit into a rationale for the collaborative spirit. In so doing, it reflects a profound change in the meaning of vocation. Bureaucracies must compete for the commitment of authenticity-seeking individuals with a freewheeling leisure market that rewards work with social entertainment experiences. The business environment must redefine itself as a social activity center that mirrors rewards available outside the workplace, blurring the lines between work and play and self and other. By elevating teamwork to social instinct as the mode of production, human resources practices contribute to a deepening recognition that bureaucracy must be re-enchanted in order to survive amid the same ethic of individuality that powers contemporary market capitalism.


Bureaucracy Vocation Teamwork Individuality Socialization Human resources 

Copyright information

© U.S. Government 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations