The logic of bureaucratic hierarchical design

  • Ph G. Herbst
Part of the International series on the quality of working life book series (IQWL, volume 1)


Some of the basic characteristics of bureaucratic organizations are becoming more clearly visible in retrospect as we move away from them to explore and implement other forms of organization. For the problem before was that it was difficult to see an alternative. Seeing is a rather curious thing for the alternatives have existed all the time, so if we were not able to see them then this is because they did not fit our logic and our theory of what ought to exist. Nature makes no distinction between flowers and weeds. We do, and once we make the distinction we can build our logic on this and be very rational about it. But sometimes we have to look and to ask whether what we thought was a weed was not ‘really’ a flower. When we do this, our logic may go to pieces. And perhaps there is not so much harm in this as we think. In fact, it may turn out to be a good thing.


Task Performance Organization Design Task Structure Bureaucratic Structure Bureaucratic Organization 


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Copyright information

© H. E. Stenfert Kroese b.v., Leiden, the Netherlands 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ph G. Herbst
    • 1
  1. 1.Work Research InstitutesOsloNorway

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