According to an extensive and growing literature, we are in the twilight of bureaucracy. The labels applied to the supposed new organizational form include: post‐bureaucratic; post‐modern; post‐hierarchical; and the virtual organisation. The purpose of this paper is to consider the various claims for “epochal” change by evaluating the supporting and contrary evidence.
The paper draws on evidence on the reform of the UK Civil Service over the last few decades to show the intensification of bureaucracy.
The paper takes issue with the “epochalist” visions of sudden transformation which have underpinned much of the comment on post‐bureaucracy, arguing that the concept of post‐bureaucracy is analytically blind to the diversity and complexity of contemporary organizational change.
Locating the debate on post‐bureaucracy in the broader political economy of Neo‐Conservatism reveals an authoritarian dimension which has been absent from most commentaries.
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