In recent years it has been argued that the widespread adoption of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) presages the “end” of bureaucracy and its replacement by new and more flexible organisational forms. The purpose of this paper is to question contemporary accounts of “the network enterprise” and “the virtual organisation”, arguing that these are founded on a logic which abstracts innovation from its institutional and organisational context.
The paper uses a case study analysis of the British Library to explore the relationship between ICTs and new organisational forms.
The case study evidence suggests that there is a need to go beyond the binary opposition of “bureaucratic” and “post‐bureaucratic” forms. The evidence also shows that the bureaucratic form was associated with the institutional legacies, expertise and practices that are crucial in fostering innovation.
The paper shows that the bureaucratic context offers a more propitious environment for innovation than has been suggested by managerialist accounts of the “post‐bureaucratic organization”.
Harris, M. (2006), "Technology, innovation and post‐bureaucracy: the case of the British Library", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 80-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534810610643703Download as .RIS
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