Hierarchy and bureaucracy have been more or less welcomed companions of human civilisation from the very beginning. In almost every culture and epoch, ruling elites and followers, superiors and subordinates can be identified. Hierarchy and bureaucracy are quite flexible, adaptable and they are fairly persistent – but why could, or even should we see this as a problem?
This introduction will first provide a brief history of no change, followed by the second section where the advantages and disadvantages and the contested terrain of hierarchy are elaborated in some length. The discussion focuses on three areas: the functional, social and ethical qualities of hierarchy. In the final section, the chapters of this volume will be briefly introduced. The chapters are grouped into three sections: (I) Fundamentals and historical accounts of bureaucracy, (II) Organisational, cultural and socio-psychological aspects of hierarchy and (III) Alternative views on, and alternatives to hierarchy.
Diefenbach, T. and Todnem By, R. (2012), "Bureaucracy and Hierarchy – what Else!?", Diefenbach, T. and Todnem By, R. (Ed.) Reinventing Hierarchy and Bureaucracy – from the Bureau to Network Organizations (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 35), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2012)0000035003
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