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The Contradiction of Domination and Production in Bureaucracy: The Contribution of Organizational Efficiency to the Decline of the Roman Empire

Robert J. Antonio
American Sociological Review
Vol. 44, No. 6 (Dec., 1979), pp. 895-912
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094715
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Contradiction of Domination and Production in Bureaucracy: The Contribution of Organizational Efficiency to the Decline of the Roman Empire
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Abstract

One of the contributions of Max Weber is his distinction between formal and substantive rationality. When viewed in relation to his theory of bureaucracy this distinction provides a context for clarifying the domination aspects from the productive activities of organization. The case study of Roman bureaucracy is used to illustrate how the contradictions between two coexisting forms of rationality--one reflecting the control of persons and resources and the other the production (and distribution) of goods and services--contributed to the decline and collapse of the Roman Empire.

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