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K disfunkcionálnímu pojetí zdrojů a modelů byrokracie a byrokratismu za kapitalismu
Sociologický Časopis / Czech Sociological Review
Roč. 3, Čís. 2 (1967), pp. 117-127
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41128313
Page Count: 11
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In the first part the author discusses the different ways of conceiving bureaucracy and bureaucratism. He proceeds from Merton's conception of organizational functions and disfunctions and first deals with the functional conception of bureaucracy, as seen in the works of M. Weber or F. Morstein-Marx. He then briefly defines the disfunctional conception of bureaucracy and bureaucratism, discussed in more detail in the following parts of the paper. In the second part he pays attention mainly to the basic sources and lawful tendencies giving rise to bureaucratism conceived in this way, under conditions of the contemporary industrial society of a capitalist character. His opinions are based upon Gramsci's view on the importance of intraorganizational needs originating from the "iron laws of the functioning of the apparatus". Here we may include especially Parkinson's laws concerning the immanent sources of excessive growth of the administrative personnel and the official agenda, the tendency towards monopolization and stereotypization of intraorganizational information, the more advanced growth of formalization as compared with the growth of organization ascertained by P. Drucker, Dimock's developmental tendency of institutionalization towards rigidness and depersonalization, as well as Michel's relatively valid law of oligarchization. Here the author arrives at the conclusion that the "bureaucratic deformations and the disfunction of technical and organizational relations are brought about by insufficient control of their excessive complexity, by the lag in the scientific and technical development behind the needs of practice and by the fact that various partial technical and organizational means defy their original purposefulness and liability". In order to explain these processes of bureaucratization the author recommends to use particularly the Marxist category of alienation. In considering some possibilities of eliminating bureaucratism he differentiates the disfunctional effect of a one-sided rationalization from the functional effect of a complex rationalization, as well as the inadequacy of intraorganizational selection methods from the effectiveness of external expertises. Of central importance is the third part of the paper devoted to some basic problems of the models of bureaucratic organization. Following E. Strauss (who proceeds from the suppression of democracy, over the conservative stagnation, to praetorianism and fascism), the author first of all outlines and comments the macrosocial model of bureaucratization. Then he deals with Merton's, Selznick's and Gouldner's microsocial models and subjects them to criticism, and finally attempts to shape a macromodel and a micromodel of his own, conceived from the Marxist point of view. Both these models follow twofold alternative possibilities of bureaucratic or democratic tendencies in the development of the social organization. The model of the context of the organization's activity proceeds from the natural and material conditions of human existence and, passing through a differentiation of the subject and the object of the activity, it leads to the basic elements of the organization's activity. From the disfunctional point of view the following categories assert themselves: satisfying the needs by means of ownership and power, monopolization and oligarchization of knowledge and power in the organization, prevalence of institutionalization of positions over the internalization of norms, succombing to inertia, alienation, bureaucratism and conservatism leading to the subordination of human beings to things. From the functional point of view, again, the following categories assert themselves: satisfying the needs by means of work, science, technique and art, the democratization of knowledge and power in the organization, prevalence of internalization of norms over the institutionalization of positions, increase in initiative, emancipation, democratism and progress, leading to the subordination of things to human beings. The model of the internal mechanism of the functioning of the social organization proceeds from the context of the organization's activity, passes over means of action and managing as well as intermediary organs, and leads to executive organs and to members. It shows us three possible basic lines of functioning of the basic elements of the organization. The first of them is substantially a line of objectifying rationalization ; it is based on the fact that managing organs in determining the goals and in regulating the selection of means subordinate their subjective interests to objective purposes and functions of the organization. In forming the information and actions they try to ensure a continuous and close contact of intermediary organs, executive organs and members on the basis of mutual cooperation, rendering of accounts and democratically shared decision-making. In this way the prevalence of intended consequences over unforeseen consequences is ensured. The second line - which is, in substance, a line of subjectifying spontaneity - is characterized by subordinating objective functions and means of action in the organization to subjective interests of various managing organs and by growing discrepancies and detrimental ambiguities in contacts between organs and members. The consequence of this is the increase in bureaucratic deformations and disfunctional unforeseen consequences, as well as the rigidity manifested in the activities of the organization. The third line is substantially a line of alienation and selfpurposefulness called forth by the fact that objective functions as well as subjective intentions of the organization or its various organs succomb to the spontaneous, continuing self-motion of the means of action. It is further based upon an increasing isolation and departmental limitations of subjective interests on the part of individual organs of management and activity levels of the organization. The supreme consequence of this line is the decrease and interruption of contacts within the organization as well as between the organization and its settings, the rigidness and prevalence of irrational bureaucratic consequences over the factual results of the organization's activity. In concluding the author mentions some palliative means of eliminating bureaucratism and points out that the elimination of its deeper causes is connected with a broader social context of the sources of organizational alienation.
Sociologický Časopis / Czech Sociological Review © 1967 Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic