Bureaucracy for the 21st Century: Clarifying and Expanding Our View of Bureaucratic Organization

Pedro Monteiro, Paul S. Adler

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This review aims to redress the growing gap between the receding discourse on bureaucracy and bureaucracy’s persistence as an organizational form in our era. Reviewing organizational research on bureaucracy, we find three main perspectives, which developed in succession but persist in parallel: bureaucracy as an organizing principle, as a paradigmatic form of organization, and as one type of structure among others. We argue that these three perspectives should be expanded and brought into closer dialogue to overcome the de-contextualized, reified, and narrow ways bureaucracy is often viewed. We offer three pathways for future research and discuss how we can make better sense of the various guises in which bureaucracy appears today.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Annals
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)427-475
Number of pages49
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online: 21 December 2021.

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