Monday, October 17, 2005


I am a critical user of formal quality procedures, i.e. I use them but I am their harshest critic too. The wikipedia article about Bureaucracy hits some nerve:

...left uncontrolled, the bureauracy will become increasingly self-serving and corrupt, rather than serving society.

Bureaucracy is ... always a cost to society, but this cost may be accepted insofar as it makes social order possible, and maintains it.

If ... the state owns the means of production itself, the state bureaucracy can become much more powerful, and act as a ruling class or power elite.

Central to the Marxian concept of socialism is the idea of workers' self-management, which assumes the internalisation of a morality and self-discipline among people that would make bureaucratic supervision and control redundant, together with a drastic reorganisation of the division of labour in society. Bureaucracies emerge to mediate conflicts of interest on the basis of laws, but if those conflicts of interest disappear, bureaucracies would also be redundant. bureaucracy creates more and more rules and procedures, their complexity raises and coordination diminishes, facilitating creation of contradictory rules.

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