IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/erp/arenax/p0242.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Ups and Downs of Bureaucratic Organization

Author

Listed:
  • Johan P. Olsen

Abstract

Why do democracies give birth to bureaucracies and bureaucrats? How and why has a seemingly undesirable and unviable organizational form weathered relentless criticism over many years and is possibly experiencing a renaissance? Normative democratic theory, theories of formal organizations, and Weber’s ideas are used for exploring de-bureaucratization efforts since the late 1970s and the most recent decade’s rediscovery of bureaucracy. One lesson is that there has not been a monotonic development towards bureaucratization, as argued by Weber, or de-bureaucratization, as argued by his critics. Several normative and organizational components have co-existed. Yet the significance of each component and their relationships has varied over time. While elements of a theoretical framework are suggested, no great optimism for a comprehensive theory of bureaucratization and de-bureaucratization is offered. Institutions, agency, and macro forces all matter, but there is no agreement regarding under which conditions one factor matters more than the others. A later version of this paper has been published in Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 11, 2008, pp. 13-37

Suggested Citation

  • Johan P. Olsen, 2007. "The Ups and Downs of Bureaucratic Organization," ARENA Working Papers 14, ARENA.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:arenax:p0242
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/arena/english/research/publications/arena-publications/workingpapers/working-papers2007/wp07_14.xml
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nicola Mario Iacovino & Sara Barsanti & Lino Cinquini, 2017. "Public Organizations Between Old Public Administration, New Public Management and Public Governance: the Case of the Tuscany Region," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 61-82, March.
    2. Tom Christensen & Per Lægreid, 2011. "Complexity and Hybrid Public Administration—Theoretical and Empirical Challenges," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 407-423, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    democracy; administrative adaptation; institutionalisation; institutionalism; organization theory; organization theory; public administration; institutions; European Commission; political science;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:arenax:p0242. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sindre Eikrem Hervig). General contact details of provider: http://www.arena.uio.no/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.