Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Fred C. Lunenburg
There has been a plethora of organizational theories during the past century. Bureaucracy, an organizational theory that emerged in the early twentieth century, has been the basic infrastructure of schools in the industrial world. Bureaucracy is ill suited to the demands of our postindustrial demographically diverse information society. In a period of increasing demands for accountability, demographic changes in school population, and economic crisis, most schools are being forced to examine their fundamental structural assumptions. Bureaucratic characteristics not only are being viewed as less than useful but also are considered to be harmful. Some of these negative features of bureaucracy include the following: Division of labor and specialization . A high degree of division of labor can reduce staff initiative. As jobs become narrower in scope and well defined by procedures, individuals sacrifice autonomy and independence. Although specialization can lead to increased productivity and efficiency, it can also create conflict ...