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Postmodern Management: The Emerging Partnership Between Employees and Stockholders
by:William McDonald Wallace
Postmodern management, according to Wallace, moves beyond the shortcomings of the bureaucratic management style pervasive in American business today. Bureaucracy, the standard model of organizations, is too inflexible, cost-rigid and job defensive to survive in a postmodern world. Bureaucracies rely on paying workers rigid rates to do specific jobs....
Postmodern management, according to Wallace, moves beyond the shortcomings of the bureaucratic management style pervasive in American business today. Bureaucracy, the standard model of organizations, is too inflexible, cost-rigid and job defensive to survive in a postmodern world. Bureaucracies rely on paying workers rigid rates to do specific jobs. According to a postmodern management model, a partnership between employees and stockholders would lead to more productive work by relating pay to corporate performance and by encouraging more flexible and cooperative teamwork. Wallace provides a workable guideline to ease the transition from the bureaucratic form of structure to postmodern partnership. His argument, that dependence on hired labor for permanent staff is at the root of dysfunctional bureaucracy, will provoke discussion and interest among corporate executives, teachers and students of management and organizational behavior, and others interested in today's workplace. Wallace begins with a history of how bureaucracy first arose as a natural response to coercive work. He explains why the mechanistic model of business bureaucracy took root in Britain and America, and then looks at the major problems of bureaucracies, such as job defensiveness, over-staffing, over-regulation, and other excesses endemic to most bureaucracies. Exploring the consequences of the bureaucratic model on the economy, Wallace shows how the rigid labor costs played a role in causing the Great Depression. Wallace then turns to corporate partnership--its employment policies and why they dissolve the incentives to over-staff, over-layer, and over-regulate, and why partners will strive to downsize. Using examples from the past and present, he examines the difficult issues of transition from bureaucracy to partnership.
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