Service and Procedures in Bureaucracy was first published in 1956. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Large, complex systems of organization, such as government bureaus, giant corporations, and massive trade unions, play a decisive role in the daily lives of millions of people and exert an important influence upon national and even international affairs. This gives major sociological significance to the bureaucratic organizations of such groups.
The research reported here was undertaken to test two widespread beliefs about modern, largescale organizations, and the findings point to modifications in what has been regarded as the classic sociological concept of bureaucracy.
Does the personnel in bureaucracies commonly substitute rule-following, preoccupation with procedure, for the intended service purpose of the organization? And are bureaucracies characterized by impersonality, that is, detachment of office from individual, so that relations are between offices rather than between individuals? These are the questions the authors sought to answer in their study of the Louisiana Division of Employment Security. They observed employees working at their jobs, conducted interviews, administered questionnaires, and studied the official documents and records of the organization.
Here is a picture of bureaucracy in real life that will provide valuable insight to those actively concerned with administration and personnel problems, as well as to students in the social sciences.