Complex tasks that cannot be routinized define professional and knowledge intensive work. When such tasks are carried out by collective actors (such as professional committees or workgroups), cooperation and mutual adjustments by these actors are not accounted for by models such as Weberian bureaucracy. Instead of weakening the concept of bureaucracy — as did the sociology of organizations during the past century — I would like to argue that two conflicting trends currently take place in societies where the knowledge economy accounts for an increasing part of production and growth. The first trend is simply the continuation of Weberian rationalization through bureaucratization. The second trend is another kind of rationalization through collegiality and its particularistic social processes. I assume that understanding this second trend provides insights into modern professions since their practice seems to become more collective and organizational — with the further loss of independence. Competition between the two trends characterizes an increasingly large area of production, as it becomes knowledge-intensive.
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