By the turn of the twentieth century, business organisations were beginning to be, ‘transformed from chaotic and ad-hoc factories to rationalised, well-ordered manufacturing settings’ (Goldman and Van Houten, 1980a: 108). This was not just a product of growth, merger and technological innovation. It was also a question of management. Though the trend was in its infancy, firms were beginning to move away from particularist and uneven practices towards the beginnings of an industrial bureaucracy. Indeed, the two were intimately connected given that the increasing scale of work organisation meant that it was no longer possible to rely on personal or unspecified forms of direction. Changes involved systematising and stabilising both the practices of management and the organisation of the labour process. Job hierarchies, new patterns of work supervision, measurement and reward, and greater specialisation and detailed division of labour became more characteristic of organisational life. It is important to trace the genesis and development of this industrial bureaucracy, reflecting on the theoretical issues through the writings of Weber, Taylor and others. Mainstream writings largely lack this kind of historical and comparative character.
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- The Emergence of Large-Scale Organisations
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