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North Castle Books

The Bureaucratic Experience: The Post-Modern Challenge, Fifth Edition
Authored by: Ralph P. Hummel

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1010-2 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1011-9
Cloth Price Paper Price
USD: $93.95 USD: $52.95
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Available in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka through K W Publishers.
Information: 288pp. Exhibits, figures, bibliography, index.
Publication Date: August 2007.  


Description: Everyone has trouble with bureaucracy. Citizens and politicians have trouble controlling the runaway bureaucratic machine. Managers have trouble managing it. Employees dislike working in it. Clients can't get the goods from it. Teachers have difficulty getting a grip on it.

Optimists argue that soon all of this will be fixed. The new Fifth Edition of Ralph P. Hummel's classic text maintains just the opposite--that despite all the current rhetoric from proponents of total quality management, corporate reengineering, and the new public management, it's still "business as usual" for bureaucracies. The persistent reality of organizational structure remains resilient in the face of feel-good trends and values.

For this edition the book has been thoroughly revised and updated, with two key changes: (1) each of the six core chapters has been trimmed and edited to consolidate and streamline the important organizational theory developments since the book's initial publication; (2) each chapter contains newly added critiques of the postmodern theory of modern organizations, pursuing the theme that postmodernism covers up the persistent reality of organizational structure.

Selected Contents:


1. Understanding Bureaucracy
Bureaucratic Experiences
Bureaucratic Patterns
Modern Self-Critique
Post-Modern Critique
A Brief Survey of Post-Modernism
A Case in Point: Post-Modernism Meets Sewage
The Danger
The Politics of Good and Evil

2. Bureaucracy as Society: Loss of the Social
How People Act
What the Experts Say
Bureaucracy as Society

3. Bureaucracy as the New Culture: "Economics"
What Is Culture?
What People Value
What the Experts Say
Post-Modern Critique versus Modern Critique
The Economic Culture of Bureaucracy

4. The Psychology of Bureaucracy: Organization as Psyche
Structuring the Psyche
Post-Modern Analysis
A Dis-Ease of the Soul
How People "Feel"
What the Experts Say
Toward Post-Modern Critique
The Psychology of Bureaucracy

5. The Language of Bureaucracy: Virtual Words
Speaking the Unspeakable
How People Speak
What the Experts Say
Bureaucratic Language

6. The Thought of Bureaucracy: Failure of Imagination
How Bureaucrats Think
What the Experts Say
Bureaucratic Thinking
Aesthetics: The Rise of Know-How

7. Bureaucracy as Polity: Politics as Administration
How People Politick
Bureaucrats as Transformers
The Politization of Bureaucracy
What the Experts Say
A Way from Bureaucratized Politics

Epilogue: Bureaucracy, Modernity, and Post-Modernity
About the Author

Comment(s): "This text explains clearly how bureaucracy differs from other forms of administration and governance. The blend of arguments from case studies, surveys, theories, and analysis of language is also exceptionally valuable. An excellent book for teaching the subject." -- John S. Nelson, University of Iowa

"This book proves once again that Ralph Hummel is sui generis -- provocative, passionate and perceptive. This book demands our attention at a critical time in history." -- O.C. McSwite

"By moving from a critique of Modernity to an insistence on Postmodernism's aspirations for humanity, Hummel takes the debate over bureaucracy to a new level. Fellow polemicists on the subject will welcome his hotter fire in the belly and more caustic challenge to traditional public administration thinking." -- Charles Goodsell, Virginia Tech

"Ralph Hummel's book is a classroom classic that has stimulated hours of discussion every time that I have used it. This new edition will do the same." -- Melvin Dubnick, University of New Hampshire

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