Skip to main content

An article I recently authored on the bureaucratic state of healthcare in the US…

EXCERPT: Max Weber (1864-1920), the German sociologist and political economist widely considered the father of bureaucracy, espoused a philosophy more than 100 years ago that has inarguably remained a respected foundational blueprint by organizations and societies throughout the world. A champion of hierarchical structures, he stated: “Precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge of files, continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction and of material and personal costs—these are raised to the optimum point in the strictly bureaucratic administration.” Most experts would agree that, in theory, his suppositions were correct. When implemented with rigor, discipline, and quality at the core, his management solution would result in rational, efficient and organized activity that eliminated favoritism and improved the human condition.

Imagine, however, if Weber were able to experience a day in the life of a politician in Washington, D.C., or better yet, experience being a patient in the current U.S. healthcare system. Perhaps, he would be tempted to side with contemporary counterparts like Gary Hamel, who firmly believes that in order for organizations to flourish, bureaucracy must die. A visiting professor at London Business School and co-founder of The Management Innovation Exchange, he argues that when the goal is anything other than efficiency, bureaucracy itself is to blame for discord. “By their very nature,” he states, “bureaucracies are inertial, incremental and uninspiring. That’s a problem because today operational efficiency is just the price of entry; a necessary, but far from sufficient, condition for competitive success.”


Read Full Article here: