Monday, December 01, 2014


This is why I have had my suspicions about the "business" sections of bookstores for decades.

In 1940, a young sociologist named Robert K. Merton published an essay called “Bureaucratic Structure and Personality,” in which he coined the phrase “displacement of goals.” Bureaucracy develops, Merton wrote, because large organizations require rules and procedures, lest they fall into the administrative and financial chaos and governance-by-whim of the kind that brought down William Durant. But eventually the rules and procedures devised to help the organization achieve its goals take on a life of their own, and become “an immediate value in the life-organization of the bureaucrat.” In other words, when people orient their lives around the rules, the purpose of the organization gets lost.

No matter what is tried there's no magic bullet to run one capitalist organization better than all the others, actually, because capitalism.   But then you also don't need the idea that there is a "Welch Way" or a "Google Way," etc.