ORGANIZATIONAL AMERICA by William G. & David K. Hart Scott

ORGANIZATIONAL AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There is an ""organizational imperative"" at work slowly destroying traditional values and replacing them with the values of the modern organization. We are trading individuality, indispensability, community, and voluntarism for obedience, dispensability, specialization, and paternalism. So argue Professors Scott (Management, Univ. of Washington) and Hart (Government, Univ. of Washington). As proof they offer mostly what others--John Kenneth Galbraith, Jacques Ellul, and E. F. Schumacher among them--have already said about the modern structure of work. No new data, no real evidence. Instead, mere configuration: we find our places amid the ""insignificant people,"" the ""professional people,"" or the ""significant people."" The insignificant people are clearly the worst off, suffering as they do from the ""weenie syndrome"": ""Managers generally believe they are the stuffers, and the insignificant people--the weenies--the stuffees."" But nobody wins; eventually everyone gets ""stuffed"" by the organization, In the end, whatever is left of the ""individual imperative"" will be swept away; our probable future is a totalitarian one--""bleak, solitary, homogeneous, and sterile."" Meanwhile, other things may happen: one chapter discusses how the significant people may opt for mind enhancement through electrical and chemical stimulation of the brain. Alas, the only hope lies with the professional people, whom the authors call ""the essential custodians of the modern organization"" or ""the new proletariat."" Maybe professionals will realize the possibility of a ""transcendent America."" More likely they won't. Pop management, in any case.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1979
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin