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Seeking regenerative work in the post-bureaucratic transition
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
2008 (English)In: Journal of Organizational Change Management, ISSN 0953-4814, Vol. 21, no 1, 76-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - This aim of the paper is to explore regenerative work supporting employees' personal development and, thus, sustainable coping capacity in the post-bureaucratic transition. Design/methodology/approach - A comprehensive literature review was carried out to build a theoretical framework on regenerative work. Two case studies with an interpretative, action research approach provide empirical examples. Qualitative semi-structured interviews and participative observations were carried out. Findings - The case studies indicate that the regenerative potential of work is threatened by the unbalanced nature of the post-bureaucratic transition. Confined bureaucratic work is changing into more complex and boundaryless post-bureaucratic work. However, organizational practices are still founded on the bureaucratic mentality emphasizing impersonality, pre-planning, and rigid top-down use of power. Post-bureaucratic work realities exist in bureaucratic work organizations; the clashes between the two mentalities lead to human resources consumption rather than their regeneration. Research limitations/implications - As the paper is founded on only two case studies, further research should be carried out on the inconsistencies between the nature of work and organizational practices regulating work. Practical implications - The paper outlines alternative post-bureaucratic approaches to organizing, post-bureaucratic organizational values and structures are depicted, employees' autonomy and interconnectedness are discussed as the elements of a post-bureaucratic organization. Originality/value - It is shown how the post-bureaucratic transition proceeds in an unbalanced manner such that daily work activities are more influenced by the post-bureaucratic approach while the solutions for organizing still rely on the bureaucratic mentality. The proposed theoretical model on regenerative work outlines the kind of work experiences leading to employees' sustainable well-being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 21, no 1, 76-91 p.
Keyword [en]
bureaucracy, employees, self development, change management, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-36206DOI: 10.1108/09534810810847048ISI: 000253923000005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-38949139816OAI: diva2:430465
QC 20110711Available from: 2011-07-11 Created: 2011-07-11 Last updated: 2011-07-11Bibliographically approved

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Forslin, Jan
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