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Hidden Attractions of Administration : The Peculiar Appeal of Meetings and Documents

Åkerström, Malin LU ; Jacobsson, Katarina LU ; Andersson Cederholm, Erika LU and Wästerfors, David LU (2021) In Routledge Studies in the Sociology of Work, Professions and Organisations
Abstract
This book argues that the expansion of administrative activities in today’s working life is driven not only by pressure from above, but also from below. The authors examine the inner dynamics of people-processing organizations — those formally working for clients, patients, or students — to uncover the hidden attractions of doing administrative work, despite all the complaints and laments about ‘too many meetings’ or ‘too much paperwork’. There is something appealing to those compelled to participate in today’s constantly multiplying and expanding administration that defies popular framings of it merely pressure from above. The Hidden Attractions of Administration shows in detail the emotional attractiveness, moral conflicts, and... (More)
This book argues that the expansion of administrative activities in today’s working life is driven not only by pressure from above, but also from below. The authors examine the inner dynamics of people-processing organizations — those formally working for clients, patients, or students — to uncover the hidden attractions of doing administrative work, despite all the complaints and laments about ‘too many meetings’ or ‘too much paperwork’. There is something appealing to those compelled to participate in today’s constantly multiplying and expanding administration that defies popular framings of it merely pressure from above. The Hidden Attractions of Administration shows in detail the emotional attractiveness, moral conflicts, and almost magical features that administrative tasks often entail in today’s organizations, supported by an ethnographic study consisting of over 200 qualitative interviews and participant observations from 10 organizational settings and contexts across Sweden. The authors also question and complement explanations in administration-related research that have previously been taken for granted, arguing that it is a simplification to attribute all aspects of the change to New Public Management and instead taking into account what the classic sociologist Georg Simmel called an Eigendynamik: a self-reinforcing tendency that, under certain circumstances, needs only a nudge in an administrative direction to get going. By applying ethnography to issues of bureaucratization and meeting cultures and by drawing on findings in emotional sociology and social anthropology, this volume contributes to both the sociology of work and the study of human service organizations and will appeal to scholars and students working across both areas. (Less)
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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Book/Report
publication status
published
subject
in
Routledge Studies in the Sociology of Work, Professions and Organisations
pages
192 pages
publisher
Routledge
ISBN
9781003108436
9780367622275
DOI
10.4324/9781003108436
project
Administrationens egendynamik - möten och dokument i samspel
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
09768f53-a7b3-4ce5-8e6a-320ba45ee81d
date added to LUP
2021-01-21 21:17:30
date last changed
2021-04-20 02:15:37
@book{09768f53-a7b3-4ce5-8e6a-320ba45ee81d,
  abstract     = {This book argues that the expansion of administrative activities in today’s working life is driven not only by pressure from above, but also from below. The authors examine the inner dynamics of people-processing organizations — those formally working for clients, patients, or students — to uncover the hidden attractions of doing administrative work, despite all the complaints and laments about ‘too many meetings’ or ‘too much paperwork’. There is something appealing to those compelled to participate in today’s constantly multiplying and expanding administration that defies popular framings of it merely pressure from above. The <i>Hidden Attractions of Administration</i> shows in detail the emotional attractiveness, moral conflicts, and almost magical features that administrative tasks often entail in today’s organizations, supported by an ethnographic study consisting of over 200 qualitative interviews and participant observations from 10 organizational settings and contexts across Sweden. The authors also question and complement explanations in administration-related research that have previously been taken for granted, arguing that it is a simplification to attribute all aspects of the change to New Public Management and instead taking into account what the classic sociologist Georg Simmel called an <i>Eigendynamik</i>: a self-reinforcing tendency that, under certain circumstances, needs only a nudge in an administrative direction to get going. By applying ethnography to issues of bureaucratization and meeting cultures and by drawing on findings in emotional sociology and social anthropology, this volume contributes to both the sociology of work and the study of human service organizations and will appeal to scholars and students working across both areas.},
  author       = {Åkerström, Malin and Jacobsson, Katarina and Andersson Cederholm, Erika and Wästerfors, David},
  isbn         = {9781003108436},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Routledge Studies in the Sociology of Work, Professions and Organisations},
  title        = {Hidden Attractions of Administration : The Peculiar Appeal of Meetings and Documents},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781003108436},
  doi          = {10.4324/9781003108436},
  year         = {2021},
}