Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

Faced with all these constraints, line managers struggled to devise ways to get around the system. Instead of transferring an employee from one job to another, a process that took days of shuffling papers, the employee would be "loaned" (technically, detailed) to the new post. Instead of firing incompetent workers, they would be given undesirable assignments in hopes they would quit; if they didn't, at least they were out of the way. If a manager wanted to promote an engineer but discovered that the higher grade only could be given to a person with supervisory duties, a new subunit - say, a Widget Branch, consisting of three people - would be created so that the promoted engineer could "supervise" it.

- James Q. Wilson, Bureaucracy

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