Over the past two decades, one of the major debates among organisational scholars has
focused on whether there has been a fundamental change in the nature of organisations.
In his book first published in 1996, Manuel Castells claimed that the main shift in organisations
could be “…characterized as the shift from vertical bureaucracies to the horizontal
corporation” (2010: 176).
If indeed such a shift has occurred, it bears implications for managers and organisations, with
respect to the issues of: (i) developing and integrating organisational culture (culture); and,
(ii) ensuring that work is performed consistently, and to standard (control).

In this essay, you are required to address the two following questions:
1. Do you believe there has been a fundamental shift in the nature of organisations, to the
point that the traditional principles of bureaucracy and hierarchy are no longer relevant?
2. In light of your response to the first question, discuss the implications of this ‘fundamental
shift’ (whether real, or so-called) upon: (i) organisational culture (i.e. particularly that variant
that sees it as a ‘social glue’ that can provide integration)

Readings:
* Castells, M. (2010) The Rise of the Network Society: With a New Preface. Volume I – 2nd
edition. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Chapter 3.
Clegg, S.R. (2012) The End of Bureaucracy? In T. Diefenbach and R. Todnem (Eds), Reinventing
Hierarchy and Bureaucracy – from the Bureau to Network Organizations. Bingley, UK: Emerald
Publishing Limited, pp.59-84.
Lundholm, S.E., Rennstam, J., and Alvesson, M. (2012) Understanding Hierarchy in
Contemporary Work. In T. Diefenbach and R. Todnem (Eds), Reinventing Hierarchy and
Bureaucracy – from the Bureau to Network Organizations. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing
Limited, pp.113-140.
Grey, C (2017) A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about studying
organizations, London, Sage, Chapter 3 (culture and self management) and Chapter 4 (post
bureaucracy and change management).

* Your major essay must consider the arguments by Castells (2010). Both the Clegg and
Lundholm, Rennstam and Alvesson readings are a counterpoint to Castells and you need to
consult these readings. Your response should analyse the implications of Castells’ view about
the changing nature of firms upon behaviours, policies, and practices associated with
organisational structure, culture, and control.

I would like you to supplement your discussion of control or culture by finding two or three
additional references.

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