Charles Heckscher

Recent Articles

Can Business Beat Bureaucracy?

During the past twenty years, in a profound shift, the leaders of large businesses have turned against the models of bureaucracy that long served as corporate ideals. In rhetoric and practice, managers previously focused on establishing clear lines of authority and accountability. Now they often disparage older hierarchical forms of organization; James Houghton, chairman of Corning Glass, goes so far as to say that "the age of the hierarchy is over." Instead, the new language of management increasingly celebrates involvement, creativity, individual autonomy, participation, even "empowering" employees to use their own initiative.