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|Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
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|'Small acts of cunning': Bureaucracy, inspection and the career, c. 1890-1914
Guerriero Wilson, Robbie
|McKinlay A & Guerriero Wilson R (2006) 'Small acts of cunning': Bureaucracy, inspection and the career, c. 1890-1914. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 17 (5), pp. 657-678. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpa.2003.04.005
|The expansion of the managerial bureaucracy is a key organisational innovation of the late nineteenth century. Alfred Chandler has depicted this as a natural phenomenon triggered by geographic expansion and growing organisational complexity. The expansion of the branch networks of British retail banks contributed to their increased scale, but did not considerable scope for managerial choice over technology and organisation. A key development was the emergence of the bureaucratic career as the central form of control over individual performance and the presentation of the self. The development of the career was paralleled by the elaboration of 'small acts of cunning', organisational routines and reporting devices to monitor, track and discipline the individual over the long run.
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