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The Culture of Contentment$
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John Kenneth Galbraith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171654

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171654.001.0001

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The Bureaucratic Syndrome

The Bureaucratic Syndrome

(p.51) Chapter 6 The Bureaucratic Syndrome
The Culture of Contentment

John Kenneth Galbraith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the bureaucratic syndrome is influenced by the pursuit of contentment. One of the most ubiquitous features of life in the late twentieth century is the complicated and multilayered organization. As economic and public operations become more complex, it is necessary to unite varying skills, different experience, different education, resulting specialization and different degrees of intelligence. The chapter first provides an overview of the bureaucratic syndrome before discussing how modern organization cultivates acceptance of what comfortably exists in the age of contentment. It then explores how the role of thought is diminished in the bureaucratic syndrome and goes on to describe a large organization's sense of common purpose. It also looks at the immunity of corporations to the adverse impact of bureaucracy and concludes with an assessment of the private sector as a form of escape from the bureaucratic syndrome.

Keywords:   bureaucratic syndrome, contentment, thought, common purpose, corporations, bureaucracy, private sector

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