Bureaucracy, Collegiality and Social Change
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Bureaucracy, Collegiality and Social Change

Redefining Organizations with Multilevel Relational Infrastructures

Emmanuel Lazega

This insightful book theorizes the contrast between two logics of organization: bureaucracy and collegiality. Based on this theory and employing a new methodology to transform our sociological understanding, Emmanuel Lazega sheds light on complex organizational phenomena that impact markets, political economy, social networks and social stratification.
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Chapter 4: Government by relationships: policy, collegial oligarchies of insiders, and institutions of the political economy

Emmanuel Lazega


Understanding activation of a stratigraphic combination of bureaucracy and collegiality can be useful to approach the functioning of production markets and issues of policy design and implementation in the political economy. Empirical network studies illustrate, for example, how top-down collegiality and coopetitive collegial oligarchies operate in the construction of markets in various industries (wine, biotech, restaurant, audiovisual, financial, etc.), and in the construction of transnational public institutions, here a transnational collegial oligarchy of committed European judges building, over decades, the European Unified Patent Court, and thus a new European intellectual property regime. The more the political economy depends on such private/public, exclusive, collegial pockets of institutional entrepreneurs operating at several levels simultaneously (vertical linchpins) and aligning heterogeneous cultural conventions and structures, the more stratigraphic activation and its multilevel relational infrastructures are able to manage problems of market and regulatory coopetition. This exposes the multilevel dimension of institutional capture.

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