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Four Essays on Different Topics

1) Paul Weyrich makes reference to the idea of the "courtier" as a particular style of bureaucrat, a style that Weyrich says has been taking over and succeeding over truly qualified personnel. The idea is derived from an article in an air force publication, and the author, Dr. Chipman, describe the courtier as a self-centered person who is more interested in appearance than reality. The courtier follows all the rules for a successful appearance in the bureaucracy, whether that be a public or a private bureaucratic structure. The courtier is more intent on appearing to be effective than on getting the job done and being effective, and he is considered very effective at this deception. Chipman further indicates that the courtier is not something that is merely happening but is actually being promoted in various writings and training sessions which emphasize social skills over business skills. Weyrich says indeed that business skills no longer count and that those of us who have them are not being heeded:

We are often the majority. But we are a silenced majority. The bureaucrats and courtiers have taken over (Weyrich, 1984, 189).

Weyrich indeed finds that this style is becoming the norm in every type of organization and not only in what we traditionally think of as bureaucracies:

More and more often, when a group is formed for some kind of project, the people in it pay attention not to what they are supposed to produce, but to each other. Each member of the group tries to flatter everyone else. They all try to build personal connections rather than the product (Weyrich, 1984, 190).

Weyrich believes that the result of this trend will be that bureaucratic behavior will become part of our culture and will define our behavior in and out of traditional organizations:

This may be the most dangerous price we can pay for bureaucracy, because once we have paid it, there will be no escape (Weyrich, 1984, 190).

For Weyric...

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