H2: Public managers in more formalized organizations will experience higher alienation than those in less formalized organizations.
There exists, however, a contradictory strand in the literature suggesting that bureaucratic control reduces alienation by providing needed guidance, clarifying job responsibility and relieving role stress (Adler and Boris, 1996). This literature focuses on formalization and its theoretical role in reducing role conflict and role ambiguity, thereby relieving role stress (Jackson and Schuler, 1985). These assertions are supported in studies of salespeople (Michaels, 1988), technical professionals (Organ and Greene, 1981), and professionals and nonprofessionals ((Podsakoff, Williams and Todor, 1986). A third theoretical perspective contends that the relationship between bureaucracy and alienation depends on a range of factors not typically controlled in studies. Specifically, the type of formalization makes a difference, whether it is enabling or coercive (Adler and Boris, 1996) or process versus outcome oriented (Agalwar, 1990).
Technology routineness is an indirect form of organization control potentially alienating to public managers. While not a function of rules or procedures, technology routineness makes it possible to devise rules and regulations that produce predictable outcomes with respect to different tasks, thus making higher levels of formalization possible (Burton and Obel, 1998). Thus, as with centralization and formalization, we expect that:
H3: Public managers in organizations with higher technology routineness will experience higher alienation than public managers in organizations with lower technology routineness.
Although not strictly bureaucratic in nature, the effects of technology routineness are potentially similar: situations devoid of challenge and place for individual initiative, requiring individuals to behave in a uniform manner, will become quickly alienating. a reduction of workplace autonomy, an increase in feelings of powerlessness and reduction in the inherent meaningfulness of work.
Red tape, defined here as ineffective procedure that reduces organizational performance, may inhibit self-expression and the ability to positively impact clientele (Argyris, 57) and suppress natural desires for self-expression, responsibility, growth and