I have often heard the movie Office Space called funny, albeit an exaggeration of the bureaucracy, particularly in America. While I have to agree that it is quite funny, I wouldn’t know what to make of it as a parody of the American bureaucracy. Though yes, the characteristics of Weber’s bureaucracy has been portrayed, along with Marx’s alienation.
Most of what I’ve heard and read about why office space is a must watch film is because people can actually relate to the day-to-day agony of a “modern desk job”. I keep mum on this because I have yet to experience the agony of a modern desk job, and that is why I am going to offer an analysis on this film on a very academic level.
The film cleverly utilizes humour to point out the flaws of a highly bureaucratized work area. Office Space portrays the high level of specialization through the employees at Initech. Each employee had their own job to do; they had clear-cut duties and were specialists in their own field. However, despite the specialization of jobs among the employees, there remained a hierarchy of positions and some characters were actually ranked higher than the rest. Thus this type of arrangement actually breeds contempt, and grudges were held against higher ranked employees by those on the lower positions.
Initech was also portrayed to be strict on rules and regulations to the extent that some policies seemed only to be employed purely as an example of how a bureaucratized organization is to function and obey rules and regulation. Going back to how Weber described bureaucracy, Initech thrived to function in a completely conventional fashion and used rules and regulations as a means to do so.
In addition, beyond following the rules and regulations, a highly bureaucratized organization places importance on “technical competence”. This was accomplished in the movie through the employment of Bob and Bob who were hired by the organization to “measure and evaluate” the technical...
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