> While it may appear that the Warnick Theory of Perverse Government Tangents
> has thus been born full grown, it is nevertheless recognized that
> improvements or amplifications may be possible. They are welcome.
> Walt Warnick
Sorry, Walt. You've been beaten to the punch:
Read Meyer and Rowan's 1977 article "Institutionalized Organizations:
Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony" in the American Journal of
Sociology. The point of their article is that you should think of a lot of
bureuacratic behavior as a signal of legitimacy. The behavior may have no
obvious benefit and it's done only to satifsy legal regulation, noisy
interest groups or "public opinion." Since then, they've scaled down their
claims (they originally claimed most behavior was a legitimacy signal) but
the basic point is well taken, especially for public administration.