Bureaucracy, Blockocracy and Power

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Title: Bureaucracy, Blockocracy and Power
Authors: Kavanagh, DonnchaEnnis, Paul J.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/11099
Date: 6-Jul-2019
Online since: 2019-10-02T14:16:35Z
Abstract: Algorithmic authority is a distinctive and novel mode of domination. Akin to other modes described by Weber, it has associated organisational forms. This paper identifies and analyses one such form, blockocracy, which occurs in the context of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Taking a processual approach, we describe how blockocracy emerged historically out of an anti-bureaucracy ideology, a control revolution, a recognition that computer code can regulate conduct, and the increasing adoption of algorithms. Taking a shorter time-horizon, we identify four layers of algorithmic authority, and, focusing on the blockchain layer, we distinguish between off-chain and on-chain governance, with the latter having two types of off-chain rules. While the fashionable rhetoric is that the blockchain is immutable, we see the blockchain as a dynamic quasi-object, defining and mutating identities and possibilities. We conclude the paper by comparing blockocracy with Weber’s depiction of bureaucracy.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Keywords: BureaucraciesBitcoinAlgorithmic authority
Other versions: https://www.egosnet.org/2019_edinburgh/colloquium
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: The 35th European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), Edinburgh, Scotland, 4-6 July 2019
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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