Teamwork Complex: Bureaucracy
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The "Bureaucracy Complex"

The Bureaucracy Complex occurs when the team overuse the Curator team role.

Healthy use

When used appropriately, the Curator team role is used to bring clarity to the information, ideas and understanding. Curators listen, ask questions and absorb information, so that in their mind's eye they can achieve as clear a picture or understanding as is possible. They expand their knowledge and collection of experiences, and also look to the future by envisaging clear goals and clear pathways to achievement of those goals. The focus on clarity also brings greater attention to detail.

Excessive use

If the Curator team role is used to excess, however, and Group-Think sets in, then the team puts too much effort into clarifying and holding data for its' own sake. They start to ask for too much information, record it in too much detail and keep it for too long. Rather than being a valuable asset, knowledge then starts to become a handicap for the team, their performance can start to collapse under the weight of information and the effort required in looking after it. They also spend so much time looking at the detail that they 'miss the wood for the trees', failing to see the bigger picture. They may also be unwilling to make assumptions, rejecting things unless every 'i' is dotted and every 't' crossed.

The complex is given the name "Bureaucracy" because the excessive emphasis on information can create an unnecessary procedural or paper burden that inhibits effective action.


Complexes can be very difficult to deal with. See our general page on Complexes for more information.

A good facilitator or consultant can help the team in various ways, such as:

Psychology Footnote

The Bureaucracy Complex results from rigidity in the team's use of introverted Sensing.

See all sixteen team complexes.

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