"The centralization of planful
reflection and the consequent expropriation of individual rationality parallel
the rationalization of the white-collar hierarchy as a whole. What a single
individual used to do is now broken up into functions of decision and research,
direction and checking up, each performed by a separate group of individuals.
Many executive functions are thus becoming less autonomous and permitting
less initiative. The centralization of reflection entails for many the
deprivation of initiative: for them, decision becomes the application of
fixed rules. Yet these developments do not necessarily mean that the top
men have less intellectual tasks to perform; they mean rather, as Henri
de Man has observed, that the less intellectual tasks are broken
up and transferred down the hierarchy to the semi-skilled white-collar
employees, while the managerial top becomes even more intellectualized,
and the unit of its intellectuality becomes a set of specialized staffs.
The more those down the line are deprived of intellectual content in their
work, the more those on top need to be intellectualized, or at least the
more dependent they become upon the intellectually skilled" (White
Collar: The American Middle Classes, 1951, pp. 140-141).