Pronounced: in-FRAN-juh-buhl, adj
Notes: I recognize “in” as a negation, so “not frangible” — whatever that is
The word adhocracy means
- a flexible, adaptable organization that lacks a formal structure
- an organization characterized by lack of planning, responding to problems as they emerge rather than anticipating and avoiding them
A relatively recent word; it showed up in the 1960s
Background / Comments
The word was coined by Warren Bennis and Philip Slater in the book The Temporary Society. The source is Latin ad hoc (literally ‘for this’; that is, ‘for a particular purpose only’) and -cracy (rule). The first definition seems more flattering than the second, mostly due to phrase “lack of planning” in the definition. However, there is probably a happy medium – one can do general planning and then handle issues as they occur. Some people/groups seem to spend far too much time and energy trying to cover every possible contingency instead of getting their main task done.
I have a backlog of words; a few years back, I added mouthfeel because I didn’t know it. However, in the time since then, I’ve seen some cooking shows and have heard the word several times. I thought it was a very recent word, but it actually goes back to the 1950s.