Mechanistic Variant: Reduce the Variables
Just because the mechanistic form is widespread that does not mean it is the most effective form for our environment. I suggest another dynamic, equally powerful: people strive to reduce the variables in their environment to constants. They do this by creating mental models that explain everything, whether those models are accurate or not. Managers strive for stability--if they can just solve A, B, and C, their world of work would be stable and they could relax. But that's a holy grail, of course, since there will always be a "next problem." So by creating mechanistic structures and processes, managers are just trying to stabilize their world of work, whether that's the best fit or not. For me, at least, this helps explain the management fad cycle: managers try the new fad approach, find it does not solve A, B, and C forever, and rather than adopting the approach for what it DOES solve, they throw it out as having not worked at all and move on to the next. Sad.