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Communication Stimulation by Means of Control

Wherever organisations operate in a controlling manner, a situation arises which stimulates communication. Every consultation, each budget and finance planning, all meetings about the actual control numbers and their interrelationship, annual targets, and target accomplishment discussions, are forms of communication and are often coupled with decisions. By means of the control mechanism structures, and their interrelationship, an organisation also always decides what is communicated, where, when, with whom and for what purpose. Control processes, therefore, also stimulate meaningful communication in organisations.

From a system-theoretical viewpoint, this is an important explanation for why, in most organisations, so much of the employees’ attention is focused upon who will take part in which discussions, and in what role. Meeting structures are, therefore, like the informal channels which determine who takes care of whom; they are a central mechanism in dealing with social complexity and the participation or exclusion of decision-makers. The design and analysis of these structures is, thus, an important focus for management and consultancy: through this, communication patterns can be recognised, and, if required, particularly efficiently altered. From an organisational theory point of view, hardly anything has more influence on the stability or changing of organisations than the changing of meetings (daily agendas, rhythms, duration, participants’ composition and decision-making entitlements).