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Countertrading with Exceptions

One hand washes the other – this is a well-known saying about this organisational aspect of handling the present. Beyond the formal processes, organisations preserve their flexibility and readiness for unusual situations by the provision of a type of parallel currency: those holding roles and functions allow scope for decisions and actions by ‘not being so exact’ about unofficial enquiries from others. They cover the mistakes of others, interpret the performance of others as sufficient, they accept some things or sign the acceptance.

On the one hand, this serves the purpose of allowing progress to be made in the organisation, even when circumstances happen to be irregular. On the other hand, one also earns the right to anticipate lenient treatment of an exception in the reverse case. One barters with the future in mind. As almost all are, or will be, in some way involved in it, this system of informal barter is relatively benign, as long as no heavy mistakes (with a legal aspect) arise.