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Data of the External Environment

Market research, big-data, benchmarks, analyses about customer behaviour, market reach – the possibilities to provide oneself with data about the external environment are endless. On the one hand, this serves the orientation for decision-making and on the other hand it increases the complexity of the organisation. When, then, must data be selected, what amount, how trustworthy is it, what interpretation is possible and what are the following consequences? All this must be decided, requires communication, creates conflict and consumes time. In particular, though, it first increases the level of insecurity in the organisation.

The guiding process decision orientation occupies itself precisely with this complexity. Organisations must choose from the abundance of external environmental data which is being offered and made available. The tendency to believe ‘the more data, the better the decisions’ is great. Often the decisions about which data are relevant are made by the preferences of individual managers or they are driven by business consultancy, who make appropriate material available to their customers (and in this way are able to boost their business).

As changes always carry insecurity with them, where previously security ruled, new data is also a preferred instrument for organisational development. Once it is known that the competition has 20% less lead time, customer complaints, cashflow etc., then it is more difficult to defend the status quo and not to alter anything.