Data of the Internal Environment
Data, in terms of numbers-based information, compensate in part for the inability of an organisation to perform. Data, once presented, ensure a certain communication pressure. Many organisations react more strongly to (new) data than to the communicated perceptions of employees. It makes a difference whether opinions are being presented (“I think the satisfaction of our employees is not great.”) or whether data about this is being produced (“The employee survey shows a grave loss of trust in upper management in the XY location!”). Data are often not so easily ignored, because the ignoring is usually traceable!
Therefore, it very much depends upon ‘which’ data are compiled from the internal environment of an organisation. For this, there are well-established routines (controlling, book-keeping, performance management reviews), which are mostly tolerated or improved, but seldom questioned. And there are special data compilations such as employee questionnaires, organisational analyses by accountants, health checks or revisions. In the areas where there are no data presented, it is discussed less frequently in the (official) communication and, therefore, also plays a less important role in the guiding process decision orientation. Thus functions, whose perceptions and contributions to success are more difficult to present in the form of data, often have a ‘competitive disadvantage’. Whether to acquire data or not, this is anything but a subordinate question.