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Decision Premise: Programmes

Luhmann‘s decision premise ‘Programmes‘ can be assigned to the guiding processes ‘Handling the present’, ‘Decision Orientation’ and ‘Networking’.

With the word ‘Programme’ Luhmann means two things:

  1. Firstly, he means rules, which dictate that in the case of situation A the reaction/action B, should (not) happen, for example: “When the customer telephones, the jobholder XY answers and takes the order in the YZ way.” In large organisations there are thousands of such rules. These rules dictate what should be linked and decoupled (guiding process Networking). If someone doesn’t accept these rules in principle, he will usually not last long or wish to, as a member of the organisation.
  2. Secondly, there are rules which do not react to the occasion as outlined above, but relate to purpose and goals: “This year we will increase the sales figures by 15% in our region.” or “We intend to raise the customer satisfaction levels for our product by 10%.” Every organisation sets goals for itself, which can correspond to the inside or the outside.

Both types of programme, however, also need continuous decisions as to whether the rules should be applied or whether an exception is necessary. And this decision (guiding process Handling the Present) can be officially and formally regulated, or be decided unofficially and informally, in situ or in principle. With these formulations, you can already guess which complex interdependencies must evolve, in order to appropriately reduce complexity in organisations (and thus produce different complexity).