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Guiding Process Social Complexity

The process of organising (= organisation) decides how social complexity is reduced. This can happen in two opposing ways: “Does the organisation decide whether to trust or control?” These decision-making procedures form the guiding process social complexity.

Control enables a packaging of information. This is indispensable for (self) regulation of larger social systems. By regulating, the organisation also burdens itself with having to evaluate this information. This costs time and personnel. The capacity for this is limited by necessity – and demotivating the regulated positions must also be kept in check. Therefore, a decision must be made as to where and how much regulation the organisation can afford.

Complexity can be significantly reduced by trust. Individual parts of the organisation are not overloaded with communications, can process more information and, particularly, more quickly. Therefore, trust is not an act of humanity, but simply an important variant in handling social complexity! A disadvantage is that the ability to coordinate the activities in the organisation reduces. At the same time, the overview is reduced with regard to how activities may have a knock-on effect on other areas of the organisation.

Clearly, both decision poles, trusting as well as regulation, incur costs, which must be kept in mind. Any assessment or favouritism of one of the two poles must, for this reason, be viewed sceptically (trust is good, control is better). The art of organising consists of deciding where, when and how trust or, respectively, regulation is necessary.