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Hierarchy and Decisions

If everyone knew what the solution to the problem was, then no decision, communication or hierarchy would be required. Communication is only created because there are different interest positions and problem definitions, which are associated with different decision preferences. Decisions are only required when something is neither certain (2 x 2 = 4) nor impossible (“Build a house in one hour!”).

In a rational, functional concept of organisations, hierarchical positions primarily have expertise. Hierarchies are experts who know the best decision. This is why the best experts were promoted (and often still are).

In a system-theoretical concept, positions in the hierarchy are primarily positions of power, which are supposed to process interests, i.e. particularly important interests. However, the most important interest for an organisation is always that a decision is made at all (“Rather a bad decision than none at all!”). Thus, hierarchy has the function of ensuring decisions are made. A hierarchical role contains within it the imposition to be seen as someone who decides and in doing so, will always violate interests. Anyone who carries such a role, must know this.