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Psychological Unpredictability

Social complexity arises from the fact that people are unpredictable. As soon as one has to deal with people, everything can, from that moment on, be different than one expected. This is why social structures are always distinguished by their attempts to secure themselves against surprising and unfavourable behaviours of individuals: friend-enemy schemes, family-clan loyalty obligations, norms, punishments, exclusions, contracts, promises, vows and pledges, rights jurisdictions – the list is endless. To master human freedom in organisations and teams, it is not sufficient to merely set up controls and sanctions, or trust and confirmation, unilaterally. On the one hand, complete supervision, and with it complete loss of self-motivation, would end in favour of fear-driven behaviours. In that case it would no longer be possible to achieve successful statehood, and certainly not economic or collective success. But to only rely on trust and confirmation, on the other hand, underestimates the destructive possibilities and impulses of people. People can be cooperative, peace-loving, fair-minded and altruistic. But they can also be competitive, quarrelsome, defensive and autonomous. An organisation must be able to deal with both. Therefore, it always requires both, control and trust, affirmation and negation, confirmation and sanctioning.