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Requirements for Control

The requirement for a controlled interaction with social complexity is trust in stable conditions. Only if you can trust, that the boss will also be the boss tomorrow, that the employee will still be employed, that the organisation will still exist, that the products, customers and markets will be the same, does it make sense to control whether yesterday’s agreements have been adhered to today. Control, therefore, requires a shared future. Authoritarian power always depends upon the fact that controlled positions/people cannot create an alternative future for themselves (preventing the escape from prison, travelling restrictions for dissidents, chaining of slaves, difficulties of termination because of notice periods, loss of company pensions or tenure etc.). Likewise, however, employees only allow themselves to be controlled when they can trust that this is useful to them (career, salary increase, bonus payments, avoidance of harassment etc.). These considerations have an immediate impact on patterns which form in the guiding process ‘social complexity’: The looser the connection of the organisational members with regard to a shared future, the less it can be controlled. Networks, in which employees do not have alternative employment, can therefore be controlled much less, or not at all, than administrative organisations.