Rule and Situation
In dealing with rules, two distinctions play an important role for the understanding the dynamics of an organisation. Every organisation must continuously check whether the rules fit the situation. For this, two possibilities are available to them:
The rule can either be used or remain inactive or
it is clarified whether it should be maintained or changed.
Organisations must use both possibilities in order to have sufficient freedom for the interaction with the specific present. This is because every situation is superior in its complexity to any rule. The two variants named above are very pattern-forming in their combinations and characteristics for organisations.
Here, one must take note that when the decision is made in favour of an unconditional observance of a rule, i.e. it must, therefore, be activated (!), a deviation is interpreted as a mistake, disobedience, illegality and other things. Thus, one drives the adaptation to the situation into the ‘underground’. In many cases, there is, for the organisational members, no other choice than to walk this path, particularly when they have an interest in the success of the work process. It follows that the rigid laying down of rules always goes hand in hand with this ‘danger’.