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Social Decision Stability

How do decisions (in organisations) become stable and binding, when they could always turn out to be different, too? Factually, by being correct, temporally, when the future is similar to the past, i.e. when it conforms to the expectations. And socially?

Consensus could be a possibility, if it were not so time-consuming and so difficult to reach. To bring all the affected parties together, in any case, usually remains illusory. Furthermore, agreement with the decision seldom means that this remains stable in everyday life, once the consequences of the decision are discovered. Then one does it differently, after all, or begins discussing it all from scratch. This is everyday life in organisations. Motivation is a further option. One promises a reward or threatens to punish in the case the decision is not complied with. This creates opportunity costs (power is expensive) and furthers opportunism (mercenaries, careerists or slaves alter their goals as soon as another is prepared to pay more, promises an improvement or offers the escape from pressure). A special form of motivation is the formation of a supporters’ base: Everybody follows the leader, the vision, the mission, the great goal. The disadvantage of this variant, which works with ‘meaning creation’ as a method for motivation, is the resulting inflexibility and all disadvantages that mild forms of fanaticism bring with them: loss of alternatives, group thinking, conflict stimulation, narcissistic infatuation, burnout dangers etc.

What remains are legal methods which carry with them an impediment to change (=contracts). This variant is not suited to all decisions (in organisations) and exists because of the possibility of and willingness to apply sanctions in the case of a breach of contract.

One can see, these are comparatively weak methods. This is why instability of a decision on the social level is the expectation. Conflict, discourse, negotiation, re-negotiation, boycott, hoodwinking, lies and deception, hope and disappointment must all be seen as phenomena in organisations which must be regulated, not as something which can be prevented.