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Trust, Breach of Rules, Exceptions

Organisations need anarchy, otherwise they would suffocate with rules. Here, anarchy means that it would be an overburdening of hierarchy to permit every single situation-appropriate treatment of a problem as an exception to a rule. Organisations need the informal, well-practiced competence of employees to circumvent instructions, processes, communication paths, decision-making programmes and decision makers.

This is only possible by trusting in this competence and in the cultivation of the informal area of organisations. To interpret, ignore, and forget the informal and unofficial possibilities of rules, without this being automatically regarded as disloyalty or directed against the organisation, must be considered an achievement of the organisational system.

Breaches of the rules cannot be controlled centrally, particularly because this would unsettle the trust in the hierarchy too much. Therefore, these are often informally delegated downwards. Officially, those at the top must not to know about this. This procedure, too, is usually regarded as morally questionable across the board. From a system-theoretical viewpoint this is seen differently. Without this possibility of informal breaches of the rules the organisation would, in certain situations, be too slow, too inflexible; it would create unfavourable precedence or adversely affect the hierarchy. It is unquestionable that such possibilities invite hierarchies to abuse their power and to sacrifice a scapegoat, rather than accept responsibility. However, it happens to have two sides and, therefore, both sides are utilised by organisations.