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Trust in Control

Organisations are dependent upon the fact that they can be trusted. If it were customary to say: “Hello, Tax Inspector, I would first like to check if you are even competent!”, the tax control process would collapse. As we assume that the exams for becoming a tax inspector function, we can save carrying out our own checks (which, without expertise in the subject, would, in any case, be rather laborious) and we trust the established mechanisms within the organisation.

For organisations, therefore, much depends upon what sort of reputation the internal checkpoints have. The better their reputation, the more easily the complexity in the rest of the organisation can be processed with trust. The more manipulatable internal checkpoints are (bribery, cronyism, culture of favouritism), the more mistrust and hedging activities will spread. This usually has a direct, negative impact upon the effectiveness of the organisation.