You are here: Start

Uncertainty Absorption and Organisation

According to Luhmann one can state that uncertainty represents the basis for the existence of organisations. If one were able to control the present and lay down the future, and if all people were coordinated as if by themselves, then why and for what purpose would an organisation exist? Organisations are therefore a solution for the unavoidable uncertainty of the world.

Because the world is uncertain, shared goals and actions must be created. This happens through communication about decisions, which then become socially effective by controlling or trusting. Organisations, therefore, reduce (=absorb) uncertainty by establishing the past and the future: “This was important and we took it into account during our decision, and this is why the focus should be on this now, and the other things can be neglected!”.

Uncertainty is reduced by decisions, because existing possibilities are restricted (“At last we know where we stand!”). At the same time, new uncertainty is created, because follow-up decisions become necessary (“Now, who is going to do what?”). In this way, an organisation maintains itself.

Organisational decisions become expectations of their members. If one is a member of an organisation, then one is trusted and one is controlled as to whether those expectations, that the role carries with it, are fulfilled. Thus, the required, dynamic order and coordination is created.