Group behaviour and organisations

The various views on organisations can be distilled into two distinct opinions. The first is that organisations exist in order to contribute to society in some particular way. For example, that the news media exist to keep a check on power or that hospitals exist to heal people from disease. The second view is that organisations exist to protect and perpetuate themselves by benefitting those in power. For example, that the news media exist to spread propaganda and so support those in power, or that hospitals exist to get money from insurance agencies. Taking a step back we realise that any organisation is under evolutionary selection pressure, so that whatever the internal dynamics and philosophical disposition of the organisation and its constituents, they must adhere to the de facto rules of society or be swept away. Whatever those rules are depends on the shared behaviour of the people who together shape that society.

It is no easy matter to determine what actual rules a society abides by. Those who form part of the society can be blinded by propaganda that is specifically tailored to them, which (if it is any good) should be very difficult to detect.

The social dilemma

Social science and game theory suggest that there are group behaviours which can only exist as long as everyone adheres to the internal rules, and others that exist if not everyone adheres to the rules. For obvious reasons the first is deemed &lquot;unstable&rquot;, the other stable.