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Which types of decisions exist? astronuat looks at the stars through a telescope

Decision-making is not a one-size-fits-all concept, and this blog post delves into the intricacies of the topic. It explores the nature of decisions and their implications for organizational culture.

"Decisions are primarily determinations; they transform the indefinite into the definite, the unclear into the clarified." (Boos and Buzanich-Pöltl, S. 119)

In an organization, countless decisions are made daily, ranging from the cafeteria's weekly menu to high-level management choices. How is this continuous stream of decisions managed to prevent chaos? Decisions must be interconnected, meaning that a decision already made serves as a reference for future decisions, providing guidance. Organizations evolve based on their decisions.

A useful framework is provided by Luhmann's inspired triangle of organizational development, which identifies three distinct decision dimensions (or "decision premises") for categorizing substantive decisions: Programs, Communication Paths, and Personnel. (vgl. Boos and Buzanich-Pöltl, S. 122f)

  • Programs encompass all factual decisions related to areas such as corporate strategy, goals, purpose, business plans, or investments. They specify what needs to be done when a particular condition arises or what goals should be achieved.
  • Communication Paths describe all steps related to decision-making: Organizational chart definitions, meeting formats, and processes determine responsibilities and competencies, essentially the organizational structure and workflow.
  • Personnel refers to any decisions related to employees, such as hirings, promotions, or dismissals. A decision for or against an employee establishes subsequent decisions

Together, these three decision premises influence a fourth decision dimension: the decision premise of culture. Decisions made about programs, communication paths, or personnel contribute to the culture, significantly shaping a company's DNA. Therefore, it is crucial to make, document, communicate, and track decisions carefully, as the survival of the company practically depends on them.

At, we envision that companies can make good and sustainable decisions. A decision is sustainable when it is interconnected and binding. Binding decisions, in turn, lead to a binding organizational culture.

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