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By O. Thyssen

Organizational values are a sizzling subject as deepest and public agencies usually are not purely evaluated in line with their items and gains, but additionally in line with the conditions of the product - labour stipulations, fabrics, hazards, human rights and social responsibility. Values are changing into the defining identification of enterprises.

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8. Niklas Luhmann employs words as powerful as ‘neurotic’ and ‘drug-like’ to describe the compulsion towards change in the functional systems and claims that ‘a society committed to growth is constantly threatening itself with its own past’ (The Reality of the Mass Media, Stanford, 2000, pp. 21, 39, 29). What was 32 Society 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. good enough yesterday is not good enough today. Increasing, thus, also means decreasing. See Hegel, Philosophy of Right, §191 and §195, to which we have previously referred in Chapter 1.

15 Modern societies are obsessed with knowing and obsessed with registering. We enthusiastically measure our condition on monitors, databanks and endless paper trails with statistics and numbers, we manically compare ourselves with the ones we usually compare ourselves with out of fear that we might fall behind. The result is a double spiral of information, in which information creates new conditions, which subsequently requires more information. Thus the information process becomes reflexive and is nearly capable of feeding itself.

4. After the Renaissance, a particular social theory emerged that has been called ‘possessive individualism’ in which the individual measures his success and failure in relation to his property and in which society measures its success in relation to its wealth, defined by its stock of precious metals; see Eli F. Heckschler, Mercantilism, 2 vols, London, 1994, vol. 2, Part V, Chap. 2, Part 1, ‘Freedom and Trade’. In Adam Smith’s theory about the market in The Wealth of Nations, Chap. B. Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke, Oxford, 1972.

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