Governance of Perspectives in a Relational Partnership Society

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What is the distinction between a social enterprise and a private firm when both intend to behave commercially as well as socially? The usual characterization that distinguishes a for-profit-enterprise from a non-profit enterprise, or a state-owned enterprise, is based on institutional and legal attributes that don’t clarify the reason of their existence. The standard economic modeling embeds the social and public enterprise in an environment that is almost exclusively based on monetary and utility generating incentives. This paper deviates from this neoclassical approach and relies on the relational approach that is built on relational capacities (including happiness and well-being) of agents. A relational capacity is modeled as a ternary relation, in which a pair of agents interact to generate an outcome in which both have contributed. A common opinion may result, for example, from the interaction between two discussants. Or a common action resulting from the interaction between partners in a transaction.
The innovative idea introduced in this paper is a modeling vehicle that identifies a generic structure of roles and rules of motion of the transient relational capacities in any eligible target system. That vehicle is a symmetric and closed mathematical structure of ternary relations, called a projective geometry. The actual, transient properties of a target system are mapped into this generic structure, resulting in an asymmetric and open structure, called a relational partnership. Its duality property gives a direct correspondence between the relational capacities of partners and their behavioral workplaces or domains. These are spanned by Economic, Human, or Imperial perspectives on the one hand, and available means and resources on the other hand.
That common modeling vehicle allows for comparing widely different organizations that are all transformations of a relational partnership. It also characterizes these organizations by the degree in which they focus on businesslike economic values and resources, on cooperative or emotional human values and resources, or on imperial mentality values and resources. These properties allow an observer to navigate across the set of partnerships and to identify the reciprocal conditions put on partners. The observation that any organization is a composition or an amalgamation of these identities makes it hard to govern such a hybrid organization. One result of the relational approach in this paper is the theorem that the hybridity of the partners’ perspectives and identities, can be resolved by making a partner accountable in her appropriate behavioral domain(s).
But there is more. The existence of the modeling vehicle allows also for expanding and evolving the partnerships. Firstly, by associating a partner with parallel clones that are endowed with the same generic vehicle, and with perspectives parallel to the partner’s actual perspectives, and such that the aggregation of clones results in outcomes that correspond with the macro behavior of the original partner. Inversely, this property allows for decentralization of partnership-decisions under much more general conditions than the decentralization property in a market economy under a uniform price system. This stabilizes a society. Next, the evolution of a partnership by associating a partner with micro-partners. These are constructed by giving parallel clones more freedom, so they can evolve to micro-partners in the partnership, from which diversity emerges. Such a partnership may perform as partner in a higher level partnership. These partnerships together form the hierarchical partnership society.
Since it has been shown that each organization or transaction in such a partnership society consists of two distinguishable, but interacting bipolar domains: (i) the legal transaction domain and (ii) the mindset domain, their interaction can be analyzed. In the transaction domain, the outcomes at different levels are determined by the authority and resources of partners on that level, from high level to lower levels. Conditional on the availability of suitable embodying institutions, this mental structure is transformed in, and coevolves with the transaction mechanism in force. In the mindset domain, the common values and expectations are formed from partners’ perspectives and experiences, from a low level to a higher level. Both processes together create a well-being or ‘relational growth spiral’ in the evolving partnership society, while identifying an enterprise as econ, human or imperial by the domain on which it is focused and in which it is accountable. It is a branch of the social sciences that contains a portfolio of models, each based on a common or generic infrastructural architecture.
Since perspectives and organizations are not restricted to the Econ domain with its objective of achieving maximal profits or utility, the objective of enhancing the partners’ relational capacities by the balancing of perspectives and resources within each partnership generates a ‘well-being growth spiral’ for each partnership, inclusive the society as a whole, which surpasses the outcomes of the standard approach.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages69
Publication statusSubmitted - 2016


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