<Bob Clark (940419.11:25 EDT)>
Informal groups and formal organizations come to conclusions, form
agreements -- "make decisions." How is this done? Does a group of
people include a Decision Making Entity? And/or a Reorganizing
Since a group consists of separate independent hierarchical control
systems without any direct physiological connections, neither a
single DME nor a single Reorganizing System can directly control
Given the existence of a group having neither a group DME nor a group
Reorganizing System, HOW CAN decisions be made? What is the decision
making process? Some groups have established procedures, perhaps
formal, perhaps taken for granted. However such procedures only work
when the members of the group decide to use them.
I recently observed and participated in a group Decision Making
Process. The local Civil Service Commission (I am a member) was
considering an appeal from a recent test for promotion in the Fire
Department. As a Commissioner, I was involved in the entire sequence
of events, from the filing of the appeal, its presentation,
discussion, to its evaluation and the final decision.
As expected, existing rules were used. But the rules only served to
provide a procedure, without automatically leading to a decision on
the appeal. The following is a summary of the events resulting in a
A. Statement of the problem. The appellant presented his view of
the situation and responded to clarifying questions. The problem was
then re-stated to the satisfaction of all participants.
B. Gathering data. The source(s), nature and procedures for testing
were reported as remembered by the members of the Commission.
Minutes of preceding Commission meetings were reviewed. Additional
aspects of the situation, such as urgency for filling two positions,
C. Evaluation of data.
The reported materials were considered in terms of applicability to
the current situation.
D. Decisions proposed and evaluated. After the Commission adjourned
to Executive Session (only Commission Members allowed), possible
decisions were proposed and evaluated in terms of legal requirements
and the objectives of the individual Commissioners. These included:
fairness to all candidates; implications for the future; effects on
the position of the appellant and other candidates; effects on
existing appointments that were based on the questioned test. A
decision was also needed regarding explanations to the appellant.
E. Decisions made. On returning to Open Session, a motion to deny
the appeal was made, seconded, and supported by voice vote. No
explanation is to be given appellant.
F. Further discussion. Ways to improve the testing process were
considered for future action.
A. Reports from individual memories provided the material presented
in A. and B. above.
B. There was no indication of the operation of anyone's Reorganizing
C. There was some indication of operation of individual Automatic
Systems. This was suggested by unusually short reaction times and
D. Operation of individual DME's was indicated by shifting of
language, unfinished sentences, changing viewpoints and slower
E. Use of individual imaginations was indicated by anticipation of
possible future situations/events that could result from possible
F. As a Decision Making Entity, each individual appeared to have
free access to all relevant components of his learned systems.
A. "Group Decisions" result from combining the individual's memories
B. Each individual pays attention to his own perceived error
C. The Decision Making Entity perceives errors in the learned
systems and anticipates possible intrinsic errors.
D. Normally the Intrinsic Errors are few and small. The Learned
Systems are usually capable of keeping the intrinsic systems within
E. Each Decision Making Entity is free to use imagination to examine
any memory, combination of memories, learned and/or automatic system.
F. Each DME can put into effect any combination of reference signals
that is perceived as likely to reduce the individual's own error
Regards, Bob Clark