Sociocracy, democracy and holacracy are currently on everyone’s lips. According to some media and journal papers, the three concepts are intended to represent the future of companies and could represent the next form of Company evolution after Laloux represent. However, it is not clear which one will really prevail and whether one will prevail at all. Below we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of all three models.

The sociocratic enterprise and sociocracy

Sociocracy (Latin: socius: companion and kratein: to govern) assumes that all parties involved are the same when it comes to managing decisions in a company. A decision is made as soon as there is no longer any serious counter-argument. The method therefore requires self-motivation, a cooperative togetherness and personal responsibility. In accordance with the Management Y principle, it also aims to ensure that employees “feel good” and therefore strive for self-realization in the company. Management X means that a person basically strives for an aversion to work and a manager has to force him to work. Management Y, on the other hand, says that work is a high priority for employees and is an important source of complacency.
Take a look at the book Management Y from Brandes . There I also used all the information for this paragraph and it is currently the most widespread approach, which is based on the human striving for self-realization and is based on sociocracy. Also read mine for more information Article on Management Y and sociocracy.

The holocracy company and holacracy

I have Holocracy already explained in another article. For this reason, I would just like to briefly summarize what holocracy could be according to current literature: Holocracy is a decision-making practice that allows in complex interconnected functional units (holons or circles) to govern oneself by serving the purpose of the company.
The differences to sociocracy are not so easy to see. But to put it simply: Holacracy appears to be more structured. Roles are precisely assigned through the individual circles and thus the individuals (egos) are separated from each other. With sociocracy, all of these points are optional. So the big difference really lies in the somewhat stronger structure of Holacracy versus Sociocracy. For comparison: Holacracy is a new framework that offers certification through an umbrella organization. Sociocracy has been around for over 40 years and does not include official certification. Take a look at that Book by Robertson or read You my article too Holocracy .

The democratic company and democracy

The approach of democracy in companies first of all represents the questions: Who leads me, who represents me and how am I involved in the company? Here, too, experiments are carried out with the “time” factor in leadership. The second topic is self-determination: where do I work, when and with whom? So it’s about more say for employees and fairness of opportunities. According to the author of the book “Democratic Companies”, it is a matter of fulfilling the wishes of employees in developing the strategy of their company and letting them decide on their own work situation. So it puts the group decisions in the foreground. The goal is not to get a majority decision, according to the author, but to change the positions of the group members so that their voices unite to form the critical mass of an option. For more information and the sources for this paragraph, take a look at the book democratic companies by Sattelberger et al. , which deals intensively with democracy in companies. A separate one Article on corporate democracy can also be found on the blog.

Is that agile and evolutionary?

We quickly notice that all models are still very abstract and have not yet been tested in implementation. All 3 models are different from the basic idea. In the course of the research I will do case studies in all 3 forms and examine exactly whether these forms are really agile and evolutionary and whether these models have advanced companies and how they are changing companies. All 3 models have the involvement of employees as a high goal.

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Gendernote: I have used the masculine form for ease of reading. Therefore, unless an explicit distinction is made, it always refers to women, diverse as well as men, and people of all origins and nations. Read more

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Verwendete Quellen anzeigen

Brandes, U., Gemmer, P., Koschek, H., & Schältken, L. (2014). Management Y . Munich: Campus Verlag.

Robertson, B. (2015). Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World . New York: Macmillan USA.

Sattelberger, T., Welpe, I., & Boes, A. (2015). The democratic company . Munich: Haufe Verlag.


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Dr. Dominic Lindner
Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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