Main Page Contact Register Log In


Interestingly, it's not only governments that show this tendency. Corporations, non-profits, and even recreational clubs appoint single leaders. This also tends to happen fractally, with leaders assigned for subgroups (teams) and subtasks (projects).

The arguments I can think of for this are
a) speed. Communication takes time, and you may sometimes not have it. Though it seems like a small council could achieve comparable results if you make them live in the same building.

b) coherence. Multilateral compromises may sometimes induce inefficiency. This doesn't seem necessarily true, but it's easy to imagine cases where pursuing any of several competing visions wholeheartedly would be better than anything in the middle. It could well be that this is empirically the case.

c) responsibility. This is probably most important for smaller, less important organizations; for these, it's useful to have someone who is almost unconditionally at fault when something bad happens, as they will then always have incentive to prevent it. It's a way of inducing heroic responsibility and avoiding cases where everyone plays their role but the system crashes anyway because the roles aren't right.

See also Arrow's impossibility theorem, where dictatorship lets you get all the desiderata for a decision-making system (except non-dictatorship). An individual leader has no weird game-theoretic incentive to do things like strategically misrepresent their opinion.






An individual leader has no weird game-theoretic incentive to do things like strategically misrepresent their opinion.

I’m not sure this is true for real dictators. For instance, it has been suspected that Mao’s “hundred flowers” liberalization campaign was organized in order to draw all dissidents into the open.
72%
melian
stars0
Replies (1)



b) coherence. Multilateral compromises may sometimes induce inefficiency. This doesn't seem necessarily true, but it's easy to imagine cases where pursuing any of several competing visions wholeheartedly would be better than anything in the middle. It could well be that this is empirically the case.


Observe that "designed by committee" is a rather serious insult in the business world.
67%
VoiceOfRa
stars0
Replies (1)