[FOUNTAIN]Outside internalities

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[FOUNTAIN]Outside internalities

The keys for any group to succeed are its harmony and unity. A competent leader will effectively use incentives so that the group members will achieve their stated goals. In most cases, groups have rules for incentives, both in rewards and punishments. According to how a group uses those rules, it can either prosper or fall down.
Harmony and unity within a group are important, but if it gets excessive, it can bring extraordinary results. Those groups tend to cocoon with only their members, excluding themselves from outsiders and maximizing their selfish interests. If a group within a large organization only focuses on its benefits, it can collide with other departments and derail the goals of the entire organization. By putting the group’s interest first in every single case, it loses a sense of direction, not knowing why the group even exists. Rowing without any direction results in staying in the same spot in the middle of the river.
In economics and business management, we call this kind of event an internality.
Charles Wolf of the Rand Corporation introduced that term for the nonmarket, government failures. Wolf pointed out that internalities are one of the reasons the government fails every time it tries to fix failures of the market.
Although the government claims to work hard for the public interest, if we take a deeper look, the government actually promotes its internal interests as an organization.
The members busily cooperate to win more money for their budget, to increase the number of jobs, to change facilities and equipment and to control internal information. It’s a good thing they cooperate, but they are setting up goals only for themselves and working only for themselves. If a person questions whether the group is heading the wrong way, then he or she becomes the victim of bullying from others.
The code for the human resources of this incumbent government is one of the typical cases of internality.
From the outside, the government seems to promote innovation and the national interest, but is actually a group of people with the same codes setting up policy goals and changing titles with each other. Although the cooperation and unity are stronger than ever, the results are not attractive. It is due to the internally oriented operation of the group. These groups react cooperatively toward outside criticism. They say, “What difference does it make when people with the same mind are working together?” Though a little late, they are looking for a captain from the outside. But is the boat still floating?


by Kim Jong-soo

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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