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Subject: Re: [soa-rm-ra] Definition of Governance

It would be interesting to evaluate governance success vs. how clear and accurate the statement was of governance goals, but I believe that is out of scope :-).

My past standards associate, Carl Cargill, noted that standards development has a very long and dishonorable history.  (Carl has been at this much longer than I and also has a very well honed sense of cynicism.)  Per Carl, the intent of participants is always to see if they can control the agenda to their benefit, they compromise when getting some of what they want is better than nothing, and they often create new standards organizations when they can't sufficiently control the existing ones.  Those are the explicit goals and processes of most participants in economic ecosystems.

The problem with comparison to the US Constitution is we rarely have a collection of people of that caliber whose goal is the public good and not primarily their own.

Our governance model needs to cover both.


On Sep 10, 2007, at 4:18 PM, Ellinger, Robert wrote:

Some thoughts that I have been working for a book on a new type of economics, entitled Organizational Economics: The Formation of Wealth.

Obviously the US Constitution defines the functional structure of governance in the three branches of government, but more importantly for our discussion it defines the goal of governance.  The preamble to the US Constitution has an excellent definition of the reason of governance and is the constitution structure reflects a good governance architecture. 

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The blue-lighted/bolded clauses make up a good definition of the goals of governance, i.e., what it is supposed to do.  Governance "establishes justice, (a level playing field and/or rules of competitive non-lethal engagement) which ensures a good Saturday night for the weak (that is, domestic tranquility because there is a level playing field and rules of engagement that are supposed to apply to everyone equally, [except for Congress {if con is the opposite of pro, what is the opposite of progress?}]); and promote the general welfare in two ways (by setting measurement standards (see Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3, which states "…to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." and in other clauses To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures; To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States; To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries) and by ensuring a communications infrastructure of that era (To establish post offices and post roads).

I suspect that governance in all organizations have the same goals.  The reason for differences is cultural more than functional.  These are not individual or organizational goals only, but also the implicit goals of all economic ecosystems and the reasons for alliances and standards organizations (e.g., its hard to trade without standard weights and measures and without an impartial market--which explains the reason for markets worrying about insider trading).


Ken Laskey

MITRE Corporation, M/S H305     phone:  703-983-7934

7515 Colshire Drive                        fax:        703-983-1379

McLean VA 22102-7508


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