Whenever a person or group of people delegate a task or objective to another person or group of people, this is what we expect will happen.
Someone in a position of authority (e.g., citizens, members, shareholders, a board of directors, a boss) communicates clear objectives to a delegatee, who, by virtue of the role they accepted, is empowered to achieve those objectives. Once an objective has been achieved, the authority sees and acknowledges the results.
If the results don’t match the objective, the objective might be clarified, or some corrective measure(s) might be taken.
A major source of frustration occurs when a spurious influence disrupts this flow of objectives/expectations transforming into results/compliance.
This influence could be fairly benign, such as a distraction or a suggestion that replaces the original objective, or corrupt, such as a bribe or a threat from an outside party. In the more serious cases, this ethical breach means that the original authority does not get the expected result, or at the very least not in a timely manner, and is often left not knowing why.
To guard against spurious influences, organizations and democracies must always work to strengthen the structural integrity of their systems. This is no small task, but it is aided by (1) societal norms around truth-telling and integrity, (2) group decision-making methods that encourage information sharing (facts) and that develop mutual understanding, and (3) widespread use of good governance principles.
See also: Quick, What is Policy Governance Again?
and “Personnel is Policy”? Let’s Try: Policy is Policy
and Policy Governance is Much More Than Just Having Policies