We believe that the increasing individualization of our societies and the accompanying diversity bears a great potential for our society – the potential to be equipped to face the challenges of modern times. After all, systems are only adaptable to an ever changing and complex environment, if they are able to represent their environment’s complexity internally and have learned to handle it. The question thus is: when and why will individuals work with diverse others and willingly subordinate to a bigger cause without being coerced or tricked into doing so – ultimately, so that the involved parties work more efficiently with each other but are also more satisfied in doing so.
It is therefore that interpersonal respect has a special significance in our endeavors because to respect someone means to acknowledge and appreciate his/her difference and to be open for influence from him/her. Hence, it is ultimately interpersonal respect that makes complex systems governable without reducing or suppressing the system-inherent diversity. Ultimately, in investigating respect, it is pivotal to understand its natural logic and functioning within any given system – without using normative pathos or point a moralist finger at politics, business, or education. …because we believe that respect pays off not against but because of the inherent logic of each social system.