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Vishwadeep Khatri

Process Results Viz-A-Viz Default Rule

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From 1995 till 2007 - About 50,000 US citizens died due to want of a suitable organ donor.

An interesting statistic - Only 28% Americans have chosen to donate their organs while 99.9% of French citizens are potential donors.

What is the reason for this striking difference? Let us explore one by one.

  • Awareness? - This cannot be the reason as dozens of campaigns have been carried out in USA.
  • Moral development? - Do Americans believe that Doctors may not work as hard to save life of patients who have agreed to donate organs? This cannot be the reason. Evidence - Germans and Austrians share the same language, culture and are neighbors but have huge difference on this issue - 12% Germans are donors while 99.9% of Austrians are donors.

Something more important is at work behind all this - something more important than deliberate reasoning, national thought processes, or individual preferences.

The reason is - In the US, Great Britain and Germany, the legal default is that nobody is a donor without registering to be one. While in France, Austria, Hungary, everyone is a potential donor unless they opt out. This means the DEFAULT RULE works everywhere on this issue.

This is the same as Opt-In versus Opt-Out rule in a software program. As you see this rule can have serious long standing repercussions. Have you tried working with the default rule in organisational processes? It can work wonderfully for you.

Comments welcome.

Best Regards,


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