Modern Collection: Myth or Fact? by Enrique Rosas González
The collection as a social and economic fact has been around since the beginning of humanity. Upon studying Darcy Ribeiro’s contributions in the field of the socio-economic evolution, we identify several elements that prove the existence of this process: 1) adaptive system; 2) associative system; and 3) ideological system. Maybe the most important of them all is the adaptive system, for it encompasses an integrated set of cultural modes of action about nature, necessary for the production and reproduction of the material conditions of a society.
The need to satisfy needs of an individual and collective order emerged about 10,000 years ago among the peoples of Mesopotamia and Egypt, and again later in India (6,000 B.C.), in China (5,000 B.C.), in Europe (4,500 B.C.), in Tropical Africa (3,000 B.C.) and in the Americas (2,500 B.C.). Such needs were satisfied with the exchange of objects and provisions. This event became known as trade. Trade as a commercial transaction created in the individual the need to wait for and demand the delivery of what was exchanged. Perhaps we will find here the origins of collection.
Today, commercial and financial transactions determine the behavior of world markets and the fluidity of our economies. Defining collection may result in a task that is in itself as difficult and complex as implementing it. However, the need to find a valid and renewed concept leads us to assume this act of negotiation as a process of interdependent decision making, by means of which the creditor will effectively and efficiently try to affect the debtor’s decision in order to obtain a negotiated agreement that assures the fast and safe return of the money invested.
The paradigm of modern collection implies the existence of a multidimensional and independent decision-making process. Such decision making is determined by the business cycles of those organizations that coexist within a given system.
According to today’s view, we must fully understand the elements that coexist and define the environment where relationships are established, because several irregularities that appear in a commercial relationship are the product of imperfections in the business cycles.
According to the modern paradigm, several of these multidimensional and interdependent decisionmaking processes are constantly caused inside and outside the system, which positively or negatively affects the organizations.
Several imperfections that appear in business cycles emerge from two types of conditions: 1) Conditions that foster sales; and 2) Conditions established during the sales of products.
When the sequence negatively affects the system, organizations may incur in delays in their collection and favor mechanisms of participation and decision making among the elements that integrate the team.
How and when does this transformation process in collection occur? What really happens in our minds? Are we part of a process from which we cannot escape? Are our conceptual structures being altered? In order to answer so many questions, we must start by understanding the variables that define modern thinking, and how they affect our paradigms.
The principles of causal determination, naturalism, essentialism, rationalism, dichotomous logic, the idea of transcendence, the belief in a universal goal, as well as the abrupt separation between objectivity and subjectivity, are merely some of the elements that define our thinking. Several of these principles have been during the past decades immersed in a constant transformation process. When these principles change, our thoughts change as well so as to find satisfactory answers to the questions that arise.
As it evolves, our thinking changes the way we perceive and understand our environment. This explains why recently such topics as international trade, economy, politics, philosophy, law, among several others, have been exposed to a series of changes. Collection is undoubtedly no exception; we are living in an era of interdependency, where collection as a social and cultural process validates the existence of new changes of pattern, most of them maybe unknown.
Source: Rosas González, Enrique. La Negociación en los Procesos de Cobranzas. Editorial CEC. Libros de “El Nacional”. Caracas, 2007