Flock Leadership: Understanding and influencing emergent collective behavior

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Flock Leadership: Understanding and influencing emergent collective behavior
The Leadership Quarterly

This study introduces Flock Leadership, a framework for understanding and influencing emergent collective behavior in the context of human organizing. Collective capacities emerge when interactions between individuals enact divergent and convergent ways of perceiving and responding to reality. An agent-based flocking model is employed to represent these interactive dynamics and emergent processes. This study explicates the model's constructs, translating its algorithms into behavioral norms at the individual level and its outcomes into collective behaviors at the group level. Phenomena-based simulation modeling links two collective states—technical capacity and adaptive capacity—to the specific underlying norm configurations from which they emerge. Flock Leadership provides a unique theoretical framing of emergent collective behavior in organizational settings, a new methodology for analyzing relationships between those emergent behavioral patterns and the interaction norms underlying them, and a useful means for identifying leadership opportunities.

The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 27, Issue 2, April 2016, Pages 261–279

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