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Flock Theory: A New Model of Emergent Self-Organization in Human Interaction
Unformatted Document Text:  Flock Theory 20 match the velocity of moves of the group. Central to this shift, especially in the case of cross- functional teams, is the maintenance of leadership, as offered in the next axiom. Axiom 3: Leadership maintenance. Axiom 3 states that if a leadership role is present, it must shift in a manner that no one actor maintains leadership for too long, and that the group is lead in a purposeful direction. Tenet A: Group leaders must shift in an efficient and timely manner (Passing the Gavel) This can be conceptualized as the “goose rule,” where a goose flock must shift leadership in an effort to maximize energy decay. This energy decay can be related to groups in that a leader can exhaust their energy within the group, and the individual that has not led for the longest time has build up the most potential energy, and should then lead in one of the successive moves. This also guarantees the efficient use of intellectual capital, much like a brainstorming session. This effect can also be conceptualized by the “passing of the gavel,” where the leader will often voluntarily exchange the gavel. Eisenberg (1990) and Sawyer (1999) both stress the importance of the lack of leadership within a collaborative evolution. This axiom also secures that Janis’ (1971) Groupthink does not ensue, as strong leadership is one of the main causes of Groupthink. Flowers (1977) studied directive or participative leaders and found that groups with directive leaders proposed fewer solutions, covered less case information, and used fewer case facts both before and after reaching a decision. Leana (1985) used a similar design as Flowers by assigning leaders to be either participatory or directive. These groups were then given twenty minutes to select five employees to lay off from a hypothetical business. As in the Flowers (1977) study, the groups with directive leaders discussed fewer solutions than the groups with participatory leaders.

Authors: Rosen, Devan.
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Flock Theory 20
match the velocity of moves of the group. Central to this shift, especially in the case of cross-
functional teams, is the maintenance of leadership, as offered in the next axiom.
Axiom 3: Leadership maintenance.
Axiom 3 states that if a leadership role is present, it must shift in a manner that no one
actor maintains leadership for too long, and that the group is lead in a purposeful direction.
Tenet A: Group leaders must shift in an efficient and timely manner (Passing the Gavel)
This can be conceptualized as the “goose rule,” where a goose flock must shift leadership
in an effort to maximize energy decay. This energy decay can be related to groups in that a
leader can exhaust their energy within the group, and the individual that has not led for the
longest time has build up the most potential energy, and should then lead in one of the successive
moves. This also guarantees the efficient use of intellectual capital, much like a brainstorming
session. This effect can also be conceptualized by the “passing of the gavel,” where the leader
will often voluntarily exchange the gavel. Eisenberg (1990) and Sawyer (1999) both stress the
importance of the lack of leadership within a collaborative evolution. This axiom also secures
that Janis’ (1971) Groupthink does not ensue, as strong leadership is one of the main causes of
Groupthink. Flowers (1977) studied directive or participative leaders and found that groups with
directive leaders proposed fewer solutions, covered less case information, and used fewer case
facts both before and after reaching a decision. Leana (1985) used a similar design as Flowers
by assigning leaders to be either participatory or directive. These groups were then given twenty
minutes to select five employees to lay off from a hypothetical business. As in the Flowers
(1977) study, the groups with directive leaders discussed fewer solutions than the groups with
participatory leaders.


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