Ant colonies: building complex organizations with minuscule brains and no leaders

Mark Moffett*, Simon Garnier, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Nathan Furr, Massimo Warglien, Constanza Sartoris, William Ocasio, Thorbjørn Knudsen, Lars A. Bach, Joachim Offenberg

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

Thus far the articles in the series JOD calls the “Organization Zoo” have employed the notion of a “zoo” metaphorically to
describe an array of human institutions. Here we take the term literally to consider the design of the most complex organizations
in the living world beside those of humans, a favorite of insect zoos around the world: ant colonies. We consider
individuality and group identity in the functioning of ant organizations; advantages of a flat organization without hierarchies
or leaders; self-organization; direct and indirect communication; job specialization; labor coordination; and the role of errors
in innovation. The likely value and limitations of comparing ant and human organizations are briefly examined.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Organization Design
Vol/bind10
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)55-74
Antal sider20
ISSN2245-408X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021

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