Measuring the Communicative Constitution of Partial Organizations as Complex Systems

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Virginia Tech


Communicative acts constitute organizations as social entities. I build upon the most structured previous analysis of this process, the four flows framework, by introducing a complex systems model of how organization emerges along a continuum, thereby enabling measurement of the growth and decline of partial organizations. I validate my approach using simulated data from two stochastic agent-based models and 30 historical case studies of insurgency. I show that the four flows may be used to assess the historical victor of a conflict, or to track the emergence of an organization from real-time communication network data. My results demonstrate the complex interrelationship of the four flows, and how they relate to social phenomena such as information asymmetry, individual versus group interest, governance, and the development of community structure. I reaffirm the centrality of these flows to the phenomenon of organization, while challenging the minimum requirements for it to begin, by showing that organization spontaneously emerges in a population as a result of markers of affiliation and human cognitive biases.



Communicative Constitution of Organizations, Computational Social Science, Insurgency, Modeling and Simulation