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Simulating Organizations: Computational Models of Institutions and Groups

Simulating Organizations: Computational Models of Institutions and Groups

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The globalization of the economy, increasing number of transnational organizations, and rapid changes in robotics, information, and telecommunication technologies are just a few of the factors significantly altering organizational time scales, forms, complexity, and environments. Time scales have shrunk, new organizational forms are emerging, and organizational environments are expanding and mutating at unprecedented rates. Computational modeling affords opportunities to both understand and respond to these complex changes.

Paralleling developments in the physical sciences, computational modeling is emerging in the social and organizational sciences. Organizational researchers are using computational models to gain insights into organizational phenomena and to explore dynamic processes and configurations that are difficult or impossible to investigate with other methods. Many interesting insights have already resulted from this research, such as how group cooperation arises or dissipates in social dilemma settings, and how honesty and benevolence affect behavior in a group task. On the practical side, computational modeling is increasingly effective for organizational design, analysis, and reengineering.

Although a great deal ofwork remains to be done, the era is approaching when both theorists and practitioners will routinely state theories, design organizations, and derive their implications using widely shared computational tools. This volume brings together a range of work from many of the leading researchers in the field.

Contributors: Mihai Barbuceanu, Richard Burton, Kathleen Carley, Keith Decker, Edmund Durfee, Mark S. Fox, Natalie Glance, Michael Gruninger, Bernardo Huberman, MinCheol Kang, David Kaplan, Zhiang Lin, Michael Prietula, Kent Sandoe, Walt Scacchi, Young-pa So, William Wallace, Laurie Weissel.