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Systems 2016, 4(2), 19;

Three Scales of Acephalous Organization

Faculty of Arts, Business and Law, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs QLD 4556, Australia
Academic Editor: Shankar Sankaran
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 7 April 2016
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Dominance-based hierarchies have been taken for granted as the way we structure our organizations, but they are a part of a paradigm that has put our whole existence in peril. There is an urgent need to explore alternative paradigms that take us away from dystopic futures towards preferred, life enhancing paradigms based on wellbeing. One of the alternative ways of organizing ourselves that avoids much of the structural violence of existing organizations is the acephalous group (operating without any structured, ongoing leadership). Decision making becomes distributed, transitory and self-selecting. Such groups are not always appropriate and have their strengths and weaknesses, but they can be a more effective, humane way of organizing ourselves and can open windows to new ways of being. Acephalous groups operate at many different scales and adapt their structure accordingly. For this reason, a comparison of small, medium and large-scale acephalous groups reveals some of the dynamics involved in acephalous functioning and provides a useful overview of these emergent forms of organization and foreshadows the role they may play in future. View Full-Text
Keywords: acephalous; distributed leadership; scale; P2P; CLA acephalous; distributed leadership; scale; P2P; CLA

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MacGill, V. Three Scales of Acephalous Organization. Systems 2016, 4, 19.

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