Construction in human interaction dynamics: Organizing mechanisms, strategic ambiguity and interpretive dominance

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Journal Article
Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 2013, 15 (4), pp. 21 - 36
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In this paper, we extend the understanding of human interaction dynamics by examining three case studies of social-action-networks whose purpose was to achieve collective action on a complex social or environmental issue. Our research questions were "How do the organizing mechanisms of finegrained interactions construct emergent order?" and "Why do influencing strategies enable diffuse networks to emerge into discernible collective action?" The studies provided information about the fine-grained interactions as well as the coarse-grained properties that emerged. At the fine-grained level, there was a dynamic tension between structured and formalized organizing mechanisms aimed at organization and those that actively permitted (dis)organization. Network strategic intent was coherent at the coarse-grained level and varied between a clearly defined strategy and strategic ambiguity. We examine these empirical findings in relation to recent literature on constructing forces, strategic ambiguity and interpretive dominance.
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