Stigmergic Collaboration: Environments Matter

The term stigmergy was first coined by Pierre-Paul Grasse in the 1950s during his his research on termites. He found that a highly complex nest of termites simply self-organises “due to the collective input of large numbers of individual termites performing extraordinarily simple actions in response to their local environment.”

Stigmergy manifests itself in the termite mound by the fact that the individual labour of each construction worker stimulates and guides the work of its neighbour.[1]

Communication is understood as providing the “cognitive context and situation awareness” necessary to collaborate.   A strong focus on “process” is said to overlook the “structural context” within collaborative environments, which are just as important.

Process is just one structural context within a broader collaborative environment.

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Stigmergic Collaboration: Environments Matter

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