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Can tools help unify organization theory? Perspectives on the state of computational modeling. (English) Zbl 1112.90357
Summary: Scholars engaged in the study of work group and organizational behavior are increasingly calling for the use of integrated methods in conducting research, including the wider adoption of computational models for generating and testing new theory. Our review of the state of modern computational modeling incorporating social structures reveals steady increases in the incorporation of dynamic, adaptive, and realistic behaviors of agents in network settings, yet exposes gaps that must be addressed in the next generation of organizational simulation systems. We compare 28 models according to more than two hundred evaluation criteria, ranging from simple representations of agent demographic and performance characteristics, to more richly defined instantiations of behavioral attributes, interaction with non-agent entities, model flexibility, communication channels, simulation types, knowledge, transactive memory, task complexity, and resource networks. Our survey assesses trends across the wide set of criteria, discusses practical applications, and proposes an agenda for future research and development.

MSC:
90B70 Theory of organizations, manpower planning in operations research
Software:
TAEMS
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