Cyberchiefs: Autonomy and Authority in Online Tribes by Mathieu O'Neil

By Mathieu O'Neil

People are inventing new methods of operating jointly on the web. Decentralised creation flourishes on weblogs, wikis and unfastened software program tasks. In Cyberchiefs, Mathieu O’Neil makes a speciality of the rules of those operating relationships. He examines the transformation of management and services in on-line networks, and the emergence of cutting edge different types of participatory politics.

What are the prices and advantages of choices to hierarchical employer? utilizing case stories of on-line initiatives or ‘tribes’ resembling the novel Primitivism archive, the day-by-day Kos political web publication, the Debian unfastened software program venture, and Wikipedia, O’Neil exhibits that leaders needs to help greatest autonomy for contributors, and he analyses the tensions generated via this distribution of authority.

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Extra resources for Cyberchiefs: Autonomy and Authority in Online Tribes

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Hacking Weber Max Weber distinguished four types of social action: traditional, affectual, instrumentally rational and value-rational. The first three forms correspond respectively to traditional, charismatic and rational-legal bases of authority, which are meant to convey the myth of the natural superiority of rulers. Traditional authority derives its legitimacy from the sanctity of age-old rules and powers, long-established habits and social structures, in the case of hereditary monarchs for example.

In informational capitalism individual users can freely copy and distribute digitised corporate content, and corporations can freely copy and distribute digitised user-generated content. 61 Countercultural claims for increased creativity and autonomy, far from being aberrations concerning only computer hackers, are the dominant paradigm of today’s market economies, which emphasise project and team work, participatory management, computer-supported cooperative work, creativity and reskilling. In the same way, the ‘flexibility’ that workers will develop through their working careers to accommodate changes in organisational hiring patterns (from full-time lifetime employment toward parttime, contract, outsourced, temporary and casual work) is said to allow them to increase their self-development.

It is through active and legitimate participation, first on the outskirts of a project, and gradually towards the centre, that education and socialisation occur. A related notion, which has a stronger focus on the cohesion-building internal attributes of informal communities, is that of epistemic community. 71 They provide advice and specific policies for governments and help to frame issues for collective debate. Bloggers and hackers are indeed socialised through a process of increasing participation in a common 26 CYBERCHIEFS conversation or project; and wikipedians and hackers are certainly animated by an epistemic concern, and share many of the characteristics outlined above.

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Cyberchiefs: Autonomy and Authority in Online Tribes by Mathieu O'Neil
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