This article is concerned with decentralized network structures. Emphasis is placed on their matrix, i.e. the system of ideological attitudes, values, myths, behavioral norms, and tacit knowledge that is exemplified by software development techniques in the networks of IT specialists. The knowledge exists at the level of the whole network and is not completely accessible to each individual network member. The advent of digital technology is currently giving a new impetus to the development of decentralized cooperative structures. Of paramount importance are the mechanisms of non-hierarchical behavioral coordination that operate in network structures. Special attention is to be given to psychological techniques that secure the dominance of group-level goals, values and creative processes over the individual behavioral trends of network members. Such techniques that involve subconscious brain modules can be facilitated by regulatory social structures, referred to as social chaperons. Promoting the chaperons’ optimal functioning and enhancing their soft guiding and stimulating influence could be the mission of a novel social institutions including the Committee for Promotion of Network Structures, the Research Institute for Network Structures, state-supported counseling bodies for network developers, and public network associations. These innovative state-level bodies should aim to (i) legalize the status of decentralized cooperative network structures, (ii) optimize their organization and (iii) harmonize their interaction with non-network structures such as centralized hierarchies, including the “President’s vertical” power structure and local bureaucratic structures, as well as quasi-market structures.
Author page: Alexander Oleskin
The development of network society (the network revolution) in the present-day world necessitates the establishment of networked regulatory organizations that can exert a positive influence on this process. They represent analogs of biomolecular chaperons that function in the living cell. Such social chaperons can design optimal scenarios of the network revolution. They can take account of various possible organizational options (paradigms) of network structures. Chaperons can creatively use paradigms that function in biological systems ranging from unicellular organisms to schooling fish, social insects, and apes. Social chaperons can contribute to their implementation using the whole spectrum of possible strategies of promoting expedient network scenarios and convincing political leaders and government regulators of their importance for humankind.
Decentralized, distributed network structures possess significant creative and innovative potential in solving various problems of modern society, including organization of interdisciplinary creative laboratories, interactive techniques in education and the establishment of inter- and intrafirm networks. Of special interest are biological models (paradigms), i.e., organizational options for network structures in diverse biological systems. These models can be used creatively to establish networks in various spheres of human society. It is emphasized that the dissemination of network structures in society promotes the implementation of the principles of socialist economy.
Network nonhierarchical structures have sufficiently significant potential in business, where they correspond to strategic alliances between firms, inter-firm networks of its autonomous departments, as well as to small network companies, the typical example of which is represented by manufacturing cooperatives. Not less prospects characterize decentralized networks in the political sphere, where we see such important examples as inter-state network alliances, cross-border and global network organizations and movements, advisory commissions and committees under the state apparatus structures and especially network structures being part of the largely non-hierarchical civil society, expressing the citizens’ will and interests in their dialogue with the political system’s hierarchy. On the basis of presented facts the author makes a conclusion that networks in economy contribute to implement the principles of self-managed socialism, and in political sphere – to implement the principles of new type meritocracy, which will be supported by civil society network structures.
Over the past decades, more and more importance in the social and political spheres is acquired by network structures, propagating in different countries and regions of the world and in different spheres of society. In particular, they form the basis of civil society as a “set of civilizational structures and forms, incarnated in … the functions and actions of individuals, social groups, associations, unions”, which are capable in the interests of ordinary citizens to exercise democratic “control … of the state bodies functioning”, that is, of public persons activities. This article focuses on the organizational principles of network structures and exercises biopolitical approach, according to which the structures of human society and biological system are compared. The term “network structures” has at least two different interpretations in the literature, which can be conditionally called its broad and narrow interpretation.