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Research

Wietske van Osch

Generative collectives

Analyzing generative group activities against the backdrop of an increasingly connected world, this theory development paper introduces the concept of "generative collectives" as a new framework for classifying internet-based collectives and a novel theoretical lens for explaining why some internet-based groups are more generative than others. Generative collectives are groups of people with shared interests or goals who mutually engage in rejuvenating, reconfiguring, reframing and revolutionizing acts. We submit that any type of collective has the capacity to be generative; however, some collectives are more generative than others. We explore two core structural dimensions of generative collectives and provide a framework for classifying these collectives and their respective levels of entropy as a proxy for their collective generative capacity. Subsequently, we derive and illustrate four archetypes of generative collectives, which can help account for the varying levels of generativity in different groups. Finally, implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Wietske van Osch

Supervisor: dr. ir. Rik Maes

Dissertation (24-02-2012)