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Meeting at Grand CentralUnderstanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation$
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Lee Cronk and Beth L. Leech

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154954

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154954.001.0001

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Cooperation and Organizations

Cooperation and Organizations

(p.101) Chapter 5 Cooperation and Organizations
Meeting at Grand Central

Lee Cronk

Beth L. Leech

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the role that institutions and organizations play in making cooperation possible as we go about our everyday lives. Successful organizations are often the ones that build on the successes of previous organizations, using their abilities to mobilize and motivate people and to frame issues to leapfrog over the collective action dilemma. One of the most important areas of research to grow out of this tradition is the study of how groups of people successfully manage common-pool resources. The chapter first considers the distinction between informal, decentralized norms and conventions on the one hand, and formal organizations on the other, before explaining why organizations succeed or fail. It also explores the process known as “cultural group selection,” an important new frontier in the evolutionary study of cooperation which may help explain our flexible coalitional psychology.

Keywords:   institutions, organizations, cooperation, collective action, common-pool resources, norms, conventions, cultural group selection, evolution, coalitional psychology

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