Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

pp 246-252


Computational Organization Theory

  • Terrill L. FrantzAffiliated withHSBC Business School, Peking University Email author 
  • , Kathleen M. CarleyAffiliated withSchool of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
  • , William A. WallaceAffiliated withRensselaer Polytechnic Institute


As inexpensive and massive amounts of computing power have rapidly become more widely available, the operational aspects of computational-based organizational research have become a reality. Today, the concepts of Computational Organization Theory (COT) can be easily implemented and practiced by an ever-increasingly larger group of researchers. Some foresee such computer-science related computational thinking (Wing 2006), as the future of all scholarly research, and COT is part of this broader trend.

COT involves the theorizing about, describing, understanding, and predicting the behavior of organizations and the process of organizing, using quantitative-based and structured approaches (computational, mathematical and logical models). This involves computational abstractions that are incorporated into organizational research and practice through COT tools, procedures, measures and knowledge.

The notion of an organization, as used here, spans the wide range of huma ...

This is an excerpt from the content