The Critical Mass in Collective Action
The problem of collective action is that each member of a group wants other members to make necessary sacrifices while he or she "free rides," reaping the benefits of collective action without doing the work. Inevitably the end result is that no one does the work and the common interest is not realized. This book analyzes the social pressure whereby groups solve the problem of collective action. The authors break new ground in showing that the problem of collective action requires a model of group process and cannot be deduced from simple models of individual behavior. They employ formal mathematical models to emphasize the role of small subgroups of especially motivated individuals who form the "critical mass" that sets collective action in motion.
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1 The critical mass and the problem of collective action
goods groups and processes
3 The paradox of group size
4 The dynamics of production functions
density centralization and cliques
6 Selectivity in social networks
7 Reach and selectivity as strategies of recruitment
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accelerating production functions accelerative amount analysis assume assumptions beneﬁt centralization chapter cliques collective action common complex consider constant contributors coordinated cost critical mass curve decelerating decision deﬁned density depending determined discussion distribution effect employees equals equation example expected factors ﬁnd ﬁrst given greater group members heterogeneity homogeneous important incentives increases individuals initial interest and resources interest group interest level issue jointness of supply larger least less linear maximum mean mobilizing obtain Obviously Olson organizer organizing cost outcome participate particular payoff person population positive possible potential predict probability problem production function proportion provision level range reach recruitment region relation relative require resource level selectivity simply simulation situation slope smaller social speciﬁc standard standard deviation strategies subgroup subset successful theory threshold total contribution variables vary zero