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Entropy of teamwork: Multitasking, Configuration, Effectiveness & Efficiency
* 1 , 2
1  Paine College; Augusta, GA 30901
2  Code 5580, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375


Abstract: Traditional social models overlook interdependence, the defining characteristic of social behavior, in favor of the least entropy production (LEP) from cooperation (e.g., [2] [3] [4]). Teams organized like distributed processing [5] over-look the benefits from the interdependence of multitasking [11]). In our model, the entropy of interdependence reduces degrees of freedom like quantum entanglement, allowing maximum entropy production (MEP) to solve problems. Evolution in Nature (viz., ) demonstrates MEP [6] from intelligent choices [7]. Exploiting interdependence improves team intelligence [8]; forced cooperation dis-organizes it; e.g., China is reducing its social intelligence [9]. In our model, competition self-organizes those willing to sort through the noise for the choices that improve social welfare. Social systems organized around competition (checks and balances) better control a society than authoritarian regimes (e.g., on China’s inability, see [12]). Authoritarians are inefficient in sizing teams to solve problems; e.g., Sinopec oil company uses about 548 thousand employees to produce about 4.4 million barrels of oil per day whereas Exxon uses about 82 thousand employees to produce about 5.3 million barrels of oil per day [10]. Overall, the density of MEP directed at solving problems in a society able to freely self-organize its labor and capital is denser.

Keywords: interdependence; maximum entropy production; teams; multitasking;

Keywords: teams; intelligence; interdependence; least entropy production; maximum entropy production
Comments on this paper
Francisco Chinesta
On the quantification ...
Very nice work,

However, it is possible to quantify entropy in such systems for supporting your conslucisons ?

Thnaks again,

Best regards,
William F. Lawless
Francisco, good question. However, this is a work in progress. I'm uncertain at this time of the best way to quantify entropy for a team. A baseline must be established. This can be accomplished by having single team members perform their role activities, summing to the total, and comparing the team's implicitly lower entropy against the supposedly higher baseline. Suggested measures:

1. MEP occurs under maximum competitive pressure from an opposing team. Quickness in response to the opposing team by the target team can be measured; noise of the target team (least noise implies better operations); and instability of target team's responses, a measurement of its quickness and interdependence to the other team's responses. Also, how encompassing is the target team's search for a solution comparatively?

2. LEP occurs under target team structure can be measured by how much internal conflict occurs that is resolved divided by the total internal conflict, the sum of resolved and unresolved internal conflict (e.g., a divorcing couple will not work well together, implying mostly unresolved internal conflict). How often does the target team substitute to find the perfect mix? And how large is the size of the target team comparatively?