November 27, 2007

Book Review - Starfish and the Spider

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
HD 50 .B73 2006

Brafman and Beckstrom pull together over five years of research into the success of Wikipedia, Craigslist, eBay, and other organizations. They argue that organizations follow one of two basic behaviors. "Spider" companies have rigid hierarchies and top down leadership approaches. "Starfish" companies rely on the power of peer relationships. This book examines what happens when starfish and spiders clash. It also discusses behaviors that the two "species" might learn from each other and adapt into their own organizations.