Core design principles for nurturing organization-level selection

David S. Wilson, Melvin M. Philip, Ian F. MacDonald, Paul Atkins, Kevin M. Knifn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Dynamic relationships between individuals and groups have been a focus for evolutionary theorists and modelers for decades. Among evolutionists, selfish gene theory promotes reductionist approaches while multilevel selection theory encourages a context-sensitive approach that appreciates that individuals and groups can both matter. Among economists, a comparable contrast is found wherein the reductionist shareholder primacy theory most associated with Nobel laureate Milton Friedman is very different from the context-sensitive focus on managing common resources that Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom pioneered. In this article, we examine whether the core design principles that Ostrom advanced can cultivate selection at supra-individual levels across different domains. We show that Ostrom�s design principles that were forged in the context of managing natural resources are associated with positive outcomes for human social groups across a variety of functional domains.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    JournalScientific Reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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