Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 11, Iss. 2, April, 2007, pp. 235-251
@2007 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


A Swallowtail Catastrophe Model for the Emergence of Leadership in Coordination-intensive Groups

Stephen J. Guastello, Marquette University
Robert W. Bond, Jr., Marquette University

Abstract: This research extended the previous studies concerning the swallowtail catastrophe model for leadership emergence to coordination-intensive groups. Thirteen 4-person groups composed of undergraduates played in Intersection coordination (card game) task and were allowed to talk while performing it; 13 other groups worked nonverbally. A questionnaire measured leadership emergence at the end of the game along with other social contributions to the groups” efforts. The swallowtail catastrophe model that was evident in previous leadership emergence phenomena in creative problem solving and production groups was found here also. All three control parameters were identified: a general participation variable that was akin to K in the rugged landscape model of self-organization, task control, and whether the groups worked verbally or nonverbally. Several new avenues for future research were delineated.

Keywords: Coordination game, leadership emergence, swallowtail catastrophe, chaos, self-organization