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Human interaction dynamics (HID): Foundations, definitions and directions

Publication Type:

Journal article


Emergence: Complexity & Organization 2013


ISCE Publishing




This paper proposes an analytical framework for a complexity-informed theoretical approach to human interaction and organizations. In doing so, it addresses the increasing call for better theory supporting the microfoundations of social science. A key premise of the argument is that the primary imperatives of social actors are confronting uncertainty and adapting to change as a collective. As such, in addition to seeking requisite resources, human beings interact to gather and use information for their individual and collective benefit. The paper explores this perspective by proposing a complex systems model of organizing that differs from systems theory by placing the actors inside the system rather than assuming they act on the system. We propose a definition of information that enables us to explore the dynamics of human interaction as observers from the outside without necessarily knowing what the information means. This approach is analogous to how physical and biological systems are studied and is intended to complement, rather than replace existing approaches that tend to place their emphasis on inter-subjectivity and meaning-making rather than on the objective measurement of information as a physically measurable quantity


author = {James K. Hazy and Tomas Backstr{\"o}m},
title = {Human interaction dynamics (HID): Foundations, definitions and directions},
editor = {n.a.},
volume = {15},
number = {4},
pages = {91--111},
month = {December},
year = {2013},
journal = {Emergence: Complexity {\&} Organization 2013},
publisher = {ISCE Publishing},
url = {}