Of Memes and Teams: Exploring the Memetics of Team Problem Solving

Michael A. Rosen, Stephen M. Fiore, Eduardo Salas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter uses memetics as a framework to explore the processes by which both long-term knowledge and dynamic understanding are developed and leveraged in team problem solving. The theory of memetics proposes that there are discrete and identifiable units of cultural replication called memes. Memetics provides a useful perspective by which to view a conceptual issue and more specifically to reinterpret the current understanding of team problem solving. By viewing teams as cultural entities nested within larger organizational cultural entities, an expanded and developmental picture of team problem solving can be created. Memetics can be divided into two divergent lines based on the underlying metaphor chosen to represent the process of cultural transmission. The first model is based on the meme as a germ metaphor and takes epidemiology as its guiding science—the view popularized by M. Gladwell. The second model of memetics is rooted in R. Dawkins's original definition of a meme, "a unit of cultural transmission, or imitation".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLearning to Solve Complex Scientific Problems
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781351560597
ISBN (Print)9780805859195
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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