Putting the "O" in VEOs

What makes an organization?

Ginamarie S Ligon, Peter G Simi, Mackenzie Harms, Daniel J. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Violent extremist organizations differ from other ideologically based groups that do not necessarily meet formal criteria to be considered organizations, and distinguishing between these types of collective arrangements is critical in understanding their strengths and weaknesses. We identified three arrangements of individuals with varying levels of sophistication: groups, simple organizations, and complex organizations. Each arrangement is discussed in terms of its influence on fundraising, recruiting, and attack execution, with particular emphasis being placed on exemplars from the white supremacist ideology. Despite their shared ideology, white supremacists illustrate marked performance-related differences that are influenced by organizational factors such as leadership, structure, and formalization. Analyzing those differences led us to conclude that organizations are unique from groups, different structures are best suited for certain strategies, leadership matters a great deal in the context of violent extremist organizations, and organizations are not static.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-134
Number of pages25
JournalDynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide
Volume6
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 25 2013

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Group Structure
organization
ideology
leadership
fundraising
Group
formalization
performance

Keywords

  • ideology
  • organization
  • terrorism
  • violent extremism
  • white supremacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law

Cite this

Putting the "O" in VEOs : What makes an organization? / Ligon, Ginamarie S; Simi, Peter G; Harms, Mackenzie; Harris, Daniel J.

In: Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide, Vol. 6, No. 1-3, 25.12.2013, p. 110-134.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ligon, Ginamarie S ; Simi, Peter G ; Harms, Mackenzie ; Harris, Daniel J. / Putting the "O" in VEOs : What makes an organization?. In: Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide. 2013 ; Vol. 6, No. 1-3. pp. 110-134.
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