Individuals make effective groups when they are able to cooperate and coordinate, and selectively reward or punish or individuals who do and do not fall into line.
"Expectation and Coordination in Small Groups", a sole-authored piece forthcoming in Advances in Group Processes, uses agent-based modeling to show how empirically observed rules of interaction in groups lead to quickly but sub-optimally coordinated group behavior. Large levels of inequality can also undermine optimal coordination. "The Deckhand's Dilemma", an article in progress presented at the 2018 meeting of the American Sociological Association, shows that the possibility of incompetent leadership and miscoordination increases when institutions, groups, or societies excessively reward high-importance positions.
Punishing those who fail to cooperate with a larger group is an important mechanism for the promotion of pro-social behavior. But what motivates people to put in the effort to punish individuals for prior infractions? While this type of question is often studied in a lab setting, online review sites provide an opportunity to study sanctioning behavior in a real-world context and on a very large scale. My first empirical analysis of online sanctioning behavior is forthcoming in the Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference on Social Informatics.