Table 3. Attributes of human groups that seem to dominate activities in the four phases of the adaptive cycle of Holling (adopted from Holling and Sanderson 1996). This table represents a centrist view of primarily North American institutions.

Phase of adaptive cycle
Attribute r to K K to Ω Ω to α α to r A to exit
Group type Bureaucracy Activists Temporary Adjunct with powers
Activity focus Self-serving Insurgence Unlearning New learning; cooperation Deep transformation; cooperation
Strategy “Do as before
but more”
“Weathering
the storm”
“Unlearning
yesterday”
“Inventing tomorrow”
Response to changes No change Conflict Shedding old
behaviors
Reframing
strategies
Invention
Time horizon Time of office
(linear time)
Present
(discontinuous)
Time out
(multiple scales)
Near future Distant future
(multiple scales)
Space horizon Building and
holding bounds
Destruction
of old bounds
Suspension of
boundaries
Creating new bounds
Nature of truth
and reality
Constructed Challenged Deconstructed Reconfiguring
myths
New myths
(visionary)