Fascinating story about social spiders at http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160122-meet-the-spiders-that-have-formed-armies-50000-strong.

The people studying these spiders identified tolerance (for each other), prey size, rough weather, and web geometry as the key drivers of social spider. In other words, when a group has big goals (prey size requiring complex web geometry) and faces significant challenges (rough weather) collaboration becomes essential.

Interestingly, these researchers find that any spider is capable of any job in the community, but appear to self select roles based on personality. Given hspider-934487_1280ow inbred spider communities are research ascribe little if any of this self selection to genetic differences – the spiders are genetically clones of each other. While the spiders have preferences for certain roles, they are capable of switching roles to address community needs, such as the repair of severe damage to the web from a falling monkey.

All this work is done without command and control mechanisms. Spiders, like ants and bees that live in colonies, are able to self organize and accomplish what is needed without central control. If insects can figure out how to successfully self organize, human enterprises should be able to be successfully develop self-organizing management structures.