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Who Cares about Particle Physics?Making Sense of the Higgs Boson, the Large Hadron Collider and CERN$
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Pauline Gagnon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783244

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783244.001.0001

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A Unique Management Model

A Unique Management Model

Chapter:
(p.175) 8 A Unique Management Model
Source:
Who Cares about Particle Physics?
Author(s):

Pauline Gagnon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783244.003.0008

The experimental collaborations at CERN, such as ATLAS and CMS, each include nearly 5000 physicists, students, engineers and technical staff, from all continents. Nobody manages the group centrally in a command–control fashion. This works thanks to the existence of a common objective, the commitment of each individual and the tolerance of everyone involved. The collaborations function like a huge picnic, where each group contributes a dish according to its taste, resources and talents. Seeing the experiment succeed is what motivates everybody. All decisions are taken by consensus within a collaboration, using commonly agreed coordination mechanisms. This gives power to the base and draws on the talents of all members. Project coordinators ensure that all aspects are covered. This is sometimes a little chaotic, but is necessary to let creativity flow freely and set the stage for revolutionary discoveries. This may be the only possible way to complete such large-scale projects.

Keywords:   collaboration, cooperation, international cooperation, research, competition, management, consensus, multinational teams

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