From an interview with Manuel Castells (italic fonts are mine):
...in terms of military tactics, [there]is something that is interesting, namely, the development of what is called "swarming" as the key military tactic, which is being experimented with by all major branches of the armed forces in the United States. The marines, probably, are the most advanced in this thinking, which is based on the idea of splitting the traditional large units and creating a number of self-sufficient, highly powered autonomous units which form the networks that are assembled and disassembled according to specific needs and operations.Now this is exactly what I would like to see happening in our large organizations: moving from vertical and rigid bureaucracies to horizontal living and interconnected networks. Imagine local teams of information-oriented (more than sales-oriented) people, and back offices of specialized teams, or "Value Shops", as Tom Stewart puts it. And I think the key is not so much in the technology than in what Prof. Castells calls the "programming of the network" . I will try and wor on that when I have time this summer.
These units can become networks only on the basis of strong communication technology capabilities and direct access to information sources, which are organized in a computer network and then accessed through computer networking. (Not on the net, because that would be open code.) So the notion here is of moving from vertical bureaucracies and vertical organizations of large armies killing each other for centuries, to what we are now seeing emerging as small units with a high power of destruction based mainly on air power and naval supply, and at the same time, equipped essentially with information and communication. If you don't have your information and communication, you are blind and you are destroyed.(...)
This is simple to understand, but difficult to actually implement, because people who are currently in power in bureaucracies, in political organizations, in large corporations, in universities, are there because they have gone through the hierarchy, they have their clientele, they have their systems of support. All this has been pushed out by the out-competing logic of networks. And therefore, they will resist to the end. But by resisting, they bring the organizations down with themselves.
Now, it doesn't mean that networks, by definition, are wonderful. It can be networks of destruction. Networks don't have personal feelings. They kill or kiss. But the issue here is that first you start with a network which is equipped with information technology. That's the key. Then what the network does depends on the programming of the network, and this is of course a social and cultural process.