The increasing complexity of managing information systems encourages researchers, vendors, and enterprises to develop new approaches in order to cope with this challenge. This paper focuses on a survey of self-organization mechanisms and discusses the relevance for the improvement of information systems, i.e. by reducing administration labor. The survey includes the concepts of self-organization and emergence, consisting of successful natural mechanisms discovered in biology and other natural sciences. The purpose of the survey is to serve as a source of inspiration for adaptations and implementations of such mechanisms, eventually leading to better, self-organizing information systems.