A holocracy is a system that is governed by the whole. The government of whole systems. Empowered only by the freely-given consent of its members. The beginning of the word, holo- is a combining form meaning "whole," "entire," used in the formation of compound words. The ending -cracy signifies "rule" or "government" by the aspect specified in the initial part of the word. A combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek to form abstract nouns from stems of other origin: democracy, theocracy, technocracy, mobocracy, bureaucracy, etc. The roots of the word Holocracy stem from an observation from psychologist and philosopher Arthur Koestler, who, in his book The Ghost in the Machine (1967) spoke about holons, individual units that whole unto themselves and are also are part of the whole.
The word Holocracy was used in the title of the book, Universal Democracy (Holocracy): The Rule by All Parties (1998) written by Olubadejo Olorunleke Banjoko.
Holocracy is not to be confused with Holacracy (with an "a"). Holacracy™ is a trademarked name for an organizational governance system developed by HolacracyOne, LLC.