Published on March 4, 2014
Organizational Network Analysis Suresh Bhagavatula NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning
• Organizations are social systems with boundaries • Like any social systems, the social networks of individual permeate within and outside the boundaries • Who are in these networks? – – – – – Colleagues in the same group Colleagues from other groups within the same org Ex-colleagues College mates Perhaps friends and family
Social Capital Since different networks contain different levels of social capital, researchers are interested in finding out: • What are the different kinds of benefits? • How can these benefits be captured? Social capital operates at three levels: • Individual • Group / Organization • Society / Inter organizational
Importance of networks in Orgs. • It was found that in a consulting company with extensive data warehousing system populated by a active knowledge management software • 85% of the managers contacted other people for knowledge that was critical for the successful completion of the project • Consistent finding in literature is that who you know often has a great deal to do with what you come to know
Importance of networks (Contd.) • One reason why people talk to other people, as opposed to accessing online documents is that: • Tacit and system dependent knowledge is not ease to document/code • Even if it can be codified, changes in the context from its original use will require changes. These changes are rarely spelled out by the online sources • People prefer interacting with other people and like to seek information orally as opposed to seeking out written documents
Organization Network Analysis • Org communication : Formal & Informal • Formal networks : are mapped • Informal networks : are not mapped • ONA helps in mapping informal networks
ONA (Contd.) • Act as X-ray into inner workings of an organization • Makes invisible patterns of information flow visible • Identify strategic important groups
Organizational Networks Ref: http://www.robcross.org/network_ona.htm
ONA (Contd.) • Identifying people that are central in networks who can impact a group’s communication can help a manager to take steps to improve communication
ONA (Contd.) • Understanding who is peripheral and crafting ways to engage these persons ensures – all the expertise that exists within groups is utilized – Lesser employee turnover
ONA (Contd.) • Identifying potential fragmenting junctions in organizations can help integrate disparate groups
Methodology • Used a “name generator” instrument • Was first used by Burt in the 1985 GSS – a nation wide survey to identify personal networks of Americans o From time to time, most people discuss important matters with other people. Looking back over the last six months – who are the people with whom you discussed an important personal matter? (Baily and Marsden, 1999, pg. 288) • In this study, this instrument was used for three different networks – Work related communication networks – Innovation communications networks and – Problem solving networks 12
• Results of a study conducted in a IT services company based out Pune, Mumbai and Chennai 13
Network patterns in Communication networks (go to people for getting work done) 14
Interactions between all levels across locations Location Level
Prominent employees in Interactions between levels across locations Chennai Location Level
Networks of B and A level managers Location 17
High betweeness individuals Identifying Informal leaders Location 18
Network patterns in problem solving networks (go to people when in a problem) 19
Problem solving network across locations Chennai Location Level
Network patterns in innovation networks (go to people to discuss innovation)
Innovation network across levels 22 Chennai
Social Isolates in Communication networks S.No Outgoing Ties 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 23 ID 120 124 176 171 34 41 44 131 165 48 118 35 53 10 10 9 9 8 8 7 6 5 5 4 4 4
Situations where network analysis has been used • Organizational change – Identifying key influencer for strategic change or restructuring – Monitor integration of staff following mergers and acquisitions • Communities of Practice – Detecting and bridging gaps – Measuring return on investment • Organizational effectiveness – Aligning collaborative activities with strategic objectives – Team building • Bridging Relationships – Mergers and acquisitions – Partner strategy
Business reasons for a network analysis • Leadership development – Identifying high performers – Succession planning • Innovation – Connecting people and ideas – Identifying key energy sources in an organization • Knowledge management – Identifying expertise – Assessing connectivity and access of existing knowledge assets – The lost knowledge problem
• Thank you and ???
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