After 14 years of social network mapping in organizations I don't think there
is 'one size fits all' even if you focus on manufacturing or software or retail
or non-profit -- every organization is different. Even different parts of the
same company can be very diverse. I have mapped many similar organizations and
found that what one org. wants is exactly what another very similar org. does
NOT want, yet they both have many similar products and compete in the same marketplace.

Einstein said something like "Make everything as simple as possible, but not
simpler" Organizations are complex human systems and not machines that can be
fine tuned... in fact, even machines need to adapt to their environment.  My
car will be tuned one way in Chicago and another way in mile-high Denver.

IMHO you have a good idea in tracking dynamic task-related social nets, just
don't expect to find/implement cookie-cutter solutions.


Doug and Beth Bryan wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm new to the list.  I sent out a request last week regarding social nets
> and organizational theory.  Thanks much to Sam, Kathleen, and others for
> their responses.  However, please allow me to elaborate...
> I'm looking for SNA work that is based on organizational theory predictions
> of how the surrounding organization "should" behave.  For example, OT says
> that manufacturing firms should have taller hierarchies while
> knowledge-intensive firms should have wider hierarchies.  I'd like to take
> it to the point where OT can predict how much (relatively) marketing, R&D,
> and production departments should be communicating with each other, the
> direction of the info flow between departments, etc.
> Does anyone know of such work?
> My 1/2-baked idea is toward an enterprise resource planning tool that
> monitors social nets (of individuals, teams, and departments), week by week
> in a way that is actionable by management.
> thanks,
> Doug Bryan
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