- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1St Edition edition (June 2, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591392705
- ISBN-13: 978-1591392705
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations 1St Edition Edition
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That organizational charts rarely describe functional hierarchy is obvious to any employee whos ever tried to adhere to one. Instead, survival often depends on incorporating oneself into unofficial social networks that allow one to gain access to necessary information and to collaborate with the colleagues who can actually get things done. In this dense but useful volume, Cross and Parker-both consultants with IBMs Knowledge and Organizational Performance Forum-give readers insight into how such unofficial networks form and function. They also share their methodology for rendering these basically unseen networks visible to managers. By literally mapping information flow and collaboration patterns among the people who make up a department or firm, they can pinpoint individual bottlenecks, essential employees and those who have been pushed to the periphery or whose expertise is underutilized. Their analysis enables managers to adapt their strategies to exploit and support these now visible networks and improve overall productivity. Rather than using their book as a forum to garner new consulting business-with a kids dont try this at home approach-they encourage readers to pursue network analysis at their own organizations by arming them with step-by-step instructions through two appendixes. The authors present their material in the nitty-gritty style of an evening business course, with lots of charts and examples. They take their mission of arming managers with a substantive strategic tool very seriously. In this way, theirs is unlike many management books that are high on concept and lacking in application-Cross and Parker provide a guide that is directly applicable to improving the functionality of any organization.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Cross and Parker offer managers suggestions for improving their organizations' social networks." -- CIO Magazine, June 1, 2004
"When networks organize themselves, they can drain coordination, learning and performance. The solution...is to make the network visible." -- Time Magazine, June 21, 2004
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Top customer reviews
Social networking has long been identified by sociologists as the indispensible inter-personal relationships for group cohesion and effectiveness. Cross and Parker have taken this concept one step further and demonstrate that the acquisition and flow of information in a knowledge based organization is dependent on such social networking. Indeed they maintain that by reconstructing existing corporate social networks it is not only possible to identify the real production flows, but also those individuals who expedite or impede that flow. Along the way they identify such personality types as `energizers' and `de-energizers' as well as bottle necks and uneven distribution of tasks and responsibilities. They also identify peripheral individuals and groups that often become ineffective because they become too isolated from the main flows of information. Perhaps the most important point they make is that for a `knowledge based enterprise' information sharing and collaboration are absolutely essential for the successes of the enterprise. Again although they do not specifically discuss this, reconstructing a social network also identifies an organization's real leaders as opposed to notional leaders. Indeed they point out an organization's formal organization chart (beloved by bureaucrats everywhere) often has nothing to do with work flows or actual relationships. But it should be noted that Cross and Parker describe social networking as it occurs within a hierarchical framework, with an identifiable decision making system is in place. Their concept is closer to the information driven Network Centric Warfare (as developed by the U.S. Military) than the free wheeling networked type of organizations as described in the book, "The Starfish and the Spider" (Penguin, 2006). Yet perhaps a networked type of organization may be what their concepts of social networks will eventually create. This is abook well worth reading.
The informatic flows actives the instructions for a complete partecipation to the life in the agency.
The logics in the network is studied by the game theory, but it is related to a good approach in according to the common sense.
The most important thing in fact is the good relations between the workers.
But its an ok book. If you are interested in social networks and other networks I would recommend Mark Buchanen and books "Nexus", "Why catastrophes happen", and "Linked".
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The Knowledge Executive