Collaboration, Learning Community, PLE, PLN, Uncategorized

Organizational Networks, Relationships & Sensemaking

In organizational life there are interpersonal networks, within and across organizations, and interorganizational networks, with exchanges of resources, alliances, and shared directors. Network thinking has a long history in sociology , such as the dynamics of triads and the “web of group affiliations.” New constructs such as resources dependence, institutional theory methodology, and computer power encouraged formal methods for network analysis, assessing relationships and structures, and testing new theories.

Networks provide a way to visualize and analyze patterns among relationships of the nodes (parts) and ties to determine distribution of information, resources, energy and authority. This type of network analysis has lead to further review of organization connectedness, including:

  • formal and informal networks among members and units
  • social network analysis to quantify position or importance of actors in the network
  • characterization of technology, industry and product space
  • types of ties among organizations
  • organizational alliances, partnerships & affiliations
  • review networks of organization distinct from functional, divisional or matrix form
  • hybrid of ties among organizational units
  • dynamic networks in industrial districts
  • networks structures and differences depending on economies and politics
  • cross-cultural comparisons of networks
 Practical applications for organizational networks and relationships include application of the following steps for both individuals and organizations:
  1. Setting up a personal learning network (PLN) – developing a PLN to meet your personal and professional goals
  2. Establishing a professional presence online –establishing you digital identity and presences online
  3. Selecting online networks & tools – where to start, tools, tips and social spaces
  4. Finding your voice – developing a sense of self in the community of practice and contributing to that shared community
  5. Network collaboration – being able to weave your online network to learn, grow, curate and contribute

References

Scott, R. W. & Davis, G. F. (2007). Networks in and around organizations. In Organizations and organizing: Rational, Natural and Open system perspectives, Chapter 11.

Further Readings

Borys, B. & Jemison, D. B. (1989) Hybrid arrangements as strategic alliances: theoretical issues in organizational combinations. Academy of Management Review, 14, 234-249.

Daft, R. & Weick, K. (1984).  Toward a model of organizations as interpretation systems.
Academy of Management Review, 284-295.

Granovetter, M. (1983). The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited
Sociological Theory, Vol. 1, (1983), pp. 201-233.

Levine, S. and White, P.E. (1961) Exchange as a conceptual framework for the study of interorganizational relations. Administrative Science Quarterly,5: 583-601.

Milliken, F. J. (1990). Perceiving and Interpreting Environmental Change: An Examination of College Administrators’ Interpretation of changing demographics. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Mar., 1990), pp. 42-63

Park, S. H. (1996) Managing an Interorganizational Network: A Framework of the Institutional Mechanism for Network Control. Organization Studies, 17: 795-824.

Ring, P.S. & Van de Ven, A.H. (1994) Developmental process of cooperative interorganization relations. Academy of Management Review, 19, 90-118.

Salancik, G. R. (1995) Review: WANTED: A Good Network Theory of Organization
Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 345-349

Weick, K. ( 1993). The collapse of sensemaking in organizations: The Mann Gulch disaster. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38: 628-652

Weick, K., Sutcliffe, K., & Obstfeld, D. ( 2005). Organizing and the process of sensemaking. Organization Science, 16 (4): 409-421.

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