Sunday, January 25, 2009

Social Networking Within The Organization

Broomfield Colorado based engineering firm MWH is profiled in The Wall Street Journal on its use of Social networking to map out the relationship between employees.

To boost productivity at engineering firm MWH, executive Victor Gulas asks employees which colleagues they talk to, and whom they turn to for help. Then he draws a "map" of the connections, which reveals dark patches around employees who work closely with others and lighter areas where there's little interaction.

Mr. Gulas says the map shows communication gaps, information bottlenecks and underutilized employees. "It's making the invisible visible," he says.

I wonder if the density of connections alone indicate the state of the social map and the informal network with the organization. The questions I have with these social maps are
  1. Do these maps indicate direction of information flow?
  2. Is the information flow even in both direction?
  3. Are the links graded based on frequencies of interactions?

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