Communicating in Networks
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Communicating in Networks

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Communicating in Networks for my Organizational Communications class.

Communicating in Networks for my Organizational Communications class.

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  • -Contemporary organizational communication has shifted rapidly from a singular emphasis on face-to-face teams to virtual networks of people across multiple locales organized for a common purpose.-Networks are emergent, informal, and somewhat less interdependent than teams.-Networks matter because regular contact between identifiable groups of people can play an important role in establishing access to information and in the quality and direction of decision making.
  • -Early research on communication structure focused on examining small-group communication style networks (groups of five people).-Four groups of small-communication networks were typically studied: Circle, wheel, chain, and all-channel
  • -The most powerful group within organizations are those that emerge from formal and informal communication among people who work together.-The current focus on communication networks in organizations stems from a general acceptance of systems theories, which emphasize the connections between people and the relationships that constitute an organization.-Early research on emergent communication networks investigated the so-called organizational “grapevine.”-This term has since come to mean the persistent informal network within an organization, sometimes referred to disparagingly by management as the “rumor mill.”
  • -Informal communication in organizations is fluid and in a constant state of change.-Whereas formal reorganizations may occur only infrequently, informal reorganizations occur continuously.-In studying emergent communication networks, we are concerned mainly with overall patterns of interaction, communication network roles, and the content of communication networks.
  • -A number of informal groups or cliques emerge as a result of communication among people in organizations.-Communication networks vary widely in density, which is determined by dividing the number of communication links (reported communication contacts) that exist among organizational members by the number of possible links if everyone knew everyone else.-Research suggests that the density of organizational networks has considerable influence over whether other employees adopt a new idea or technology.-Extraorganizational networks may be particularly important resources for employees in historically marginalized groups who have difficulty finding mentors and other supports in positions of power within the organizations.
  • -Communication network roles affect one’s experience of work and one’s degree of influence on others.-Well-connected individuals in an organization tend to be the most influential and the least likely to leave.-Four types of communication roles occur in networks: the isolate, group member, bridge, liaison.
  • -Emergent communication networks develop around specific topics, or content areas, or communication.-The content of communication networks takes on added significance when we consider it in terms of the sense-making process.-Individuals who are in the mainstream with regard to employee values and beliefs would be group members; those holding radically different interpretations would be isolates.
  • -Interorganizational communication networks are the enduring transactions, flows and linkages that occur among or between organizations.-Such networks vary in terms of their openness, density, and interdependence.-Two organizations are said to be vertically integrated when one builds parts or provides services that the other needs for its delivery of a product or service.-Interestingly, one efficient way of sharing information across organizational lines is not through overt communication but by hiring employees from other companies.
  • -In the contemporary economic environment, organizations are most likely to turn to strategic alliances—such as mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures—to enhance their financial status and political power.-Like multidisciplinary groups, interorganizational communication networks are potential sites of dialogue.
  • -Within only a few years, our understanding of what constitutes a network has changed considerably, from the connections among people within a single organization to the connections among people in a global society.-Global communication networks have been transformed by online communication. Significant changes in communication behaviors have been noted, especially in information seeking and relational development.-Thousands of virtual gathering places provide continuous updates on activities, as well as the ability to stay in regular touch with a vastly expanded collection of contacts who may or may not be properly classified as “friends.”
  • -Some critics mourn the demise of local communities, whereas others envision an electronic global village that provides people with instantaneous access to information and other people worldwide.-With potentially disastrous consequences, terrorist organizations have turned to online communication as a means of recruiting and staying connected with new members.

Communicating in Networks Communicating in Networks Presentation Transcript

  • Communicating in Networks
    Brendan Sullivan
  • Introduction
    Shift from face-to-face to virtual networks
    Emergent, informal, and interdependent
    Networks are crucial for communication
  • Small-Group Communication Networks
    Groups of five people
    Four types of small-group communication:
    Circle
    Wheel
    Chain
    All-Channel
    View slide
  • Small Group Communication Networks
    B
    B
    C
    A
    A
    C
    Wheel
    Circle
    D
    E
    D
    E
    B
    Chain
    A
    C
    A
    B
    C
    D
    E
    All-Channel
    E
    D
    View slide
  • Emergent Communication Networks
    Grow from formal/informal communication
    Emphasis on connections between people
    So-called organizational “grapevine”
    Referred to as the “rumor mill”
  • Analyzing Communication Networks
    Informal communication is fluid
    Formal communication is infrequent
    Emergent communication concerns
    Overall patterns of interaction
    Communication network roles
    Content of communication networks
  • Analyzing Communication Networks
    Patterns of Interaction
    Cliques emerge as a result of communication
    Communication networks vary widely in density
    Density influences employees
    Extraorganizational networks
    Contacts from the industry or community
  • Analyzing Communication Networks
    Communication Network Roles
    Affects one’s experience of work
    The more connected, the more secure
    Four types of communication roles in networks:
    The isolate
    Group member
    Bridge
    Liaison
  • Analyzing Communication Networks
    Content of Communication Networks
    Develop around specific topics of communication
    Important in terms of sense-making process
    Group members are in the mainstream
    The isolates hold radically different interpretations
  • Interorganizational Communication Networks
    Enduring transactions, flows, and linkages
    Vary in openness, density, interdependence
    Sensitive to environmental jolts
    Affecting the entire company
    One company provides service
    The other provides delivery of a product
    Communication can occur through inter-company hiring
  • Interorganizational Communication Networks
    Organizations are likely to turn to alliances
    Mergers
    Acquisitions
    Joint ventures
    Interorganizational groups are great for dialogue
  • The Networked Society
    Definition of “network” is always changing
    Global communication is now online
    Information seeking
    Relational development
    Thousands of virtual gathering places
    MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
  • The Networked Society
    The bad side…
    Critics mourn the demise of local communities
    Potentially disastrous consequences
    Online terrorism
    Recruiting
    Staying connected with new members
  • Networks and the NWSF
    The NWSF needed network communication
    Facebook/Twitter
    Allows reach to a larger audience
    Globally
    Demographically