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  1. 1. Social Networking: The People Side of KM Dr. Jay Liebowitz Professor Graduate Division of Business and Management Johns Hopkins University [email_address] 301-315-2893
  2. 2. Human Capital Challenges in the United States (V. Soni, IPMA-HR News, August 2006) <ul><li>GAO report indicates that more than 60% of Senior Executives at the Department of Labor will be eligible for retirement by 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>42% of state and local agency employees in the U.S. are over 50, and 20% of the American working age population was over 55 in 2005 (“Impact of Aging Trends on the State Government Workforce” report) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Human Capital Issues in Slovenia <ul><li>“… inefficient use of human capital in the Slovenia economy” (Novak & Bojnec, “HC and Economic Growth by Municipalities in Slovenia,” Managing Global Transitions Journal, Fall 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>“ In Slovenia, an expanded proportion of the Government budget will go to education” (Kveton, UNESCO Int. Centre for Scientific Computing) </li></ul><ul><li>“ 10 Slovenian companies have made it to the list of 500 leading European companies in terms of new job creation” (Slovenia News, Oct. 30, 2006) </li></ul>
  4. 4. What Can Be Done? <ul><li>Workforce development </li></ul><ul><li>Succession planning </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge management </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic human capital </li></ul>
  5. 5. 4 Pillars of a Human Capital Strategy KM C M P M C G M Human Capital
  6. 6. Social Networks: Collaboration & Knowledge Sharing “How to Build Your Network” B. Uzzi and S. Dunlap, Harvard Business Review , <ul><li>Networks deliver 3 unique advantages: private information, access to diverse skill sets, and power. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong personal networks don’t just happen at the water cooler—they have to be carefully constructed. </li></ul><ul><li>Research shows that if you create your networks with trust, diversity, and brokerage, you can raise your level of information from what you know to who you know. </li></ul>
  7. 7. “ The Effect of Network Size on Intra-Network Knowledge Processes” D. Hislop, KM Research & Practice Journal <ul><li>As network size increases, network density is likely to decrease which suggests that intra-networks will likely become poorer in the sharing of tacit and complex knowledge. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Harnessing Knowledge Dynamics M. Nissen, IRM Press, 2006 <ul><li>The impact of knowledge management increases in direct proportion to the reach of knowledge flows through an organization </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Hidden Power of Social Networks (Cross and Parker, 2004) <ul><li>Networks of informal relationships have a critical influence on work and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Research shows that appropriate connectivity in well-managed networks within organizations can have a substantial impact on performance, learning, and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Actors/nodes (individuals/units) and links/arcs (relationships/ties) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network Analysis (SNA): Knowledge flows and gaps </li></ul>
  10. 10. A Couple of Cases
  11. 11. Case 1: Examination of Raw Data <ul><li>The data identified 1,621 knowledge advice connections or communications between the 698 employees </li></ul><ul><li>Each connection between employees was assigned a weight based on the frequency of the knowledge being sought and the importance of the knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Complete employee data for respondents, non-respondent employee numbers, employee connections and connection weights were loaded into NetMiner 2.5 for social network analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis was conducted across 6 defined advice communication areas </li></ul>
  12. 12. Social Network Analysis Schematic Employee Adjacency – Advice Communication Matrix Employee Communication Measures Employee Attributes Advice Communications
  13. 13. Social Network Analysis Schematic Employee <ul><li>Advice Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Context K – Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Expert Process K – Advice </li></ul><ul><li>General K – Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Process K – Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic K – Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship K - Advice </li></ul>Adjacency – Advice Communication Matrix Employee
  14. 14. Knowledge Types K of “why” business opportunities reduce cost and other strategic decisions Strategic K of “who” has information Relationship K of “how” the business works Process K of non-work related questions General K of “how” networks and systems work Expert Process K of “what” applications Context
  15. 15. Social Network Analysis Schematic Employee <ul><li>Employee Attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Department </li></ul><ul><li>Level (Position Hierarchy) </li></ul><ul><li>Tenure </li></ul>Adjacency – Advice Communication Matrix Employee
  16. 16. Social Network Analysis Schematic Employee Adjacency – Advice Communication Matrix Employee <ul><li>Communication Measures </li></ul><ul><li>Centrality (in and out degree) </li></ul><ul><li>Closeness </li></ul><ul><li>Betweenness </li></ul><ul><li>Cliques </li></ul><ul><li>Density </li></ul><ul><li>Brokerage </li></ul>
  17. 17. Is there much inter-departmental communication? <ul><li>Departments “blocked” and then examined for degree and density measures </li></ul><ul><li>As with individuals, departments yielded low density of communication with other departments </li></ul><ul><li>Some departments have no communication with others within certain knowledge areas (“structural holes”) </li></ul><ul><li>XYZ department: unconnected from all others in 4 of the 6 knowledge types, including the knowledge of “who” has the organizational information </li></ul><ul><li>JKL department: not connected within 3 of the knowledge types including the “what” of applications and the “how” of network and systems work </li></ul>
  18. 20. Is the organization well connected among the employees and the managers, directors and executives? <ul><li>336 of the 1,621 knowledge connections (21%) were to persons in management positions </li></ul><ul><li>36 of 62 Managers, Directors, and Executives were named as sources of knowledge advice 5 or more times </li></ul><ul><li>Communication rate from employee to employee is the highest </li></ul>
  19. 21. Are the junior employees interacting with the senior employees? <ul><li>Junior employees have limited contact with senior employees (executives) </li></ul><ul><li>Employee contact is greater with other employees </li></ul><ul><li>Greatest direct connection between executives and non-managerial employees was in the Process K area </li></ul><ul><li>Lowest level: Context K </li></ul>
  20. 28. Are the directors and executives in the “Power” positions centrally located? <ul><li>Executives and directors are not present or are relatively weak in most power or central positions in knowledge advice communications </li></ul><ul><li>A single executive was prominent in Strategic, General, and Relationship knowledge areas </li></ul><ul><li>Three others in managerial positions appeared in central positions, with a single one of these appearing in 4 of the 6 K types </li></ul><ul><li>Most power or central positions are held by non-managerial employees or a single expert </li></ul>
  21. 35. Are there more isolates, transmitters, receivers or carriers in the organization? <ul><li>In all knowledge areas, the greatest number of employees are isolates </li></ul><ul><li>Receivers are generally greater in number than transmitters in all knowledge areas </li></ul><ul><li>Carriers are the fewest in number in all knowledge areas </li></ul>
  22. 36. Node Types by Area 38 151 113 396 Strategic 38 121 94 445 Relation 37 109 110 442 Process 42 162 118 378 General 40 171 126 361 Exp. Pr 46 190 133 329 Context Carrier Receiver Transmitter Isolate K Area
  23. 37. How can communication and collaboration be improved? <ul><li>Further departmental examination of results </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up interviews with persons in central or power positions </li></ul><ul><li>Task analysis of these persons’ performance in the positions </li></ul><ul><li>Positive reinforcement program should be developed to create behavioral change in other positions, based upon benchmarks set by central or power positions </li></ul><ul><li>Planned insertion of employees or departments to fill all structural holes should be considered for succession planning and workforce development </li></ul>
  24. 38. Organizational & Individual Constraints (Q.25,26,27) <ul><li>37%: Lack of Time/Work Overloads </li></ul><ul><li>14%: Too Many Silos/Consolidate into Central Repository </li></ul><ul><li>10%: Not knowing who to ask/who has the information </li></ul><ul><li>6%: Job Insecurity/Downsizing </li></ul><ul><li>6%: Getting People to Share Their Knowledge/Culture Doesn’t Encourage it/Tie to IPEP </li></ul><ul><li>6%: Search Engine Needs to be Improved/No Search Engine for Internal Info </li></ul><ul><li>Other (21%)(in order): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business processes needed/Standardization/People to follow processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rigid hierarchical structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supervisor is seated away from Dept/Geographic Dispersion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited access, due to security, to access intranet from home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More communication needed between people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need knowledge capture tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constantly changing organization with unclear roles and responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to create a continuous learning culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to capture rationale why things don’t work </li></ul></ul>
  25. 39. KM-Related Recommendations Based on SNA, Q25,26,and 27 <ul><li>Portal </li></ul><ul><li>Central repository </li></ul><ul><li>Google-type search engine </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise locator </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize knowledge sharing in performance reviews (extrinsic and intrinsic motivators) </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons learned/best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Online communities of practice </li></ul><ul><li>More cross-training/cross-functional teams </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring program </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge sharing forums (“storytelling”) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge fairs around certain key topics </li></ul>
  26. 40. Case 2: Staff for General Advice Questions
  27. 41. Junior-Senior Staff Relationships
  28. 42. Institutional Knowledge (Individual)
  29. 43. Subject Matter Expertise (Department)
  30. 44. General Comments <ul><li>Social network analysis is a wonderful technique to identify knowledge flows and knowledge gaps in organizations to help in knowledge mapping/knowledge audits </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking: the grapevine effect is stronger than the formal org-chart effect (i.e., informal networks are stronger than formal ones) </li></ul><ul><li>SNA helps build a basis for developing a knowledge management and human capital strategy </li></ul>
  31. 45. We Need <ul><li>To think in terms of a more flexible federal workforce </li></ul><ul><li>To consider “age diversity” as part of the definition for diversity </li></ul><ul><li>To bring back retirees into the workforce to tap this relatively untapped pool of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>To continue to pass legislative HR reforms to be more “competitive” in the marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>To apply KM and SNA concepts and techniques to address HC concerns </li></ul>
  32. 46. Other (Personal) References <ul><li>Liebowitz, J., Addressing the Human Capital Crisis in the Federal Government: A KM Perspective , Elsevier, 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>Liebowitz, J., Strategic Intelligence: Business Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, and KM , Auerbach/Taylor & Francis, 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Liebowitz, J., What They Didn’t Tell You About KM , Scarecrow Press/Rowman & Littlefield, 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Liebowitz, J., Social Networking: The Essence of Innovation , Scarecrow Press/Rowman & Littlefield, in press. </li></ul>
  33. 47. Questions and Answers THANK YOU!! HVALA!!