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Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Team Cohesion and Embedding – A Comparative
Analysis of Spatial and Organisa...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Introduction
ORGANISATION
Intra-organisational
networks of face-to-face
inte...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Introduction
ORGANISATION
Attribute:
Team affiliation
E-I index:
Comparing n...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Introduction
WEEKLY INTERACTION DAILY INTERACTION
organisation team internal...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Research Problem
Organisation Structure A
100 staff, N=10 teams of S=10
50
5...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Case Study Overview
16 knowledge-intensive organisations across different se...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Methodology
SNA:
Online survey of each organisation; survey distributed to a...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Results
Calculation and analysis of various metrics for each organisation (u...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Results
→ independent of org size, av team
size, # of ties and network densi...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Results
Two metrics seem robust: %INT and Yule’s Q
→ calculating values for ...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Results – Analysing
single cases
CASE 7
Post prod
house
BENCHMARK
all org.
C...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Results – Exploring the Impact of Spatial Structure
Correlation between Yule...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Outlook
Investigated a large-ish sample of organisations in order to compare...
Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014
Dr Kerstin Sailer
Lecturer in Complex Buildings
Bartlett School of Graduate ...
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Spatial and organisatinonal parameters in social network structures of teams

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Patterns of interaction within organisations are driven by job roles, reporting lines and organisational culture. In addition to these organisational parameters, it has been shown that the design and layout of workplaces plays an important role, too. For instance, spatial proximity between colleagues has a measurable impact on the frequency of face-to-face interaction. Thus both organisational dimensions as well as spatial configuration can be argued to jointly shape the structure of intra-organisational networks.
Previous research on intra-organisational networks has mostly focused on investigating single cases or small samples. A comparative analysis across cases is interesting, since it provides an opportunity to understand how one case compares against others and whether results of one case can be inferred to other cases. It also allows mapping top and bottom ranges of phenomena, and understanding the strength and consistency of a relationship between a set of variables across cases. However, this also presents a challenging methodological problem: how is it possible to compare metrics between cases and how can these metrics be normalised? For instance, the E-I index measures group embedding according to an attribute of interest (e.g. team affiliation), yet the structure of an organisation (number and size of teams) will have an influence on the outcomes, too.
Using a data set of 15 cases of different knowledge-based organisations (all studied separately from 2007-2013 with the same methodology of investigating social networks of interaction through self-reported surveys), this paper presents a larger scale cross-case analysis on the relationship between spatial configuration of a workplace and the emerging network structures of interaction. With a focus on team cohesion, clustering and embedding, it will provide a first sketch of different metrics and parameters (both organisational and spatial) to compare intra-organisational networks of interaction.

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Spatial and organisatinonal parameters in social network structures of teams

  1. 1. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Team Cohesion and Embedding – A Comparative Analysis of Spatial and Organisational Parameters Dr Kerstin Sailer Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London, UK 1st European Conference on Social Networks EUSN, 1-4 July 2014 @kerstinsailer
  2. 2. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Introduction ORGANISATION Intra-organisational networks of face-to-face interaction in the workplace Proximity Shared paths Shared workspace Job roles Reporting lines Organisational cultures IMPACT IMPACT
  3. 3. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Introduction ORGANISATION Attribute: Team affiliation E-I index: Comparing numbers of ties within groups and between groups (Krackhardt and Stern 1988) Attribute: floor where desk is located
  4. 4. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Introduction WEEKLY INTERACTION DAILY INTERACTION organisation team internal floor internal team internal floor internal University School pre 42% 63% 65% 91% University School post 47% 61% 54% 86% Research Institute 48% 59% 64% 71% Publisher C pre 32% 60% 37% 77% Some results for a small sample of organisations (based on earlier work presented at 5th UKSNA conference in 2009 and published in Sailer 2010): (Based on E-I index calculations of face-to-face interaction networks) → But how do we control for intervening variables such as structure of an organisation?
  5. 5. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Research Problem Organisation Structure A 100 staff, N=10 teams of S=10 50 50 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Organisation Structure B 100 staff, N=2 teams of S=50 Maximum number of internal and external ties vary depending on number and size of subgroups (Krackhardt and Stern 1988) E∗ = S2 𝑁 (𝑁−1) 2 and I∗ = 𝑁𝑆 (𝑆−1) 2 → E*= 4500; I*= 450 → E*= 2500; I*= 2450 → How can we compare across organisations and understand the degree of team cohesion and structural embedding in the light of diverse organisational structures?
  6. 6. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Case Study Overview 16 knowledge-intensive organisations across different sectors (creative industry, information business, retail, legal, software, media, NGO) in the UK, all studied separately between 2007 and 2014 as part of workplace consultancy undertaken by Spacelab Architects Ranges: Organisation size: 67 ↔ 1377 staff Numbers of teams: 5 ↔ 51 teams Average team size: 9.4 ↔ 32.5 staff Office building: 1 ↔ 12 floors Average size of floor plate: 200 ↔ 2800 sqm Organisation Size Average Team Size 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0
  7. 7. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Methodology SNA: Online survey of each organisation; survey distributed to all staff members; return quote: 49% (lowest) to 90% (highest); Asked each participant to name top 25 contacts and indicate frequency of face-to-face encounter and usefulness; Analysis of network of strong ties (daily encounter, extremely useful); Network attributes: team affiliation, floor where desk is Calculating E-I index, Expected E-I index, Yule’s Q Spatial Analysis: Anaysis of spatial configuration: calculating levels of spatial overall closeness centrality in the office building using Space Syntax methods [average mean depth of all paths];
  8. 8. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Results Calculation and analysis of various metrics for each organisation (using UCINET): • Percentage of internal links as calculated by E-I index routine (%INT) • Internal – external preference, i.e. %𝐸𝑋𝑇 %𝐼𝑁𝑇 %𝐸𝑋𝑇 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑 %𝐼𝑁𝑇 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑 as per E-I index routine (INT-EXT pref) • Degree of internalisation, i.e. 𝐼𝐿 𝑁 𝑆 𝑎𝑣 , where IL is the total number of internal links, N is the total number of nodes in the network and 𝑆 𝑎𝑣 is the average size of teams, as per E- I index routine (INTERNALISATION) • Yule’s Q as calculated by the Homophily routine and derived from the odds ratio, which maps perfect homophily (+1) and perfect heterophily (-1) by 𝐼𝐿×𝑁𝐸𝐿−𝐸𝐿×𝑁𝐼𝐿 𝐼𝐿×𝑁𝐸𝐿+𝐸𝐿×𝑁𝐼𝐿 , where IL is the number of internal links, EL the number of external links, NIL the number of non-links internally and NEL the number of non-links externally (Yule’s Q)
  9. 9. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Results → independent of org size, av team size, # of ties and network density → independent of org size, av team size, # of ties and network density → correlates with # of ties (r=-0.517*, p<0.04) → correlates with av team size (r=-0.814**, p<0.000) and network density (r=-0.523*, p<0.038) %INT INT-EXT pref Internalisation Yule’s Q
  10. 10. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Results Two metrics seem robust: %INT and Yule’s Q → calculating values for both attributes (team, floor) → plotting range of cases
  11. 11. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Results – Analysing single cases CASE 7 Post prod house BENCHMARK all org. CASE 9 large retail organisation Percentage of internal ties [%INT]: depicts patterns of interaction and degree to which they span team boundaries and reach across floors Yule’s Q [team]: depicts degree of organisational structure as a barrier Yule’s Q [floor]: depicts degree of spatial structure as a barrier
  12. 12. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Results – Exploring the Impact of Spatial Structure Correlation between Yule’s Q [team] and Average Mean Depth (r=0.624*, p<0.017) (if outlier case 3 is excluded) 0.820 0.840 0.860 0.880 0.900 0.920 0.940 0.960 0.980 1.000 0.000 2.000 4.000 6.000 8.000 10.000 Yule'sQ[team] Average MD Case14–Strategicvisibilityinoffice(closenesscentrality) → Offices with higher levels of overall visibility tend to host more heterophilous interactions, i.e. allow more interactions between colleagues of different teams Integrated Segregated
  13. 13. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Outlook Investigated a large-ish sample of organisations in order to compare across cases and develop a benchmark of interaction patterns in intra-organisational networks Important to understand and map ranges of phenomena Useful in consulting organisations and applying research knowledge in real life examples Provided a first sketch of a way to benchmark interaction patterns, team cohesion and embedding across different organisations of different sizes and different structures Highlighted the impact of organisational structures and spatial structure in shaping interaction patterns “The spatial dimension of our lives has never been of greater practical and political relevance than it is today.” (Edward Soja, 1996: 1)
  14. 14. Team Cohesion and Embedding Sailer, July 2014 Dr Kerstin Sailer Lecturer in Complex Buildings Bartlett School of Graduate Studies University College London 132 Hampstead Road London NW1 2BX United Kingdom Thank you! k.sailer@ucl.ac.uk @kerstinsailer http://spaceandorganisation.wordpress.com/ http://tinyurl.com/UCL-KS

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