Social Network Analysis: Insight into collaboration in the workplace

Annemieke Zonneveld

© 2007 IBM Corporation

Social network analysis helps to reveal the informal network behind the organizational chart

Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a set of methods and statistics that shows how people collaborate • the current patterns of the information-, communication-, knowledge sharing-, decision-making networks • within a particular organization or group

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© 2007 IBM Corporation

Agenda Social Network and Innovation: 3 introductory questions Business collaboration is changing Business value of social networks Overview of social networks Case Study Future Trends 3 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Social Network and Innovation: 3 introductory questions Did you ever consider this? • Who has the key expertise in your organization? • How are these persons / is this group connected to the others? • The risk of under-utilization of expertise or innovation potential 4 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Social Network and Innovation: 3 introductory questions Did you ever consider this? • What are the informal networks in your organization. how are groups connected? • What is the intensity and character of these relationships? • Innovation often emerges on the interface of groups 5 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Social Network and Innovation: 3 introductory questions Did you ever consider this? • What are the most innovative groups? • What are the networks of these groups? • Understanding these networks might contribute to learning processes 6 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Agenda Social Network and Innovation: 3 introductory questions Business collaboration is changing Business value of social networks Overview of social networks Case Study Future Trends 7 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Business collaboration is changing. because • The workforce is changing • The workplace is changing • The nature of work is changing 8 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Agenda Social Network and Innovation: 3 introductory questions Business collaboration is changing Business value of social networks Overview of social networks Case Study Future Trends 9 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

where are decisions getting blocked. Why are some departments of business units more innovative then others? • Example: This can be found out by conducting a SNA of the knowledge and information sharing patterns. Do departments of business units interact appropriately with each other in taking their services to the market or to the client? 10 © 2007 IBM Corporation . Why are some departments or business units more responsive to changing markets or their client then others? • Example: This can be found out by conducting a SNA of the information patterns: does information runs smoothly within the given network? Are there information hubs.Social Network Analysis (SNA) applies to a broad range of business issues • Improve innovation. is the key knowledge and expertise inside and outside the network being leveraged effectively? • Enhance responsiveness.

Why are some departments or business units more successful then others? • Example: This can be found out by conducting a SNA: is there too much overlap between networks of group members? Are there too many brokers doing the same thing? And where are networks lacking? 11 © 2007 IBM Corporation .Social Network Analysis (SNA) applies to a broad range of business issues (2) • Increase efficiency.

Benefits of Social Network Analysis • Understand collaboration: Helps managers develop an accurate understanding of how collaboration is occurring • Optimize knowledge sharing: Improves efficiency by enabling the location and distribution of knowledge across the organization • Integrate M&A’s: Provides an effective tool to assess group integration • Retain critical resources: Helps to systematically identify central people who represent risk if they leave 12 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Aspects of someone's social network Person A´s contacts with Person B´s • Frequency of contacts • Importance for executing tasks • Importance for strategic / political support • Importance for new information • Accessibility • Added value of intensifying contact • Energy maker or energy taker • High or low trust 13 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

development. e. where networks are strong. where they are vulnerable • Diagrams should be available for all • Findings should be shared • It is the first step towards improvement • Actions • Organizational.o. repositioning of units. • Technology.g. repositioning of key players 14 © 2007 IBM Corporation .p. e.g.Outcome of Social Network Analysis • Diagrams of social networks • Consciousness of where networks are effective. development of c. jam sessions • People. e.g.

Agenda Social Network and Innovation: 3 introductory questions Business collaboration is changing Business value of social networks Overview of social networks Case Study Future Trends 15 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

• Breakdowns in information flow and collaboration occur most often at one of these common boundaries: Functional: Breakdowns between teams or business units Geographic: Breakdowns between geographically separated locations Hierarchical: Breakdowns between employees of different levels Tenure: Breakdowns between long time employees and new employees Organizational: Breakdowns among leadership networks Example SNA can pinpoint cross boundary breakdowns in information flow and collaboration Case Example: Functional Boundaries Case Example: Geographic Boundaries 16 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Example SNA can reveal if knowledge is shared between team members 8 13 12 6 5 5 4 4 7 2 3 10 11 9 8 1 7 10 2 3 17 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Agenda Social Network and Innovation: 3 introductory questions Business collaboration is changing Business value of social networks Overview of social networks Case Study Future Trends 18 © 2007 IBM Corporation .

Energy network. 19 © 2007 IBM Corporation .Knowledge (awareness) network .How Social Network Analysis was helpful for our global retail client What we did • • Collected and analyzed Social Network Analysis data from 73 people across 11 groups (direct reports of the board) Held 10 interviews with people across the groups The Social Network Analysis reveals The Information network • Communication • Political • Importance • Accessibility • Communicate – more .

Key findings SNA • The board is very central in all the networks • Much activity is concentrated within the groups resulting in the same set of people providing up to date information. share knowledge and communicate mostly to others within their same group • There is little communication across the different groups • Most of the network diagrams shows the same picture regarding the primary processes: • Sales and Commercie are not located in the centre of the networks • There is no relative strong connection between Sales. Supply Chain. Supply Chain are consequently located at the periphery of the network 20 © 2007 IBM Corporation . Commercie • Efficiency.

Key Findings SNA • There is no group completely isolated • There is always at least one person per group (broker) who connects between groups • Sometimes these brokers differ by network. but regarding the core processes we identify particularly one and the same broker per group • People know many others • People responding to the survey knew. 31 of the 73 other people • Strategic decisions ask for high consensus (there is a high need for political buy-in) 21 © 2007 IBM Corporation . on average.

HR Sales and Franchise Core processes: in general not very close. the shorter the distance the higher the agreement (shown for strongly disagree to strongly agree) 22 © 2007 IBM Corporation . relatively most connected are: Commercie en Sales Distance between nodes is a function of agreement with the statement. Supply Chain. followed by Finance Periphery: Effiency. Sales & Services and Commercie Small distance between: Directie & Finance Supply Chain.Group level Communicate: “How often do you communicate about work collaboration?” Position of the groups Central: Directie is especially central in the communication network.

With Directie removed there are no sources of energy (outbound links). "Communication with this person is energizing” The primary source of energy is the Directie group. 23 © 2007 IBM Corporation .Team level Energy: Please indicate the extent to which you agree with the following statement.

“ 24 © 2007 IBM Corporation .Individual level Political: Please indicate the extent to which you agree with the following statement:"It is strategically/ political wise to ask "buy in" of this person before I take an important decision.

. • the central key role of the board • disconnection of business model and main communication lines • the overall strong internal focus of teams • the strong demand for buy-in / concensus model Op Sup Dir Com Fr Teams Circel of brookers Hr Directie Etc Fin 25 © 2007 IBM Corporation .Discussion topics The implications of ….

Agenda Business collaboration is changing Overview of social networks Business value of social networks Case Study Future Trends © 2007 IBM Corporation 26 .

0 (Web interface) Web was about computers connections allowing information availability Community 2. allowing user interaction.0 (social computing) Web Sites are social. using the Web as a platform. Leverages the power of communities in content creation and the development process by using Blogs. Wikis´and Social Bookmarking. Members of the community are in control.0 (geographically co-located) Community 1. Communities Professional development Collaboration Education Blackboards Conference Virtual conference In-person Tele-conf Video Conf Community of Practice IM Jam Virtual Univ E-meetings Classroom Distance E-learning Peer-to-peer learning Increased Digitization 27 © 2007 IBM Corporation . Content production and publication is only made by the owner of the site.The Evolution of Communities Community 0.

to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these networks and to improve these networks 28 © 2007 IBM Corporation .To sum up • Innovation: networks matter! • SNA is easy to analyze your informal networks.

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