Theme articles - fully searchable

Social Networks

Are Followers More than Physical Beings?

Our followers are part of a global uncertainty and search for meaning which is translating back into their organizational performance. In The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes and Posner state, “from heightening uncertainty across the world to an intense...

Bandwidth & Echo: Trust, Information and Gossip in Social Networks

There are two schools of thought on how network structures create the competitive advantage known as social capital. One school focuses on the advantages of closure. A network is closed to the extent that people in it are connected by strong relationships....

Building Better Organizational Networks

The old maxim that "structure follows strategy" may not be true - effective network structures can be independently designed.

Building Partnerships Inside and Outside the Organization

Much has been written on how leaders can build partnerships. This chapter will build upon our research and focus on why the leader of the future will need to be a builder of partnerships.

Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving

Communities are built on connections. Better connections usually provide better opportunities. But, what are better connections, and how do they lead to more effective and productive communities?

Communities of Practice and Complexity : Conversation and Culture

This article draws upon an extraordinary theoretical basis to re-present and, hopefully, strengthen the concept of communities of practice and its application to organisation development.

Communities of Practice, a Brief Introduction

This article examines what communities of practice are and why researchers and practitioners in so many different contexts find them useful as an approach to knowing and learning

Creativity and Improvisation in Jazz and Organizations: Implications for Organizational Learning

This paper outlines seven characteristics (including communities of practice) that allow jazz bands to improvise coherently and maximize social innovation in a coordinated fashion

Decentralized Intelligence

What Toyota can teach the 9/11 commission about intelligence gathering

Evolving Adaptive Organizations

How can an organisation move away from centrally coordinated hierarchies toward a variety of more flexible structures? Looks at how an organization can be enhanced by recognising, visualising and optimising these structural networks and uses the Watts...

Functional, Project and Matrix Structures

In this two-part article Charles reviews three well known major organizational structures: Functional Structure, Product or Project Structure and Matrix Structure

How Socio-technical Systems Reinforce Organizational Values

The values of the organization provide a guide for the social and technical systems in achieving their part of the organization's mission. In Christian Reflections on the Leadership Challenge, Kouzes and Posner state, “values cannot be forced, they...

How we can make Networks more Useful

We all use Networks to communicate instructions, ideas and to share knowledge. We have Networks of friends, career advisors, co-workers, clubs, teaching mentors etc. But, whilst, we all spend hours on web 2.0 sites, one wonders what we get as a result?...

Influentials, Networks, and Public Opinion Formation

A central idea in marketing and diffusion research is that influentials — a minority of individuals who influence an exceptional number of their peers — are important to the formation of public opinion. Here we examine this idea, which we call the...

Introduction to Social Network Analysis

Just what is Social Network Analysis and how does it work?

Karen Stephenson's Quantum Theory of Trust

To Karen Stephenson, a maverick yet influential social network theorist, the association between trust and learning is an instrument of vast, if frequently untapped, organizational power.

KM and the Social Network

An organisation’s ability to realise its full operational potential is dependent on the strength of the relationships between its employees. Patti Anklam explains how social-network analysis can be used to collate and analyse the patterns of relationships...

Knowledge Management: The Collaboration Thread

Knowledge management is a thick web of themes from a variety of professional disciplines, but what is it all about?

Knowledge Networks : Mapping and Measuring Knowledge Creation, Re-use and Flow

No one doubts that better management of knowledge within the firm will lead to improved innovation and competitive advantage. Everyone agrees on the goal - better utilization of internal and external knowledge. It is the approach to this goal that is...

Managing the Connected Organization

If knowledge is power, what is connected knowledge?


In epidemics, is fear a good thing?

Personal Networks and Leadership Development

A powerful way to improve executive effectiveness or promote connectivity in an organization is to work through each employee's personal network. Read on to find out more.

Project Management and The Matrix

The Matrix organizational structure is complex in and of itself. It has been argued that its very complexity makes for a greater degree of flexibility and adaptiveness than that afforded by the more traditional 'Functional' and 'Product' structures. Complexity...

Simma & Kate's Strategies for Cross-Generational Relationship Building

Here we highlight what we think are the best ways to push past generational barriers and build strong intergenerational relationships. We've divided the strategies into mindset tips (how to approach cross-generational differences) and practical tips (the...

Six Degrees of Interconnection

Just what is this exciting phenomenon?

Space - The Final Frontier

This article is an argument for how our institutions and organizations are bridging the digital divide by leveraging hominid hardwiring – not the DNA we familiarly know, but another kind of cultural blueprint.

Storytelling Organizations

I want to introduce you to the game playing among storytelling organizations. The idea is to theorize organizations as storytelling systems where stories are the currency of exchange within and between them.

Structural Holes and Collaborative Innovation

What does it take to lead a successful company? Corporate executives today face a growing array of challenges fed by revolutions in technology and globalization. It’s enough to make an executive wonder if leading a successful company is more than a...

Surviving on the Savannahs of the New Economy

Surviving the savannahs of the New Economy may be just as treacherous as leaping from tree to tree in the jungles of old economy corporate takeovers. But it was on the savannahs that our ancestors evolved, so perhaps we can learn a few lessons.

The Extinction of Species and Why It Matters More Than You Think

It's a small world: take anybody else on earth, and you are probably linked through six acquaintances. What's scary is that a similar rule applies to natural life

The Extraordinary Potential of Knowledge Management

Storytelling has existed for centuries as a way of sharing knowledge and developing a sense of community. Here, Seth Weaver Kahan details his own story in an attempt to demonstrate the power of the technique, and to explore the greater contribution knowledge...

The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes

Social structure, especially in the form of social networks, affects economic outcomes for three main reasons.

The Right – And Wrong –Ways To Give & Receive Feedback

Giving feedback to employees – and receiving feedback yourself – is one of the most misunderstood and poorly executed human resource processes, according to ClearRock, an outplacement and executive coaching firm headquartered in Boston.

The Science of Inequality

You always knew that the rich got richer through no merit of their own, didn't you? Now, with the aid of computers, scientists think they have proved it

Towards a Theory of Government

Reciprocity is key to the power of networks, the alchemy of mutual give and take over time turning to a golden trust . . .

Visualizing Social Groups

Jacob Moreno introduced the idea of using visual images to reveal important features of social patterning.

Want to Manage Tacit Knowledge?

Communities of practice offer a versatile solution

What Knowledge Tears Apart, Networks Make Whole

Every organization has a wealth of knowledge stored in the memories and intuitions of its employees. This tacit knowledge is shared through formal and non-formal networks which bond and motivate people within the organization. Karen Stephenson goes at...
Return To Top