Working Papers

Management Science for Networked Organizations

NetAge Working Papers set out a network theory and practice for organizations. We publish these draft chunks of a manuscript-in-process now as a response to the collapse of traditional hierarchies and bureaucracies, so evidenced by the current economic debacle. Nothing symbolizes this better than the bankruptcy of GM in June. As the economic crisis deepens in 2009, we need new approaches to organizing and reorganizing in smarter, better, and faster ways.

Principles for Reorganization: How to Mix Levels, Span, and Size to Maximize Communication and Decision-Making (24 pp)
Blog post: 6 Feb 2009
Detailed look at the Eleum data and analysis underlying the organizing principles introduced in our report "Organizing at the Edge of Chaos," Theory explains the very varied steep-flat topography of the "physical" hierarchy. The paper extends from theory to data to how-to.
The Virtual, Networked Organization: How One Company Became Transparent (page proofs, 14 pp)
Blog posts: 26 April 2008, 20 April, 2 Dec 2007
Story of original client, called Eleum, and development of OrgScope. Describes initial findings and how these led to improvements - published as book chapter in The Handbook for High Performance Virtual Teams (Jossey-Bass, 2008).
Understanding Nodes and Links: Core Concepts of People, Positions, and Relationships (28 pp)
Blog post: 9 Feb 2009
Theory of organizations as people and positional networks of nodes and links. Develops taxonomy of five node types and ten link types that underlie the OrgScope design. Basics of management science for networked organizations.
The Stadium Parable: Making the Organizational Network Concrete (8 pp)
Blog post: 02 October 2007
A parable of people sitting in positions in a stadium representing the physical hierarchy, then adding contractors and multiple link types, and later seeing the whole network aglow.

Theoretical Foundations - Systems, Networks, and Complexity

Revolution in Networks: Applying the New Science of Networks to Organizations (29 pp)

Blog post - 13 Feb 2009, 15 Feb 2009

"Connected" show on Discovery Channel 2/15/09 with Barabasi and Watts - see promo

Concept of network management science as specialization within general network science. Twin strands are“scale-free networks” discovered by Albert-László Barabási and others, and“small-world networks," personified by Duncan Watts.
A Measure of Complexity: Organizations as Complex Adaptive Networks (24 pp)
Organizations are defined and discussed as “complex adaptive networks” tuned for today's accelerating complexity. We also provide a step-by-step recipe for calculating and using "K" — speculatively an organizational measure of complexity and interdependence.
A Systems Science of Networked Organizations
Paper for International Society for Systems Research, 2000 (16 pp)
  Paper details the systems theory underlying the general NetAge model of networks: People, Purpose, Links, and Time. Describes"Periodic Table of Network Elements" and "Stressed-S" Life Cycle model. See also "Theory: A Systems Science of Virtual Teams," chapter 12 of our book Virtual Teams.





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