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The Hidden Power of Social Networks

In today's global, knowledge-driven economy, managers are increasingly charged with overseeing networks of employees who are spread around the world. While companies have spent millions on initiatives and technologies aimed at improving communication and streamlining operations - and formal "org charts" state in black and white who reports to whom and who is responsible for what - the truth is most managers have little understanding of how employees really communicate, connect, and collaborate to get work done. But Rob Cross and Andrew Parker argue that ignoring these critical social networks within organizations is leading to huge missed opportunities to improve learning, innovation, and organizational performance. In The Hidden Power of Social Networks, Cross and Parker, experts in "social network analysis" - a technique that visually maps relationships between people in large, distributed groups - apply this powerful tool to management for the first time. Based on their in-depth study of sixty informal employee networks in well-known companies around the world, Cross and Parker show managers how to conduct a social network analysis of their organization. They use vivid examples to show how can identify simple, easy, inexpensive ways - from identifying key communicators to eliminating information "bottlenecks" to improving organizational processes and leadership practices - to maximize and leverage these social networks for success.
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Table of Contents

Preface Part 1 How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations Chapter 1 The Hidden Power of Social Networks Chapter 2 Across the Great Divide: Finding and Fixing Critical Disconnects in Organizations Chapter 3 Knowing What We Know: Developing a Sense and Respond Organizational Capability Chapter 4 Charged Up: Creating Energy in Organizations Part 2 How Managers Manage Social Networks Chapter 5 Pinpointing the Problem: Improving Networks through Individuals Chapter 6 Building Bridges: Initiating, Developing and Maintaining Networks Chapter 7 Breaking the Mold:Aligning Organizational Context To Sustain Appropriate Network Patterns Chapter 8 Uncharted Territory: The Future and Challenges of Networks in Organizations Appendix A Conducting and Interpreting Social Network Analysis Appendix B Tools for Promoting Network Connectivity Notes Bibliography About the Authors Index

About the Author

Rob Cross is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce in Charlottesville Andrew Parker is a Research Consultant with the IBM Knowledge and Organizational Forum in Cambridge

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