Intra-organizational Networks: The role of Teams

How does one build effective intra-organizational networks? An impressive body of research has accumulated on this question. Surprisingly, though, this literature has largely ignored one of the key relational building blocks of many organizations: formal teams. The neglect of teams is particularly troubling because organizations are increasingly using teams to accomplish mission-critical tasks. Furthermore, the literature on the team and small group dynamics offer a rich vein of findings that are potentially quite relevant to the topic of intra-organizational networks. This neglect of teams in the network literature is mirrored by the neglect of networks in the team literature. Our purpose in writing this paper is to provide a basis for the integration of these two pieces of literature. This paper integrates the largely independent literature on networks and teams. Our objective is twofold: (1) to understand what constitutes an effective organizational network when much of the work of the organization is done by teams; and (2) to examine what the internal and external social capital needs of teams are. We raise questions to guide future research and point to potential managerial implications.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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