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.


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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