Network Basics: What Are Networks?

Organizational Networks - Layers of Operations

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Networks consist of the web of relationships formed by people in order to get things done. This web supports the many functions that people fulfill at work, from completing routine transactions to socializing, innovating, planning, learning, and developing their careers.

Organizational networks influence virtually everything organizations do:

  • Change: If networks are effective, they can adapt quickly to change.
  • Decision Making: The quality of people’s networks influences the quality of their decisions.
  • Leadership: Effective leaders tend to cultivate their networks in specific ways. 
  • Culture: An organization’s culture is embedded in its networks. Networks can effectively resist or enable culture change.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: If networks don’t integrate well after a merger or acquisition, the organizations won’t achieve desired synergies or cost savings.
  • Innovation: Bringing the people with the right skill sets together from across networks improves innovation.
  • Projects: Successful projects are run by leaders with stronger networks.

Where to Go From Here?

Not Sure Where to Begin?

Try one of these starter articles.

Networks 101 The Three Most Important Positions You Don’t Know About Yet The Seven Hidden Networks: The Webs of Relationships that Power the Corporation

Didn’t find what you were looking for here? Check out our organizational network resources.

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