Three Perspectives

People at Work in the Organizational Network

Organizational Intelligence forms from the informal social network of people and the formal network of positions. While we are newly aware of the social networks at work, we are remarkably unaware of the real network of relationships embedded in the formal organization itself.

Organizations are constructs of positions, teams, and (sub) organizations, each unit of analysis a distinct type of organizational structure with different sources of legitimacy. Each represents a different type of intelligence and provides a different perspective on the whole complex organization network.

Positions generally represent and are animated through people holding jobs. Here is where the social network and the organizational network intersect and overlap. Leadership positions represent teams and organizations. Position is the common element of the organizational network model, able to represent each of the other units of analysis, as well as being that all-critical bridge to individual people.

People in Positions

  • Individual people with individual intelligence hold organizational positions, jobs, that together comprise the "positional intelligence" -- the fit of person and position
  • Formal positions, the officially registered jobs, are the smallest units of the organization itself, and are typically held by a changing cast of people
  • Each person-in-position has a title role and may play multiple roles in multiple teams, representing its “one-degree circle” of relationships
  • The whole organization network can be mapped through positions and their relationships through multiple roles

People in Teams

  • Teams are the basic working unit of organizations. Officially-recognized teams are charted by an executive leader and usually budgeted
  • Teams are a persisting network of interrelated internal and external relationships and roles carried out by people
  • Teams have a team leader role that represents the team as unit
  • Management and specialized teams perform the resource and workflow roles required to achieve the organization purpose
  • Each team has internal and external resource and workflow roles linking within and between teams
  • The whole organization may be mapped as a network of teams, one team at a time.

People as Members of an Organization

  • Legal entity, organization as a unit is, or is charted by, government
  • Logical hierarchy of nested containers of sub-organizations that roll up to the whole organization, e.g., financial hierarchy of organizations with budgets
  • Logical hierarchy of interlocked management teams defines the inner organization boundary of official employees
  • The larger whole network of positions connected by whole/part and input-output relationships directly (1°) or indirectly to the core hierarchy of people with full employee jobs





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