I’ve been listening to an intriguing talk in the invaluable IT Conversations series. It’s given by Karen Stephenson, an academic and consultant who has created a way of doing social network analysis in organisations. The nub of her approach is summarised in this pdf. Basically, she seems to look for several kinds of network in any organisational culture she studies:
Having worked in a large organisation for a long time, and been a consultant in many others, this analysis makes a lot of sense.
Stephenson has a company which does social network analysis using an explicit methodology and some proprietary software for analysing social interactions (it probably includes monitoring and mapping email conversations). She’s also published a book, The Quantum Theory of Trust.