The cartography of network connections courtesy of sociograms

“The first step in managing collaborative communities is to map the relationships within the community and look for patterns.” According to Olivia Parr Rud, Business Intelligence Success Factors (Wiley 2009) at 84, methods to describe these relationship patterns came from organizational network analysis, an approach originated in the 1930s with Jacob Moreno.

Moreno pioneered the sociogram, which is a tool that maps interactions among members of a network and describes those interactions quantitatively. For example, a typical map shows “network density”, which reveals the number of actual connections compared to the total possible connections. Another element of a sociogram could be “community cohesion”, which averages the shortest paths and the smallest number of connections between any two people, thus showing how close are the total connections overall. A sociogram would disclose more than the traditional org chart (See my post of May 11, 2010: social network analysis with 6 references.).

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