Organizations are complex social systems that are not easy to understand, yet they must be managed if a company is to succeed. This book explains networks and how managers and organizations can navigate them to produce successful strategic innovation outcomes. Although managers are increasingly aware of the importance of social relations for the inner-workings of the organization, they often lack insights and tools to analyze, influence or even create these networks.
This book draws on insights from social network theory; insights sharpened by research in a number of different empirical settings including production, engineering, financial services, consulting, food processing, and R&D/hi-tech organizations and alternates between offering critical real business examples and more rigorous analysis.
This concise book is vital reading for students of business and management as well as managers and executives.
'It is painfully rare for a book to offer value to theorists and practitioners alike. Aalbers and Dolfsma square that elusive circle by showing in persuasive detail how communication and network gaps and blockages within organizations derail innovation. With rare but welcome equal billing for formal and informal structure alike, and a keen eye for how they can fruitfully combine, they show how alert managers can leverage the tools of network analysis to create an "innovation engagement scan" that will jumpstart innovation by putting people together who ordinarily do not communicate. A seminal contribution and an indispensable aid for firms in search of innovation.' - Mark Granovetter, Professor, Stanford University, USA
'The reality of organisational life is that we operate through networks of relationships. To make sense of how these networks operate, Aalbers and Dolfsma have put together this impressive book – it explains the theory of networks in a clear and accessible way, and it also shows how these academic concepts can be applied in a practical way.' - Julian Birkinshaw, Professor, London Business School, UK
'In a time in which we expect big shifts for many established organizations, the navigation of social networks focused on innovation has become a core competence. Although the importance of networks is recognized, many boards and managers still have limited insights and tools to analyze, influence or even create these networks. This book offers a great opportunity for all of us to come up to speed in this highly interesting domain.' - Pieter Hofman, Partner at Deloitte Consulting, the Netherlands
'Effective networks are critical to successful innovation. This valuable contribution demonstrates the significance of networks and reveals how they can best be managed.' - Mark Dodgson, Professor, University of Queensland, Australia
'In an era of increasingly connected organizational networks and maturing big data analysis, executives and managers now have additional tools to design and manage the organization for innovation. Innovation Networks offers a fresh approach to analyzing and implementing organizational networks through a unique blend of practical methods and examples.' - Li Feng Wu, Head of Analytics PayPal, China
'Networks in organizations are crucial for successful innovation. This book will help you understand how formal and informal networks, built up from relationships between people, can boost a firm’s innovative power. I am convinced effective networks can improve all functions in an organization. It is all about connecting from person to person and sharing ideas and information amongst each other.' - Paul Poels, Director of Digital Analytics, Philips, the Netherlands
Preface 1. Introduction to the Networked Organization Part I: Networks and Organization Strategy 2. Diagnosing the Organization 3. Innovation Roles: Internally and externally oriented brokerage 4. Case Study: Intermezzo Cooperation for Innovation at Siemens 5. Rich Ties 6. Cross Ties PartII: Networking Interventions - Rewiring the Organization 7. Intervening to Stimulate Innovation 8. Innovation Despite Reorganization 9. Methodological Considerations for Network Analysis 10. Managing Innovation in the Networked Organization: Conclusions Appendix: Supporting Notes - To Intermezzo case 'Cooperation for Innovation at Siemens'