Information Flows and Networks III

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Topology Of Communicational Networks

Finally, we explore a hypothesis that deals with the informational network topology as a whole. Many organizations sport a rigid hierarchical structure of control and information transfer. Although quite efficient in some respects, such an arrangement fails to provide optimal information transfer in the presence of human cognitive limitations.

Network sociologists have proposed one possible solution to this problem:

Hypothesis 12: The small world pattern of high local clustering and short longest path lengths promotes productivity more than either hierarchical or fully connected networks.

In the spirit of this hypothesis, we offer our own exploration of the way network topology can impact organizational performance. In particular, we will see how rigid hierarchies fail to be optimal in the face of human informational overload.

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