Organizational Network Analysis

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Case Studies of Organizational Network Analysis Techniques

An in-depth overview of case studies that look at the techniques different companies use for Organizational Network Analysis was conducted. Three separate case studies were identified, and each considers a different technique that can be used for ONA within a company.

The inclusion of the three chosen case studies was determined by analyzing several available case studies involving ONA techniques, and determining which would provide the best information on the topic. Case studies that were considered had to be detailed, and had to provide a useful discussion of the ONA technique(s) used.

Included in this overview is a case study on TrustSphere, and how their relationship analytics software has benefited a major Technical Service Company. Also investigated is the use of questionnaires for ONA, and how an ONA technique that focuses on an organization's top leadership can protect essential communications and collaborations.

1. TrustSphere's relationship Analytics For ona

TrustSphere's relationship analytics software TrustView, uses algorithms to analyze the digital interactions across an organization, including text messages and emails, in real-time. It produces a range of insights based on these communications, which provide information on employee relationships, levels of collaboration, and network activities and engagement.

This ONA technique provides success in several ways. Firstly, data-driven insights can be formed for talent management. TrustSphere provides information regarding employee relationship strengths, employee network reach, and the ability of individual employees to influence, collaborate, and lead. Secondly, it also provides a means to measure collaboration within an organization in real-time, leading to a better understand of how teams collaborate both internally, and with other sections of the organization. Additionally, the software encourages productivity in new employees from the onset, as network maps from predecessors can easily be provided.

A notable company that has made use of TrustSphere's TrustView program is Crystal Anugerah Abadi. A case study published by IBM details how Crystal enhanced its IBM Domino environment with TrustView in order to visualize hidden relationships between employees and external partners. The results were a 60% faster identification of at-risk client relationships, a 30% increase in client retention, and a 75% faster on-boarding for new client representatives.

2. The use of Questionnaires for ONA

An international service and manufacture company from the power sector in Poland conducted a study into their network with the aim of remodeling their system of employee teams to encourage increased innovation. Data was collected via an online questionnaire that was first provided to a select group of managers. The questionnaire was set out in a way that enabled the identification of key relationships the participants had, and their opinion on employees that matched important characteristics, both among those participating in the research, and other employees within the organization. Each time a new person, not yet involved in the questionnaire, was named, that person received the questionnaire to complete - and so the study propagated through the organization.

The study results were presented in graphic form. Figures created included the layout of the communication network within the organization, the layout of the cooperation network, and the system of trust-based relationships. It was concluded that in the specific situation, this ONA technique contributed to an increase in innovation within the organization, which ultimately lead to an increased competitive advantage in their field.

3. ONA Technique to identify resistance to change

An information technology consulting group used ONA in order to discover possible issues in their change from a region-centric organizational structure, to a matrix organization. The aim was to identify where there may be resistance to the change, and at what place in the leadership network the resistance may occur. The top 250 executives were analyzed, and the ONA revealed that a removal of less than 5% of the top three layers of the organizations' leadership would result in a 26% reduction in the number of revenue producing collaborations.

This technique provided the organization with insights into an invisible network that would have otherwise gone unnoticed during the traditional methods of organizational restructuring. The company can use the information to begin the restructuring while ensuring that essential communications and collaborations are protected.


There are several techniques for ONA within organizations. It is noted that most companies use a data analytics ONA tool such as TrustSphere. There are many similar products available, such as Centrifuge, Gephi, and KeyNetiQ. Effective ONA can illuminate invisible patterns of collaboration and information sharing within organizations, and this knowledge can be utilized to increase efficiency and output within a company. Research shows that effective networking within organizations can have a substantial impact on performance, learning, and innovation among employees.

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