Monday, February 23, 2009

Research: well-connected people communicating a lot are more productive

From "The ROI of being social at work" by Matthew Hodgson:

MIT research [1] shows that 40% of creative teams productivity is directly explained by the amount of communication they have with others to discover, gather, and internalise information. In other MIT studies, research shows that employees with the most extensive digital networks are 7% more productive than their colleagues. Furthermore, those with the most cohesive face-to-face networks are 30% more productive.

This reinforces similar research by Aral, Brynjolfsson & Van Alstyne [2] that highlights the importance of these networks because they “strongly influence information diffusion … and access to novel information”. Availability of these networks, their research shows, is a highly significant predictor of worker productivity.

Since information does not diffuse randomly in organisations, but rather reflects the nature and structure of human relationships, providing the right tools that support human social relationships, communication and interaction, will provide a significant ROI to the enterprise.

1. Pentland, A. 2009. How Social Networks Network Best. Harvard Business Review, Feb, p 37.
2. Aral, Brynjolfsson & Van Alstyne. 2007. Productivity Effects of Information Diffusion in Networks.

(Swedish blogger Fredrik Wackå alerted me about this post that I had bookmarked in Reader but forgotten to read and share)