This study is about the structure embedded in e-mail relationships. Based on data describing organizational e-mail exchanges, this research deals with organizational structure, personal power, and the centrality of people in a network. Social network analysis is used to study the centralization dimension of the structure embedded in the data. The data concerns 385 employees of 36 firms within a group. Our empirical study first explores several possible assessments of power and centrality concepts; then, it tests a causal relationship between personal and organizational attributes of power and centrality indexes. Results show the relationships between personal characteristics, aspects of organizational power, and e-mail network centrality. A discussion of the way managers may use electronic communication data to better interpret the nature and the dynamic of the organizational structure concludes the article.
Cucchi, Alain and Fuhrer, Chantal
"Lifting the Veil on Organizational Structure: A Social Network Analysis of Professional E-Mail Use,"
Communications of the Association for Information Systems:
Vol. 20, Article 20.
Available at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol20/iss1/20