E-mail Reveals Real Leaders

from the your-email-usage-defines-you dept

I’ve heard of similar studies before, but now HP has gotten into the game, studying how large groups email each other within a company to determine what the real organizational structure is. Apparently, they say that how people email each other determines who the really important people are, and who really reports to whom. They also say it determines who is at the “heart” of any sub-group. I wonder how accurate the system really is, and if it’s actually useful for anything. Will people risk getting laid off if their email usage patterns indicate they not as important as they think they are? Found via GMSV.

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Comments on “E-mail Reveals Real Leaders”

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Armin (user link) says:

So nobody talks any more?

I’m not entirely convinced by this: Isn’t e-mail only part of the communication? So someone who prefers to pick up the phone and sort something in one phonecall instead of a long e-mail conversation is deemed less important? Or managers who practice “Management by Walking Around” and have a lot of their communication face to face instead of by email are less “important”? The best, most effective and therefore most important people I know don’t hide behind emails.

Bob says:

New medium, old technique

There has been something called “traffic analysis” for years — I’ve seen analyses of international long distance calls, and it’s a common technique in wartime for figuring out where headquarters are on the basis of transmission patterns. Yes, as an earlier comment noted, there are other communication pathways available, but presumably this study is interesting in part because the email analysis matches the subjects’ perceptions of power/importance/etc.

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