My work often involves bridging gaps, resolving misunderstandings, and fostering collaboration between the finance department and other parts of large, complex organizations. So I was intrigued by this recent research from HBS on " interaction patterns in modern, complex, multiunit firms."
- Communication is heavily constrained by formal organizational structure: the vast majority of communication occurs within business unit and functional boundaries, not across them. This points to the importance of drawing the right organizational boundaries.
- Women, mid- to high-level executives, and members of the executive management, sales, and marketing functions are most likely to participate in cross-group communications. These individuals provide a bridge for distant groups in a company's social structure.
Communication (and Coordination?) in a Modern, Complex Organization
Published: July 31, 2008
Paper Released: July 2008
Authors: Adam M. Kleinbaum, Toby E. Stuart, and Michael L. Tushman