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The article presents a prototype of an IT-supported instrument (“Social Badges”) that supports automatic collection of informal, personal interaction between (knowledge) workers within an enterprise.
The content of this article is organized as follows: the next section explains the role played by the analysis of social networks in achieving organizational goals, and the motivation for this article based on deficits in the state of the art of current research.
The subsequent section introduces Social Badges as a novel instrument for the analysis of informal communication networks, capable of mitigating these deficits.
The solution and its applicability in research and production use are then evaluated by means of a case study.
The article closes with a discussion of the potential and research requirements.
Furthermore, mapping personal communication networks has been difficult and error-prone in the past, as findings have typically had to be reconstructed from third party or self-observation collected by means of interviews with the subjects of the study ().
This is the starting point for this authorswill present the results of a research project that is currently in progress and whose aim it is to mitigate the deficits of existing approaches.
To this end, 22 bank employees wore Social Badges during working hours for the duration of one month.
Additionally, the e-mail archives of seven Kreissparkasse branches (approx.
The subject of the authors’ research is informal social networks in enterprises.
The methods and techniques used in various disciplines to discover the structure of these networks and draw conclusions on their function and quality are commonly grouped under the umbrella of social network analysis, SNA ().