From Business Networks Management by Octavio Pitaluga Neto (Welcome !!! This blog debates about Business Networks Management and is available Portuguese and English as much as possible)
MORS 430 – Section 63
MANAGING NETWORKS THROUGH SOCIAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL CONNECTIVITY
INTRODUCTION The proliferation of new networking technology has dramatically influenced the way that senior business leaders pursue and maintain relationships. The degree to which our interviewees have adopted technology varies enormously and is to a large extent contingent upon their professional social structure. Generally, those interviewees who work for larger corporations with existing support/infrastructure tend to be less proactive in network expansion efforts and therefore less apt to use technology in that regard. Whereas, those interviewees who are either self-employed or who work for more entrepreneurial operations, by definition, are more outwardly focused and more proactive in their network expansion efforts, and are therefore more reliant upon new technological developments to assist them in that regard. Overall, we found that all of our interviewees take advantage of technology to organize and manage existing relationships. Regardless of the type of work environment we determined that the most effective method is to use technology as a tool to efficiently organize and manage existing relationships, and to develop logical extensions as opposed to simply exponentially increasing the number of people to whom one is connected. INTERVIEWEES Alexander: Alexander works in the entrepreneurial and relationship-based start-up industry in the Silicon Valley. After spending several years at eBay, he has recently transitioned to a private company where he leads a small but pivotal testing team. His overall responsibilities include quality assurance for new releases brought to market, evaluation of interoperability for new product development, and staff development.
Networking is vital to business leaders in all different professional paths and job functions. Through our research, we have identified many different approaches and philosophies to networking, which can be classified according to the size of the network and the depth of the relationships between the people in the network. Entrepreneurs, who depend heavily on their networks to grow their business, tend to build large networks that provide a larger resource pool. Leaders working in larger companies or more structured jobs tend to have fewer but more meaningful relationships that are developed through shared and professional interactions. Regardless of the type of network that each person has, technology plays an important part, in facilitating the expansion and maintenance of networks. For entrepreneurs with large networks, technology is even more vital because it allows them to efficiently manage and grow their contact base. Despite the advantages of technology, it is vital to balance its use with traditional networking activities,. Regardless of the type of network, be it large or small, and the strength of the relationships, business leaders must consciously use a wide range of techniques and technologies to ensure that they are leveraging their networks as efficiently as possible.
Exhibit 1: Networking Philosophy Range
Exhibit 2: Combining social and information connectivity to achieve efficient networks
Exhibit 3: Interviewees’ Network Maps