Competent Jerks, Lovable Fools, and the Formation of Social Networks

This entertaining article from the Harvard Business Review outlines some principles of social network formation in a corporate environment. It highlights the importance of inter-personal interactions and informal (though work related) relationships. Although the author is discussing day-to-day, presumably mainly face-to-face interactions, there are similarities to building learning and working networks online. For instance, during the European project ENSeL (Engaging Networks for Sustainable eLearning) we have been investigating the partners perceptions of being part of a learning network which is almost entirely online. Similar characteristics were deemed important for the networks success - familiarity, building up strong relationships, trust - and informal social interaction was seen as vital enabling these attributes.

Read the full articles at the Harvard Business Review, and find out more about ENSeL at the project website.

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