Many North Americans now work in a global economy where corporations foster networked work – with employees participating in multiple teams and often for multiple purposes – and they do so in networked organizations – whose workers may be physically and organizationally dispersed. We analyze networked workers in one networked scholarly organization: the GRAND Network Centre of Excellence. Drawing on qualitative and social network data, we present our preliminary findings at the early stages of GRAND. Early discussions viewed networked organizations as the antithesis of traditional bureaucratic organizations and expected bureaucratic characteristics such as hierarchy, centralization and formalization to be absent and cross-boundary flows – the hallmark of networked organizations – to be prominent. Our research shows that reality is more complex than the early deductive expectations for networked organizations. The GRAND network is well positioned for cross-boundary flows but they are not yet extensive. In the distributed GRAND network, researchers communicate mostly via now-traditional email although in-person contact is almost as frequent. GRAND is designed with few formal hierarchical differences. Yet hierarchy matters when it comes to communication – researchers in higher positions have higher centrality in communication structures, both GRAND-wide and within projects, suggesting consistent advantages in their communication. Cross-disciplinary exchanges in GRAND are low at the network’s early stages, with little collaboration between Computer Science and Engineering, on the one hand, and Social Sciences and Humanities, on the other. Researchers in Arts and Technology emerge as the most active collaborators in the network both internally and externally. Work within provinces is still the norm.
This article examines the role of social media in the mobilization and organization of the Egyptian uprisings in 2011. The success of the revolt should be credited to Egyptian people, but the impact of social media is undeniable. Social media played an important role in the mobilization and organization of the Egyptian revolt. It intertwined with the development of formal organizations, informal networks, and external linkages, provoking a growing sense of modernity and community, and globalizing support for the revolt. However, the impact of social media should not be overestimated.