Inner Circle -> Whole circle LO12286
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 15:09:50 -0500 (EST)

Replying to LO12230 --

On Jan 27 Kevin Murphy responded to Rol on the potential benefit of
viewpoints from "the corner of the room." This connects back, for me, to
the spacial imagery of sociometry and ultimately a systems view. That is,
a case could be made that the whole, i.e., all points comprising the
circle are neccessary to optimize the circle's (organization's) potential.
Again, this removes a value attachment to "inner" vs. "whole" or "outer".
That's not to say that there are not real and important benefits derived
from the inner players. However, I'm suggesting that it would be optimal
if the positions of players were fluid, i.e., moved around among various
positions between the periphery,the center(sociometric star) and all
points in between. Maybe, a facilitator's/consultants role is to
artfully/purposely stimulate such reshufflings?

A related thought that I have is connected to writing (Granovetter) that
suggests social network links can be characterized as strong or weak ties.
A strong tie is described as a frequent, repeated, perhaps important
interaction, often containing a positive affective component. A weak tie
is an infrequent interaction contanining little or no affect. For
instance, two people linked by a strong tie might be close friends within
the same department, whereas a weak tie might connect two acquaintences
across different departments. However, rather than see only the strong
ties as valuable/important, the "strength of weak ties" lies in the fact
that such ties often act as bridges between different groups. "As such,
these weak relationships often are a key source of novel, divergent, and
nonredundant information." I think these ideas say something about the
group as a system, an energy field in which the potential for action is
held by the whole system, and this energy field is organized by the web of
the current social/affiliation patterns. Also implied is the value of the
periphery in sustaining the system.

Organizational structure probably determines much ofthe fluidity quotient
for any particular group-company. There is also the variable of personal
prefernce/style around affiliation behavior. It may be that when roles,
e.g., attractors get fixed, loss of potential ensues. I'm imagining a
scenario where periodic connection between and among weak ties is
encouraged and facilitated as a process for enriching the self-organized
potential of the group. Basically, I'm conjecturing that a healthy system
will be reflected by a fluid exchange of various qualities and quantities
of energy/output, with contributors moving in and out of

Rich DiNapoli


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