Environment and chatter: international comparisons of verbal networks in organizations

  • Reed Elliot Nelson Southern Illinois University
  • Eduardo Pinheiro Gondim de Vasconcellos Fundação Instituto de Administração
Keywords: Verbal Networks, International Comparisons, Social Networks


A long tradition of research affirms that in the most dynamic environments, organizations need a more "organic" behavior to facilitate communication and coordination between managerial functions and organizational units. Growth of companies, together with product diversification and internationalization, has substantially increased the complexity of management, where only formal interfaces have become insufficient. Informal organization may correct inefficiencies of the formal structure but may also produce dysfunctions that could lead to conflicts and deviations from objectives and strategies. This paper describes a study about verbal networks in 66 companies in industrial environments, both in Brazil and the United States. Three types of verbal networks were identified, characterized by different levels of density, factionalism and strength of contacts. These three appeared to be related to the industrial environment of each company. Companies in a highly munificent environment but facing high levels of competition had networks of high density and low factionalism with many weak contacts while companies in stagnated environments had networks of low density and a high level of factionalism with many strong contacts. This paper analyzed the implication of these findings on the company-environment interface.


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How to Cite
Nelson, R., & Vasconcellos, E. (2007). Environment and chatter: international comparisons of verbal networks in organizations . REGE Revista De Gestão, 14(spe), 93-107. https://doi.org/10.5700/issn.2177-8736.rege.2007.36584
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