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The International Journal of eBusiness and eGovernment Studies

Yıl 2010 , Cilt 2 , Sayı 2

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The brokerage roles in the organizational networks and manipulation of information flow

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Baskent University1
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Improvements in information & communication technologies have reshaped production and consumption relations in the post-modern era. Societies have tried to readapt themselves to the requirements of new knowledge based economy. It has also became vital for the organizations to answer the needs of knowledge society. Whether they are public or private, organizations will play a key role during the transformation process of the societies and economies. It is not only important for the organizations to use the latest information technologies but also create social structures which can ease information flow throughout the organization. Social network studies which are quite different from traditional approaches in sociology can be used as a tool to understand and manipulate organizational networks. The results of several research activities have shown that actors use their social connections to reach information, resources and possible opportunities (Garguilo and Benassi, 2000). It is not enough to use advanced information technologies in the organization to build an effective knowledge distribution system regarding to social network perspective, it is required to understand the patterns of social interactions between actors and to find a fit between technical structure and social structure for effective knowledge based organizational design. Structural holes theory (Burt, 1992) emphasized importance of brokerage roles of the actors in a social network. Structural holes, represent unconnected parts between actors and brokers are the actors who connects the unconnected parts of the social systems (Burt, 1992). If there are lots of structural holes in an organization, there will also be lots of brokerage opportunities for some actors in an organizational network. Brokers are the bridges and gatekeepers who are controlling information flow in the organizations. It is vitally important to explore brokerage patterns in an organizational network for an effective knowledge based design. This study is a conceptual framework aims at bringing an explanation to socially created information flow structures in the organizations by using structural holes theory.

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