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Integrity - use of values or principles to guide action in the situation at hand.

Below are links and discussion related to the values of freedom, hope, trust, privacy, responsibility, safety, and well-being, within business and government situations arising in the areas of security, privacy, technology, corporate governance, sustainability, and CSR.

Connecting the Corporate Dots: Social Networks Reveal How Employees and Companies Operate, 15.6.06


What do Wharton faculty members and the workers who spy for the National Security Agency have in common? More than you might think. The Wharton scholars aren't analyzing links among billions of telephone calls to identify terrorists, a controversial NSA activity that caused a stir after it was disclosed recently in news reports. But they, too, are interested in mapping social networks.

Social networking is a hot topic. Ordinary Internet users take advantage of networks when they turn to well-known websites like MySpace and Friendster to link up with other people. But more serious interest in social networks can be found among academics, consultants and corporations seeking to deepen their knowledge of how companies operate; how employees and board members interact; how key employees can be identified; and how relationships can be better understood to improve productivity and the dissemination of ideas.

Technically, social network research is an offshoot of graph theory in mathematics. Graphs -- a set of dots connected by links -- are used to map relationships. At its most basic, research on social networks underscores the veracity of some of the truisms one hears all the time: 'It's a small world.' 'It's not what you know, it's who you know.' 'Birds of a feather flock together.'

[...] Mapping social networks can be useful in many ways, but Rosenkopf says there are at least two reasons why corporate interest in the subject is growing: Companies want to be able to identify key performers and get a better understanding of the nature of the interaction among employees.

[...] Network maps may also unearth what are known as "cosmopolitans" -- the employees who are most critical to information flow in the company. "The formal organizational structure [in companies] does not necessarily describe who talks to whom," says Valery Yakubovich, a University of Chicago professor who will join Wharton's management department this summer. "Even if some jobs in an organization are designed to coordinate across different functional areas, it's difficult to figure out who coordinates where in reality. So you ask people directly whom they go to for advice and who gives them the most valuable information to get things done. Then you map the whole network. Often you find that people you might not even think of as very valuable turn out to be important links in the structure of the organization."

[CLB: Fascinating article on how to best make use of these networks and mapping them. I you find social network research interesting, I recommend following through to the citations listed. Are most of the so-called discoveries really just stating the obvious? Yes. But the obvious has been easy to know in theory previously, and now we have tools to find the information in practice. And if the NSA et al can do it, so can you.]


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"We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves. We can resolve the clash of interests without conceding our ideals. And even the necessity for the right kind of compromise does not eliminate the need for those idealists and reformers who keep our compromises moving ahead, who prevent all political situations from meeting the description supplied by Shaw: "smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expedience, stretched out of shape with wirepulling and putrefied with permeation.
Compromise need not mean cowardice. .."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, "Profiles in Courage"


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