Essential Books for Business Professionals

The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations

Parker, Andrew, and Cross, Rob. USA, Boston (2004): Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation.

Cross and Parker have written the perfect introduction to organizational network analysis for business profes- sionals. In their book they take the reader through not only all the different uses of ONA, but they link each application to measureable goals. In other words: it is a very practice- and business-oriented book. The authors both have experience in management consulting and they provide real-life examples of how ONA has been used by organizations for organizational development.

If you, as a business professional, just read one book about ONA then make it this one.

Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World

Anklam, Patti. USA, Burlington (2007): Elsevier.

As both a researcher and practitioner Anklam is able to convey the science of social network analysis in an authoritative and accessible way. Her main purpose is to teach leaders how to understand, lead and shape social networks in the workplace. The case studies she presents serve as practical guides on how to create and improve social networks. Anklam will teach you how to become a network thinker.

Driving Results Through Social Networks: How Top Organizations Leverage Networks for Performance and Growth

Cross, Rob, and Thomas, Robert J. USA, San Francisco (2009): Jossey-Bass.

Cross’ second book, co-authored by Robert Thomas, focuses less on how to conduct and act on an organi- zational network analysis and more on why to do one. In particular it focuses on processes and people in a network-context: one of the most important ideas explained in the book is that a lot of collaboration can be a bad thing. This idea is opposite to widespread beliefs that getting more connected will improve organizational performance.


Improve collaboration through data-driven workplace design


Essential Books for Academics