Tools for the Analysis of Organizational Structure

The metamatrix approach (Krackhardt and Carley, 1998; Carley and Krackhardt, 1999; Carley et al., 2000; Carley 1999, 2001a,b; Carley and Hill, 2001; Carley and Ren, 2001) provides a representational framework and family of methods for the analysis of organizational data. Stemming from work by Kathleen M. Carley, David Krackhardt, Yuquing Ren, and others, this approach builds heavily on recent network-oriented treatments of organizational structure, as well as ideas from the information processing school of organizational theory (March and Simon, 1958; Simon, 1973; Galbraith, 1977) and operations research. Under this model, organizations are conceived of as being composed of a set of \emph{elements}, each of which belongs to one of five classes:

Individual agents within the organization (human or otherwise) which are capable of contributing labor to task performance and which form a locus for knowledge (procedural or declarative), social contacts, task assignments, and/or control of resources
Functionally coherent elements of procedural or declarative information (generally pertaining to organizationally relevant task performance) to which agents may have access (often synonymous with human capital)
Passive elements of organizational structure which act as inputs to task performance and which may be controlled by agents (often synonymous with physical capital)
Organizational objectives which must be met by a specified agent performance (usually involving resources and/or knowledge)
Organizational entities beyond the entity under immediate study (i.e., other organizations within the environment)

The organization is then defined by the set of elements, together with the dyadic relationships among these elements. It is the analysis of these dyadic relationships which lies at the heart of the metamatrix approach.

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