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The Impact of Certain Communication Nets Upon Organization and Performance in Task-Oriented Groups


  • Harold Guetzkow

    (Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

  • Herbert A. Simon

    (Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)


Bavelas, Smith and Leavitt (Bavelas, A. 1950. Communication patterns in task-oriented groups. J. Acoustical Soc. Amer. 22 725-730.) have posed the problem: what effect do communication patterns have upon the operation of groups? To study this problem they designed a laboratory situation that is a prototype of those occurring in "natural" organizations existing in government and business. Each member of the group is given certain information. Their task is to assemble this information, use it to make a decision, and then issue orders based on the decision. This design provides a situation stripped of the complexities of large-scale social groups but retaining some essential characteristics of the organizational communication problem. In it we can examine how the communication net affects simultaneously (a) the development of the organization's internal structure, and (b) the group's performance of its operating task.

Suggested Citation

  • Harold Guetzkow & Herbert A. Simon, 1955. "The Impact of Certain Communication Nets Upon Organization and Performance in Task-Oriented Groups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 1(3-4), pages 233-250, 04-07.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:1:y:1955:i:3-4:p:233-250

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    Cited by:

    1. John W. Boudreau, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: Organizational Behavior, Strategy, Performance, and Design in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1463-1476, November.
    2. Hossain, Liaquat & Murshed, Shahriar Tanvir & Uddin, Shahadat, 2013. "Communication network dynamics during organizational crisis," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 16-35.
    3. Melissa A. Schilling & Patricia Vidal & Robert E. Ployhart & Alexandre Marangoni, 2003. "Learning by Doing Something Else: Variation, Relatedness, and the Learning Curve," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(1), pages 39-56, January.
    4. Kenneth D. Mackenzie, 2000. "Processes and Their Frameworks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 110-125, January.
    5. Jesse Shore & Ethan Bernstein & David Lazer, 2014. "Facts and Figuring: An Experimental Investigation of Network Structure and Performance in Information and Solution Spaces," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-075, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2014.
    6. Abbasi, Alireza & Altmann, Jörn & Hossain, Liaquat, 2011. "Identifying the effects of co-authorship networks on the performance of scholars: A correlation and regression analysis of performance measures and social network analysis measures," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 594-607.
    7. repec:bla:stratm:v:37:y:2016:i:13:p:2589-2610 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Marlo Raveendran & Phanish Puranam & Massimo Warglien, 2016. "Object Salience in the Division of Labor: Experimental Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(7), pages 2110-2128, July.

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