Who Influences Decision-Making in your Organization?

Posted on by Brandon Klein

What do the decision-making links reveal about this organization? Some advice flows along formal ties [within the hierarchy], while other advice flows along informal ties [outside of the hierarchy].

There is strong triangle of input and feedback amongst Directors 2 and 3 and the General Manager. These strong, trusting ties have grown and solidified over many years of working together. Director 1 is new to the organization. Manager 12 was hoping to get this position, but Corporate strongly pushed for Director 1. Notice that Manager 12 is still locally influential in the decision-making network. Director 1 does not include input from direct reports in decision-making [ remember A --> B means that A seeks out B ] ! Director 4 is about to retire. He used to run this division when it was much smaller. Unlike Director 1, Director 4 does include inputs from his staff. The decision-making patterns in the departments of Directors 2 and 3 are quite different from the pattern of links in the departments of Directors 1 and 4. Directors 2 and 3 seek information from all levels of the organization -- their departments show both vertical and horizontal flows. Several managers in these departments [23, 24, 34, and 35] are boundary spanners -- connecting to others outside of their immediate group. Departments 2 and 3 are an example of participatory decision-making -- including inputs from up and down the hierarchy, as well as inside and outside the department. Using the social network measures in our InFlow software we can determine who is most influential in this decision-making network. Who do you see as the most influential person[s] in shaping decisions in this organization?