Networks and Organizations

Networks and organizations as the two primary organizational structures of civilization. Though hybrids exist between these two ideals, in general, it is helpful to see them as two different kinds of phenomenon.

Networks can also be thought of as institutions in that their structures are distributed, passed along from person-to-person, and thus sustained largely by the flow of information through their networks of relationships. Individuals participate in institutions as persons representing themselves.

In organizations, the individual is supplanted by the role, and it is “nothing personal, just business.”

Networks, in short, exist as a fabric for connecting the hearts and minds of individual human agents, while organizations act as containers for synthesizing those individual agents into larger organizational agents.

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