This week’s network analysis focus seems relevant to my current status as a contract employee on, but at the edge of, a course production team. In an older understanding of groups my role seems to be limited to supporting the actualized team members–like the guy who parks the cars at the country club.
That’s an extreme analogy but I suspect thinking within the term ‘group’ biases towards an understanding built around hierarchy because that was the previous norm. Thinking ‘network’, for no reason I know at the moment, suggests a more democratic approach to valuing roles–which certainly please me and seems like progress towards developing a culture that naturally utilizes human talent over sorting those who are allowed to speak from those who must remain silent.
What causes this difference in understanding? Is it a characteristic of technology to allow authentic participation and inclusiveness rather than privileging exclusion through a sort of membership? Is this a change in people, a change culture, or something enabled by technology’s allowing more people to participate at a higher level than before?