Does Networking Truly WORK?

August 15, 2008 at 3:20 am Leave a comment

The world is inundated with positive reasons for and practical recommendations on networking both offline and on. It seems an inevitable development of the modern era’s cult of the individual and the post-modern’s demolition of hierarchies in favor of diversity, interconnectedness or inter-referentiality. Hence, networking has become one of the most crucial linchpins of hyper-successful Internet technologies and applications of our age.

But does networking truly change a company? Karen E. Klein, a writer who covers entrepreneurship and small-business issues in her Business Week column, recently published an excerpt of her interview with William Baker about his research on whether networking affects company performance. Baker, from San Diego State University, studied 1,600 business executives from small, midsize, and half-large companies across the United States.

According to Baker’s study, networking may not show direct impact on a company’s profit or market share, however it shows “a strong main effect on performance measures relating to innovation, most notably the ability of firms to develop new products…. those who do a lot of networking were more likely to be innovative and to have a large percentage of new products.”

The interview also discusses the correlation between networking and a company’s agility in terms of market response. Companies with increased networking tend to slow down their response time but bring in better results as critical thought is deepened by their exposure to new ideas. On the other hand, companies that are less aggressive about networking, when exposed to new ideas generated by this activity, make adjustments to become eagle-eyed and more fleet-footed in this new landscape. 

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Entry filed under: Networking. Tags: , .

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