MGMT 8007M:Week 6: Networks Essay Assignment Paper

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MGMT 8007M:Week 6: Networks Essay Assignment Paper

MGMT 8007M: Complexity and Applied Systems Thinking | Week 6

Many networks, physical and social, are complex and scale-invariant. This has important implications from the spread of epidemics and innovations to protection from attack.

—Denning (2004)

Networks are everywhere you look. Abstract networks are a set of nodes and links connecting the nodes in some fashion. One of the common networks that we see is familial networks. The agents (nodes) are family members (and perhaps even pets), and the relationships (links) may be parents, children, or pets. Not all components within networks are the same—for example, a single network will have different kinds of nodes and links—and thus network analysis varies.

In business, effective leaders understand how various networks inform the way they and their employees make decisions. “Whether we examine a set of corporate business units or departments within a public service organization, all management system components are by definition, working toward individual goals while at the same time interacting with other business units or departments and within their respective operational environments, toward a larger collective goal” according to Dougherty, Ambler, and Triantis (2017, p. 51). These management systems components are a network.

There are seven basic network topologies to consider when looking at organizations. These are, in no specific order: tree or hierarchy, ring, mesh, bus, linear, star, and hybrid.

This week, you learn how to identify and evaluate how networks might inform decision making in leadership and management. You may also examine a special type of network known as a scale-free network.

Learning Objectives

This week, you will:

  • Analyze effects of learning disciplines on leadership, management, and decision making
  • Analyze archetypal behaviors found in organizations
  • Develop solutions to address archetypal challenges
  • Analyze networks in organizations
  • Evaluate influences of networks on leadership and management
  • Apply network theory to decision making


You will develop the following skills:

  • Systems thinking
  • Network thinking

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s recommended library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Recommended Readings

Denning, P. J. (2004). Network laws. Communications of the ACM, 47(11), 15–20.

Mitchell, M. (2006). Complex systems: Network thinking. Artificial Intelligence, 170(18), 1194–1212.

Newman, M. E. J. (2003). The structure and function of complex networks. SIAM Review, 45(2), 167–256.

Note: Read only the first 9 pages of this article.

Document: Change Matrix (Word document)

Recommended Media

Johnson, S. (2010). Where good ideas come from [Video file]. Retrieved from

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 18 minutes.


MGMT 8007M:Week 6: Networks Essay Assignment Paper

There is no formal Discussion this week.

There will be an open forum to discuss questions about the Final Project Component.

Final Project Component: Section 5—Networks

This week, you will continue your Consultancy Report for the executive leadership of your selected organization. Review the Final Project Template for this week’s component.

In 2–3 pages:

  • Analyze three different networks found in your selected organization.
  • Evaluate how each of the three networks might inform decision making in leadership and management.
  • Recommend how the leadership might use knowledge of the networks or network structures to improve their decision making in the organization.
  • Include at least two citations/references to current literature to support your explanations and recommendations to the executive leadership.

By Day 7

Submit your Final Project including revised drafts of section 1 and 2 as well as new drafts of sections 3, 4, and 5. Log your revisions in USW1_MGMT_8007M_DocumentChangeMatrix.docx.

Note: The change matrix is a standard document used in this program to communicate about revisions to Assignments, Projects, and Dissertation documents.



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