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The Social Organization

The Social Organization

Developing Employee Connections and Relationships for Improved Business Performance

Jon Ingham


Facilitate collaboration - and therefore the sharing of knowledge and skills - with this guide to building social capital for improving business performance.

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About the book

Full of practical advice for HR and other business professionals, The Social Organization is a clear guide to addressing the urgent need for companies to shift their focus from developing individuals to enabling networks and relationships between employees. Case studies from leading companies such as Microsoft, Spotify, Visa Europe, The Cleveland Clinic and P&G illustrate how relationship-based strategies can be implemented successfully to increase organizational performance.

Part One of The Social Organization explores the context of social capital and analyses how and why HR and others responsible for talent management need to foster and develop social capabilities. Part Two provides practical guidance for developing higher quality connections and social capital by improving the alignment and effectiveness of organizational architectures, including through workplace design. Part Three outlines how HR and related professionals can identify and implement appropriate changes throughout the whole employee life cycle: this includes initial recruitment and job design, social learning, performance management, employee retention, talent management, organization development and the role of social media and other technology as well as social analytics. The Social Organization is an essential book for all HR, OD and IT professionals needing to develop the social capital of their organizations for improved performance.

Table Of Contents

  • Section - SECTION ONE: Strategic management of people, organization and relationships;
  • Section - 01: Locating the value in people management;
  • Section - 02: Adding and creating more value;
  • Section - 03: Linking activities with people and organizational outcomes;
  • Section - 04: Competing and Cooperating through social relationships;
  • Section - 05: Developing social capital in your business;
  • Section - SECTION TWO: Creating a social architecture;
  • Section - 06: Organizing people to do work;
  • Section - 07: Selecting an organization structure - traditional opportunities;
  • Section - 08: Selecting an organization structure - new opportunities;
  • Section - 09: Enabling the organization;
  • Section - 10: Designing the workplace;
  • Section - SECTION THREE: Tending an organizational society;
  • Section - 11: Recruiting, managing and developing people;
  • Section - 12: Facilitating dyads, triads groups and organization effectiveness;
  • Section - 13: Using social technologies and analytics


This book is a must read for anyone responsible for driving the performance and culture of an organization, whether CEO or HR practitioner. Grounded in theory and practice, it takes the reader on a journey of how to evolve their people strategy, with rich, illustrative case studies from a variety of industry sectors.
James Cullens, Executive Director, Group HR & Marcomms, W S Atkins plc

This is the book that was missing to social enterprise practitioners of any function - HR, IT, Operations or... Quality. Bringing together input from multiple disciplines, Jon's book provides compelling insights about how to make an organization greater than the sum of its parts. A must read.
CĂ©line Schillinger, Head, Quality Innovation & Engagement, Sanofi Pasteur

This is a fantastic book for all strategic organization development practitioners. It provides best practice guidance supported by robust underlying principles and excellent case studies. The reader will be challenged to reconsider their own assumptions and attitudes towards organization development and this makes the book particularly valuable.
David Frost, Organizational Development Director, Total Produce

If you are going to take networks seriously - and after reading this book you would understand why you must - then you need to learn how to better manage them. Taking an organization development perspective, The Social Organization shows how social capital helps organizations create value, compete and collaborate.
Paul Sparrow, Emeritus Professor of International HRM, Lancaster University Management School

Jon provides an important contribution to ensuring that in future we develop more successful organizations, which make the most of people, not only individually but in how they work effectively together through teams, networks and communities. A must read for helping to ensure the future of Good Work for many and not just a privileged few.
Lesley Giles, Director, The Work Foundation

Jon Ingham draws on his rich experience as both HR Director and consultant, providing key insights from academia matched with great case stories. He extracts the essentials of what must be addressed for an organization to perform to its full potential. Highly readable and highly recommendable.
Bjarte Bogsnes, Vice President Performance Management Development, Statoil and Chairman, Beyond Budgeting Roundtable

I would love to see our HR decision makers reading Jon's great food for thought - rooted in many very relevant case studies and references...Jon's analytic approach, staying close to the facts and studies, makes this book a trustful base for his conclusions - it is mind opening on the basis of great observations. After reading, I felt empowered and engaged to drive my own social/digital/organizational transformation.
Harald Schirmer, Manager Digital Transformation and Change, Continental

This book is a compendium of concepts and thoughts to understand the evolution and the functioning of organizations. It combines theoretical background with practical examples from leading companies. What makes it particularly interesting to read is the combination of different viewpoints, through the eyes of many different disciplines. I enjoyed reading and learning.
Dr. Hans-Juergen Sturm, Head of Collaboration, Content & Portals, Amadeus IT Group

The building blocks of how people deliver value have changed fundamentally with advent of social technologies. Jon brings his years of experience and offers a treasure trove of useful insights to build social capital within organizations and weave an ecosystem of high performance.
Tanmay Vora, Country Head and Director (R&D), Basware, Author and Blogger

In The Social Organization, Jon Ingham takes an insightful look at organizations from a social perspective. He reminds us what we already know but tend to forget - that organizations are social communities of people and that to understand and manage them well we need to pay attention to human disciplines such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and neuroscience.
David Gurteen, Director, Gurteen Knowledge

Organization Design, as a discipline, is frequently dominated by strategy, structure, and fitting people into roles. In this book, Jon takes the discipline beyond that to recognize designers should think more completely about how processes and technology tools enable an organization to leverage employee knowledge through collaboration. In my experience employees crave the opportunity to collaborate, and if the organization doesn't enable that, they are missing out.
Tim Gardner, Director, Organizational Effectiveness, Kimberly-Clark

Jon Ingham's book The Social Organization is a well supported study of examining human capital and the activities necessary to increase business performance. His Chapter on 'Designing the Workplace' is spot on as an enabler for increasing employee satisfaction and productivity.
Gene Carr, Global Workplace Strategy Lead, The Kellogg Company

Book Details

  • EAN: 9780749480110
  • Edition: 1
  • Published: 3rd June 2017
  • Paperback
  • Dimensions: 234x156
  • 344 pages

About the Author

Jon Ingham is a consultant, trainer, writer and speaker on strategic people and organizational management with a particular focus on social relationships. Based in the UK but operating globally, he works with HR, IT and Property departments to increase the impact they have in their businesses and helps business leaders and HR teams develop their own strategic capabilities. He is a well-known HR blogger and has been recognised as a top global influencer in talent management

Jon Ingham