The term communication networks describes the structure and flow of communication and information between individuals within a group. Within many groups (e.g., a typical office), formal and informal communication patterns are often determined in a top-down, hierarchical fashion, where members direct communication to others at the same level or below but not above. Much of the research on the effects of communication networks was conducted in the 1950s; after a long hiatus, researchers are again exploring the effects of communication networks. The primary foci of classic research on communication networks had been to measure how network structure affects information flow, and how position within the networks may affect an individual's status within the group. More recent work has focused on how communication networks affect group-level ...

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