Analyzing the flow of knowledge with sociometric badges

Kai Fischbach*, Peter A. Gloor, Casper Lassenius, Daniel Olguin Olguin, Alex Pentland, Johannes Putzke, Detlef Schoder

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents a collection of "best practices" for the use of "Sociometric Badges" that support automatic collection of face-to-face interaction between workers within an organization. The practices presented aim to improve data quality over legacy methods allowing insights into the processes and structures of an enterprise's de-facto communication networks. Our approach uses dynamic Social Network Analysis (dSNA) to make it easier for executives to analyze and manage communications networks. The practical applicability of the approach was evaluated by case studies conducted in three different organizations: (1) the marketing department of a medium sized bank in Germany, (2) the post-anesthesia care unit at a large US hospital, (3) teams of software developers in a Nordic European country. For the analysis, we tracked, amongst others, all personal interactions between the knowledge workers in a department or team using sociometric badges worn by each employee for the duration of the case studies. We analyzed this sociometric data as well as emails and instant messages exchanged between the employees and compared it with performance data of individuals and teams. The paper highlights 16 key lessons learnt during these studies. The first nine lessons focus on overcoming the employee's privacy concerns to set up the necessary technology infrastructure, and the final seven provide general findings for efficient management of knowledge workers based upon the results of the case studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication

    Publication series

    NameProcedia Social and Behavioral Sciences
    ISSN (Print)1877-0428


    • knowledge flow optimization
    • social network analysis
    • sociometric badges


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