Cite as:

Dan Braha and Yaneer Bar-Yam, The structure and dynamics of complex product design, in Complex Engineered Systems, Dan Braha, Ali Minai, Yaneer Bar-Yam, Eds. (Springer, Berlin, 2006).


The usefulness of understanding organizational network structure as a tool for assessing the effects of decisions on organizational performance has been illustrated in the social science and management literatures. There it has been shown that informal networks of relationships (e.g., communication, information, and problemsolving networks) – rather than formal organizational charts – determine to a large extent the patterns of coordination and work processes embedded in the organization. In recent years, networks have also become the foundation for understanding numerous and disparate complex systems outside the field of social sciences (e.g., biology, ecology, engineering, and internet technology).