Communication Networks from the Enron Email Corpus: "It's Always About the People. Enron is no Different."
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2006, 00:00 by Jana Diesner, Terrill L Frantz, Kathleen Carley
The Enron email corpus is appealing to researchers because it represents a rich temporal record of internal communication within a large, real-world organization facing a severe and survival-threatening crisis. We describe how we enhanced the original corpus database and present findings from our investigation undertaken with a social network analytic perspective. We explore the dynamics of the structure and properties of the organizational communication network, as well as the characteristics and patterns of communicative behavior of the employees from different organizational levels. We found that during the crisis period, communication among employees became more diverse with respect to established contacts and formal roles. Also during the crisis period, previously disconnected employees began to engage in mutual communication, so that interpersonal communication was intensified and spread through the network, bypassing formal chains of communication. The findings of this study provide valuable insight into a real-world organizational crisis, which may be further used for validating or developing theories and dynamic models of organizational crises; thereby leading to a better understanding of the underlying causes of, and response to, organization failure.