Rhythm: A Unified Measurement Platform for Human Organizations


To understand and manage complex organizations, we must develop tools capable of measuring human social interaction accurately and uniformly. Current technologies that measure face-to-face communication do not measure interaction in a unified manner and often ignore remote interaction, an increasingly common communication modality. In this article we present Rhythm, a platform that combines wearable electronic badges and online applications to capture team-level and network-level interaction patterns in organizations. The platform measures conversation time, turn-taking behavior, and the physical proximity of both co-located and distributed members. Our goal is to empower organizations and researchers to measure formal and informal social interaction across teams, divisions, and locations. We describe two pilot studies that use this platform and discuss how  measurement systems like Rhythm may further the fields of computational social science and organizational design.

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