Rhythm: A Unified Measurement Platform for Human Organizations


To understand and manage complex organizations, we must develop tools that are 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, often ignoring remote interaction which is an increasingly common communication modality. In this paper 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 to measure formal and informal social interaction across teams, divisions, and locations. We describe three 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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