Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Network Effect and Crowd Dynamics in Organizational Decision Making

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About the course

We live in an environment where, knowingly or unknowingly, by choice or by compulsion, we are all parts of physical and virtual networks of people and even of information entities. The interconnection and interaction of the individuals in these underlying networks influence their behaviour to such a significant extent that the qualities of managerial decision oblivious of the network effect silently operating at the background are very likely to be poor. Who are the friends and acquaintances one should nurture relationships with based on strength of relationship ties? Why do people who consider themselves similar tend to take lunch together or buy house in same locality? What desired and undesired effects are manifested when people try to stay close to one category and maintain distance from another category of colleagues in an organization? What does it take to win an election and how popularity of individuals develop and change? Why does one product launch succeed and another one fails despite their intrinsic qualities possibly warranting otherwise? When is the majority view reliable and dependable? Do we really succeed in capturing the views of all members in a committee meeting? How does a piece of information or misinformation go viral? How does a search engine like google directly and indirectly shape our decisions? The mystery of answers to these and many other pertinent questions we face lie in an understanding of the dynamics of the networked world we live in. Both from professional and personal perspectives, it has become imperative to stay familiar with emerging concepts, tools, and techniques that improve the success of our interventions in this networked environment. It’s understood by now that such problems cannot be analyzed let alone solved in isolation without resorting to a network centric approach to problem solving.


The main objectives of this five day executive development programme are:

  • To help understand, visualize, and appreciate networks and network effect on us
  • To understand collective rational behaviour of individuals and its impact in an organization and society at large arising out of network effect
  • To understand network thinking approach to problem solving and how to apply it for addressing relevant problems we routinely face in an organization

Key Topics

  • Implications of relationships – decisions regarding nurturing strong ties and weak ties
  • Rational decision making and consequent outcomes in a competing environment
  • Decision making under rich-gets-richer phenomenon and small world phenomenon
  • Group decision making and wisdom of crowds
  • Herding and cascading behaviour of human beings in decision making
  • Cohesion, coexistence, and segregation attitude of people and associated impact on decision making
  • Decisions pertaining to sponsored search market and digital advertising


Class room lectures, Case studies, Interactive games involving participants, Computer based simulations.

Who should attend

Prerequisites: None in particular. Any working professional in any role will be in a position to understand and appreciate the content. Elementary knowledge of analytical thinking and problem solving aptitude would be of an added advantage.

Target group of participants: The programme is primarily targeted at senior people (with at least seven years’ experience) who have experienced the intricacies of human behaviour in the context of their decision making. In particular, those senior decision makers who are handling responsible positions in roles dealing with human resources, leadership, and marketing in an organization are expected to find the programme insightful and valueadding. Professionals working in the analytics team in an organization will also find it useful in understanding the emerging nuances of analytics in a networked environment.

Trust the experts

Saibal Chattopadhyay

Chattopadhyay is a Professor in the Operations Management group at IIM Calcutta, and is a former Dean of the business school.[2] In the past, he has been associated with Presidency College of the University of Calcutta, University of Connecticut and University of Nebraska–Lincoln *Academic Backg...


Uttam Kumar Sarkar

Dr. Uttam Kumar Sarkar serves as the Dean of New Initiatives and External Relations at IIM Calcutta. Shri Sarkar worked as a senior member at a multinational design automation company, as a faculty member at IIT Delhi, as a Visiting faculty member at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida...


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