No need to consult a psychic if you’re worried about your company’s future — all you have to do is check the e-mail logs.
According to a New Scientist report, organizations in turmoil experience a huge increase in e-mail frequency around one month before they fold.
The impetus behind this finding: Enron’s e-mail logs, which were obtained by the Feds after the company went under back in 2001.
Researchers Ben Collingsworth and Ronaldo Menezes analyzed the disgraced firm’s e-mail logs and found that “active e-mail cliques,” groups of co-workers who’ve all had one-on-one e-mail contact with each other, rocketed from 100 to almost 800 just one month before Enron’s end. In addition, messages were also increasingly exchanged within these groups and not shared with other employees.
What it means
The researchers believe these findings prove that during troubled times, workers are more apt to directly contact co-workers with whom they feel more comfortable — instead of sending out mass e-mails, CC messages, etc.
As interesting as this research is, it’ll probably be tough to find a lot of supporting evidence unless the Feds decide to make company e-mail logs public domain — or we experience a resurgence of Enron-like activity among corporations.