Many indicators point to the fact that we are on the cusp of a fundamental transformation in our political-economy, in how we choose to organize society with respect to industry, organizations, and communities. This is essentially the shift from the Industrial Age bureaucratic form of organization – that we all know very well, the hierarchical, stable, predictable organization which is formal and rule-bound, to social organizational structures that are better adapted and more characteristic of the Information Age, that is to say a post-bureaucratic form of organization which is much flatter, much leaner, much more network-based, much more informal, dynamic, open in scope, one that is really all about knowledge as opposed to execution and efficiency. What emerges out of this transformation is what has been called the network society.
The network society is a social structure based on networks operated by information and communication technologies based on microelectronics and digital computer networks that generate, process and distribute information via the nodes of the networks. The network society can be defined as a social formation with an infrastructure of social and media networks enabling its prime mode of organization at all levels (individual, organizational and societal). Increasingly, these networks link all units on all scales of society.