Carl Bialik from the WSJ writes "Oil-services company Schlumberger is doing something unusual for a big corporation: fostering the creation of online groups of employees with similar interests and allowing these communities to govern themselves and choose their leaders. Wall Street Journal columnist David Wessel talks to John Afilaka, a geological engineer who was elected to lead the company's rock-characterization community. 'Mr. Afilaka campaigned to increase technical professionals' influence on top management's research-and-development priorities and to forge better links among various communities. He claims progress on both.' Richard McDermott, a consultant, tells Wessel such a management structure is unusual: 'People...see it as a real democratic institution in what is otherwise an authoritarian institution, a business.' Wessel notes: 'Other companies, apparently, are scared of that.'"
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