I am using Ron Burt's constraint measure to analyze networks and have a
question about how to calculate constraint for isolated actors.
An isolated actor has no connections in the network. S/he worked
alone. Using UCINET 5.0, this actor is given a missing value for constraint.
What is the appropriate value of constraint for isolated actors? What is
the meaning of being isolated?
One can argue this two ways. On one hand, the isolated actor is fully
constrained, having no outside opportunities for information. In this
sense, they should receive a maximum value of 1 (redundant). If we have
reason to think they will always work alone in the future, this makes
sense, but is not highly likely.
On the other hand, the isolated actor may be completely unconstrained,
having opportunity for unlimited outside information possibilities. If the
actor is a newcomer, but expected to become very social with a great
variety of others, then perhaps they should receive a value of zero
Your insights are kindly appreciated.
Assistant Professor, Strategic Management
Department of Management and Organization
427 Beam Business Administration Building
Smeal College of Business
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16801