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SOCNET  October 2002

SOCNET October 2002

Subject:

Re: business cases for SNA?

From:

Emmanuel Lazega <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Emmanuel Lazega <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 21 Oct 2002 16:12:18 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (187 lines)

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****

Dear colleagues,

In addition to considerations based on 'corporate social capital' ...

Flap, Hendrik D., Bulder, Bert and Volker, Beate (1998), "Intra-organizational
Networks and Performance: A Review", Computational and Mathematical
Organization Theory, 4: 1-39.=20

Leenders, Roger and Gabbay, Shaul (eds)(1999), Corporate Social Capital and
Liability, Boston: Kluwer

... you may perhaps be interested in the relationship between 'Blau-ties' and
economic performance as identified in a corporate law partnership. By
'Blau-tie' I mean a duplex relational compound combining a mutual coworker tie
plus a unidirectional advice tie. The more such ties in a partner's or
associate's personal network in this firm, the higher was his/her performance
(measured in terms of hours billed and dollars brought in). This kind of
tie is
'labelled' after Peter Blau who theorized the exchange of advice for
recognition of status. For  more about this connection between relational
discipline and performance, especially in a knowledge-intensive business, see
Emmanuel Lazega (2001), The Collegial Phenomenon: Social Mechanisms of
Cooperation Among Peers in a Corporate Law Partnership, Oxford University
Press.

With best regards,
Emmanuel Lazega



At 09:49 21/10/02 -0400, Mark Mizruchi wrote:
>
> I hate to toot my own horn on this site, but Linda Stearns and I have an
> article in the Oct 2001 ASR in which we show that the structures of the
> networks used by bankers in particular deals affected the probability that
> the deals successfully closed.  The reference is
>
> Mizruchi, Mark S. and Linda Brewster Stearns, 2001. "Getting Deals Done: The
> Use of Social Networks in Bank Decision-Making." American Sociological
Review
> 66:647-671.
>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Bergin, Sean [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>> Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 12:50 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: business cases for SNA?
>>
>> Brian,
>>
>> You are looking for the grail, and I sure hope you find it. In my searches
>> and discussions with other SNA advocates it seems apparent there is a
dearth
>> of research into specific antecedents and consequences of SNA metrics with
>> relation to organisational performance. This is a potential problem for us
>> as a research community...as many people asked me when I first entered the
>> SNA domain..."OK, so you found these structures...so what".
>> Indeed I would like to propose that perhaps those who have an interest in
>> this area from the SOCNET community may wish to send in refs they know of,
>> and if there are none, then we could exchange suggestions about what SNA
>> metrics might be related to organisational performance. I would be happy to
>> do the collating if people want to send any references and suggestions to
>> me, and I can post out the mass of results.
>>
>> The biggest problem as I see it is that every organisation varies in
what it
>> is trying to do, and the processes that it develops and evolves. The
network
>> patterns that exist in an organisation are analogous to the forming of
>> neural connections when an organism learns. From a learning perspective,
the
>> 'best' pattern is one which best suits the task...and the variation between
>> organisations is so huge that generalisation of findings in any one domain
>> is problematic. However some suggestions follow:
>> You may wish to contact Jim Coplien at UMIST...he has done some
quantitative
>> work on looking at SNA metrics across a large number of software
development
>> companies and has identified certain heuristics about patterns which he
sees
>> as indicative of good organisational performance. His email is
>> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]  He has a book in progress which
>> you may be able to get from him.
>> Also Kathleen Carley
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>> at Cargegie Mellon University has done a lot of work in modelling
>> organisations with respect to structures and performance. You may find her
>> work of use.
>>
>> There is some general work in the management sciences are on the
>> relationships between different organisational structures (i.e.
hierarchies,
>> matrix structures, anarchic structures, etc) and grouping (functional,
>> geographical etc) and organisational performance in relation to different
>> environments and industry types. SNA can offer avenues to assess the degree
>> to which an organisation follows such patterns, and limited inferences
could
>> be made from such data I suppose.
>>
>> Some specific (at hand) references follow...relevance may vary:
>>    * Nelson, R & Matthews K. (1991) Network characteristics of high
>>    performing organizations. The Journal of business Communication, 28,4,
>>    367-385.
>>    * Reagans, R. & Zuckerman, E. (2001). Networks, diversity and
>>    productivity: The social capital of corporate R&D teams. Organization
>>    Science, 12, 4,502-517.
>>    * Tsai, W. (2001). Knowledge transfer in intraorganisational networks:
>>    Effects of network position and absorptive capacity on business unit
>>    innovation and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 44,5,
996-1004.
>>    * Brass, D, J. (1981). Structural relationships, job characteristics and
>>    worker satisfaction and performance. Administrative Science
Quarterly, 26,
>>    331-348
>>    * Sparrowe, R.T., Liden, R.C., Wayne S.J. & Kraimer M.L. (2001). Social
>>    networks and the performance of individuals and groups. Academy of
>>    Management Journal, 44, 2, 316-325.
>>
>> Hope this is of some assistance.
>>
>> If you find anything else useful please let me know.
>>
>> Regards
>>
>> Sean Bergin
>> Organisational Concepts
>> Theatre Command Analysis Branch
>> C2 Division
>> DSTO
>>
>> Room 2.G.50
>> Knowledge Systems Building
>> PO Box 1500, Edinburgh, SA, 5111
>> Ph.         (08) 8259 5494
>> Fax.       (08) 8259 5619
>> Mob.       0418 828 809
>> Email.    [log in to unmask]
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Doug Bryan
>> [<mailto:[log in to unmask]>mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>> Sent: Monday, 21 October 2002 12:20
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: business cases for SNA?
>>
>>
>> *****  To join INSNA, visit
>> <http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/>http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'm looking for references to or anecdotes of business cases for social
>> network analysis (SNA).  I'm familiar with research literature that
>> correlates social network properties with a wide variety of performance
>> characteristics -- everything from family planning uptake to high-tech
>> patents.  But are there any more direct, documented cases in the area of
>> organizational performace?  Something where organizational performace was
>> measured, SNA was applied and indicated changes were made, and then
>> organizational performance increased?
>>
>> thanks much,
>>
>> Doug Bryan
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>> _____________________________________________________________________
>> SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
>> network researchers (<http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/>http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/).
>> To unsubscribe, send
>> an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
>> UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>
>
>

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.

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