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Subject:

Measures of Structural Holes & Cohesion

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Mon, 28 Nov 2005 15:26:12 -0500

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 ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** In our current research, we are using the variables of structural holes and cohesion. We have two indicators of each. I have questions about how to aggregate each set of indicators and, based on this aggregated measure, how to determine cutpoints for creating categories (e.g. high/low). FOR COHESION, we use indicators of egocentric density and mean strength of ties (valued ties). 1) What is the appropriate way to "aggregate" these two indicators for cohesion into one measure? Density is indexed 0 to 1, while mean strength of ties has a range of 0-4. 2) Based upon this aggregated measure, we need to first identify an actor's cohesion as low vs. high. We also need to be able to identify the actors' cohesion into three categories: low, medium, high. What are the appropriate methods for determining 1/2 and 1/3 cutpoints or thresholds for cohesion? Is is appropriate to use the mean or median?  Other suggestions would be appreciated. FOR STRUCTURAL HOLES, we use efficiency and constraint. 1) What is the appropriate way to "aggregate" these two indicators for structural holes into one measure? I assume we will need to somehow reverse code the constraint indicator so that both indicators have a positive association with structural holes. Can we simply take an average of the two? 2) Based upon this aggregated measure, we need to first identify an actor's use of structural holes as low vs. high. We also need to be able to identify the actors' cohesion into three categories: low, medium, high. What are the appropriate methods for determining 1/2 and 1/3 cutpoints or thresholds for structural holes? Is is appropriate to use the mean or median? Or, given the indicators are indexed 0 to 100, is it appropriate to use the half-way point of 50? Other suggestions would be appreciated. If you have any suggestions for research that has been published that might address these issues, I'd appreciate any leads you can provide. Thanks, Julie Julie M. Hite Brigham Young University [log in to unmask] _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.