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I have been tried to clearly define structural holes
and remain confused on a couple of issues. Some have
defined structural holes as bridging two unconnected
actors (Kilduff & Tsai, 2003). Whereas others define
structural holes as the lack of connections amongst
the ego’s alters (Ahuja, 2000). Each of these
definitions focus on different aspects in the ego
network, the first focuses on the broker whereas the
second definition focuses on the lack of connections
(around the ego’s alters). So, here are my
1) Can we say that based on the definition that
brokerage (where an actor bridges two unconnected
alters) is actually “a filled structural hole”
that is the structural hole actually is non-existent.
2) But then let us look at a triad with three actors
A, B and C. A is connected to B, and A is connected to
C. But C is not connected to B. Therefore, A is
spanning the structural hole between B and C. A is a
broker. But the lack of direct connection between B
and C would suggest that there is a structural hole
between B and C and only complete closure would
eliminate that structural hole. So does brokerage
(like A) mean that there is still a structural hole
that can be closed only if the two unconnected actors
establish the closing tie? So what is a structural
hole based on this illustration?
3) If there are two completely disconnected cliques in
a network, can we say that there is a structural hole
between these two structures
Your insights and discussion on this issue would
greatly clarify my confusion.
------------------------------------------------------------------PRASAD BALKUNDI133 PalmdaleWilliamsvilleNY 14221email: [log in to unmask]: http://mgt.buffalo.edu/departments/ohr/balkundi/
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