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SOCNET  December 2009

SOCNET December 2009

Subject:

Ethnography and social network analysis in organisational studies

From:

Mirjam Saur <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Mirjam Saur <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 19:17:20 +0100

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*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Dear SOCNET members, 

last year I sent a request to this list server, asking for suggestions regarding studies which combined ethnography and social network analysis to study specific aspects of organisational culture and behaviour (and therefore could be used for a comparison of the application of these two approaches in my MA thesis.)

Firstly I would like to thank all SOCNET members who kindly replied to my request. Thanks to Jorge Ávila de Lima, Achim Edelmann, Jeffrey C. Johnson, Haiko Lietz, Zuzana Sasovova, Ben Spigel, and Rafael Wittek.

For those who are interested, please find a list of all the references I got:

- Allen, James, Andrew D. James & PhilGamlen 2007. Formal verses informal knowledge networks in R&D: A case study using social network analysis. R&D Management 37(3): 179-196.
- Allen, Thomas J. 1977. Managing the flow of technology.
- Barley, S. R. 1986. Technology as an occasion for structuring: Evidence from observations of CT scanners and the social order of radiology departments. Administrative Science Quarterly 31: 78-108.
- Barley, Stephen R. 1990. The alignment of technology and structure through roles and networks. Administrative Science Quarterly 35: 61-103.
- Foster, Brian L. 1978. Formal network studies and the anthropological perspective. Social Networks 1(3): 241-255.
- Hollstein, Bettina & Florian Straus (ed.) 2006. Qualitative Netzwerkanalyse: Konzepte, Methoden, Anwendungen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.
- Johnson, Gregory 1982. Organizational Structure and Scalar Stress. In: Colin Renfrew, Michael Rowlands and Barbara A. Segraves-Whallon (ed.), Theory and Explanation in Archaeology: The Southampton Conference. Academic Press, pp. 397-421. (http://eclectic.ss.uci.edu/~drwhite/ISCOM/GAJ1-17.pdf)
- Johnson, Jeffrey C. & Dawn L. Parks 1998. Communication Roles, Perceived Effectivenss, and Satisfaction in an Environmental Management Programm. Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory 4(3): 223-239. 
- Johnson, Jeffrey C., James S. Boster & Lawrence A. Palinkas 2003. Social Roles and the Evolution of Networks in extreme and isolated Environments. Journal of Mathematical Sociology 27: 89-121.
- Kilduff, M. & J. L. Funk 1998. Enactment and social networks in a Japanese factory (working paper). University Park: Pennsylvania State University.
- Kilduff, M., J.L. Funk & A. Mehra 1997. Engineering identity in a Japanese factory. Organization Science 8: 597-595.
- Knox, Hannah, Mike Savage & Penny Harvey 2006. Social networks and the study of relations: networks as method, metaphor and form. Economy and Society 35(1): 113-140. 
- Lima, J. A. 2003. Trained for isolation: the impact of departmental cultures on student teachers’ views and practices of collaboration. Journal of Education for Teaching 29(3): 197-218.
- Lima, J. A. 2007. Professional development in departmentalised organisations: lessons for school improvement from a case study of two curriculum departments. School Effectiveness and School Improvement 18(3): 273-301.
- Mitchell, Clyde J. 1989. Ethnography and network analysis. In: Thomas Schweizer (eds.), Netzwerkanalyse: Ethnologische Perspektiven. Berlin: Reimer Verlag, pp. 77-92.
- Mitchell, J . Clyde. 1986. Ethnography and Networks. Connections 9(1): 17-23.
- Riles, Analisa 2000. The Network insight out.
- Stark, David 1999. Heterarchy: Distributing Authority and Organizing Diversity. In: John Henry Clippinger (eds.), The Biology of Business: Decoding the Natural Laws of Enterprise. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, pp.153-180.
- Strathern, Marylin 1996. Cutting the network. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 2: 517-35.
- White, Douglas R. & Ulla Johansen 2004. Network Analysis and Ethnographic Problems: Process Models of a Turkish Nomad Clan. Oxford: Lexington Books.
- White, Douglas R. 2004. Network Analysis and Social Dynamics. Cybernetics and Systems 35(2): 173 - 192.
- White, Douglas R. 2003. Social Scaling: From scale-free to stretched exponential models for scalar stress, hierarchy, levels and units in human and technological networks and evolution. ISCOM working paper (http://eclectic.ss.uci.edu/~drwhite/pub/1982scalingDRW.pdf).
- White, Douglas R. 2007. Innovation in the Context of Networks, Hierarchies, and Cohesion. In: David Lane, Geoff West, Sander van der Leeuw & Denise Pumain (ed.), A New Perspective on Innovation and Social Change. Dordrecht: Springer Methodos Series. (http://eclectic.ss.uci.edu/~drwhite/pub/ch5revMay-20.pdf)
- Wittek, Rafael 1999. Interdependence and Informal Control in Organizations. Dissertation, Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology, Rijksuniversiteit, Groningen.
- Wittek, Rafael, Marijtje A. J. van Duijn & Tom A. B. Snijders 2003. Frame Decay, Informal Power, and the Escalation of Social Control in a Management Team: A Relational Signaling Perspective. In: Vincent Buskens, Werner Raub & Chris Snijders (ed.),
The Governance of Relations in Markets and Organizations. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 20. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Ltd., S. 355-380.
- Wolfe, Alvin W. 1978. The rise of network thinking in anthropology. Social Networks 1(1): 53-64.

To find out which studies were suitable for my purposes, I applied the following criteria to all the references I found, including the above mentioned:

I) I used the four criteria of Freeman as a guideline to separate studies which applied “real” network analysis from those who used it in a mere metaphorical sense (see Freeman, Linton C. 2004. The Development of Social Network Analysis. Vancouver: Empirical Press, p. 3).
II) Additionally I examined the application of ethnography/an ethnographic approach, i.e. using participant observation.
III) Finally, I chose all studies that took place in an organisation or part of an organisation dealing with intra-organisational relations.

As a result the following references were included in my analysis, basing on nine different studies:

- Barley, Stephen R. 1990. The alignment of technology and structure through roles and networks. Administrative Science Quarterly 35: 61-103.
- Bernard, H. Russell & Peter D. Killworth 1973. On the Social Structure of an Ocean-Going Research Vessels and Other Important Things. Social Science Research 2: 145-184.
- Johnson, Jeffrey C. & Dawn L. Parks 1998. Communication Roles, Perceived Effectiveness, and Satisfaction in an Environmental Management Program. Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory 4 (3): 223-239.
- Johnson, Jeffrey C., James S. Boster & Lawrence A. Palinkas 2003. Social roles and the evolution of networks in extreme and isolated environments. Journal of Mathematical Sociology 27: 89-121.
- Häussling, Roger 2006. Ein netzwerkanalytisches Vierebenenkonzept zur struktur- und akteursbezogenen Deutung sozialer Interaktionen. In: Betina Hollstein & Florian Straus (Hgg.), Qualitative Netzwerkanalyse: Konzepte, Methoden, Anwendungen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, S. 125-151.
- Morrill, Calvin 1991. The Customs of Conflict Management among Corporate Executives. American Anthropologist 93: 871-93.
- Morrill, Calvin 1995. The Executive Way: Conflict Management in Corporations. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
- Thurman, Blake 1979. In the Office: Networks and Coalitions. Social Networks 2: 47-63.
- Torenvlied, René & Gina Velner 1998. Informal Networks and Resistance to Organizational Change: The Introduction of Quality Standards in a Transport Company. Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory 4 (2): 165-188.
- Wittek, Rafael 1999. Interdependence and Informal Control in Organizations. Dissertation, Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology, Rijksuniversiteit, Groningen.
- Wittek, Rafael, Marijtje A. J. van Duijn & Tom A. B. Snijders 2003. Frame Decay, Informal Power, and the Escalation of Social Control in a Management Team: A Relational Signaling Perspective. In: Vincent Buskens, Werner Raub & Chris Snijders (Hgg.), The Governance of Relations in Markets and Organizations. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 20. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Ltd., S. 355- 380.

Best regards, Mirjam

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