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 [log in to unmask] He has a book in progress which you may be able to get from him. Also Kathleen Carley [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]] 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/ ***** 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/). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.