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I had some requests to share responses to my post on interfacing
internal/externa; networks...aopogies for my tardiness.

Original Request:

This may be a naive request.....but I've read a fair amount in and around
the concepts of Closed networks (Coleman) and what I'm calling "Open
Networks" (Burt - structural holes, Granovetter - strength of weak ties).
In my SNA work I can identify closed and open networks within the
organisations that I study. I've also noted in the literature that
depending on the function of the area either closed or open networks may be
appropriate (e.g. closed for exploiting say a best practice and open for
developing or finding a best practice). The real challenge, and potential
source of greatest organizational advantage appears to be where open and
closed networks need to interface e.g. R&D / strategy and operations, or in
fact the topic of my research challenges in engaging financial
analysts and fund managers in a dialog around intellectual capital, etc..
the simple response may be the need for "boundary spanners"...maybe the
interface could be defined as a "structural hole". What I'm looking for is
any research work, case studies, empirical work around how best to
interface open and closed networks within an organization, or marketplace.


Linda Stearns and I have a study that may be relevant.  It doesn't
directly address open vs. closed, but it does deal with dense and sparse
personal networks that bankers construct while putting together deals:

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.

Mark M.

Mark S. Mizruchi                   Phone: (734) 764-7444
Professor of Sociology and     FAX: (734) 763-6887
   Business Administration      Home Phone: (734) 973-7367
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI  48104-2590

You might want to look at our paper:

Rowley, T.,  Behrens, D. & David Krackhardt (2000).  Redundant Governance
Mechanisms: An
examination of structural and relational embeddedness in the steel and
industries.Strategic Management Journal 21 : 369-386

Dean Behrens

Perhaps my book,
Lazega, E. (2001), The Collegial Phenomenon, Oxford UP,
a network study of a corporate law firm (examined as a knowledge intensive
organization) could be of interest. Maybe also
Lazega, E. and Mounier, L. (2003), "Interlocking Judges: On Joint External
and Self-Governance of Markets", in Vincent Buskens, Werner Raub and Chris
Snijders (eds), Research in the Sociology of Organizations.
The latter is about knowledge sharing in commercial court (also examined as
a knowledge intensive organization).
Best regards,

Recently, a paper appeared in the "ERIM Report Series Research in
Management" (Marketing\2003) on issues related to those that you are
describing. This paper (by Frans Stokman, Philip-Hans Franses and me)
deals with the effects of brokering within the organization on
performance. You can find the paper at and as attachment
to this mail.

David Dekker
Department of Marketing and Strategy
Nijmegen School of Management
University of Nijmegen

Laurence Lock Lee

Principal Knowledge Management Consultant
Computer Sciences Corporation
Selwyn St., Port Waratah NSW 2304
Ph: +61 2 49401777; Fax +61 2 49401865
Mobile: 0407001628
E-mail: [log in to unmask]

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