***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ ***** Hi everyone, I´m currently writing a paper on Evaluating Knowledge Networks for the 11th International Conference on Multi-Organizational Partnerships, Alliances and Networks (MOPAN) in Tilburg, NL (see: http://www.fp.ucalgary.ca/mopan/index.html or http://www.uvt.nl/faculteiten/fsw/organisatie/departementen/bow/mopan/) My paper aims to trigger the methodological discussion, rather than providing a specific alternative. In order to develop a multidisciplinary perspective I would like to encourage everyone who is interested in the subject to discuss different methodological approaches and alternatives with me. Your suggestions and comments will be included in the paper as far as possible. The paper will be published at the KODE-Network of the LSE (see: http://www.psych.lse.ac.uk/kode/) If you´re interested in Knowledge Networks per se you might want to join our informal yahoo group as well, see: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/knowledge_networks/ Best wishes, Thor Take a look at the abstract of the paper as a basis for the discussion (any suggestions on it welcome;-): Evaluating Knowledge Networks The current processes of globalisation and digitalisation have generated new organisational forms based on more fluid and emergent organisational structures (Hilthred & Kimble, 2004) such as networks. These new ways of organising have an effect in the way knowledge is generated and distributed in organisations. As Kanter (2001) points out, organisations which develop networks both internal and external to their organisation are able to deal with knowledge more effectively. However, it is not clear at present which holistic methodological approach could be appropriate and sophisticated enough to study the social and dynamic and complex nature of those networks and the distribution of knowledge. This paper therefore reflects on the use of two traditional methods for the analysis of knowledge dissemination in organisational networks: Social Network Analysis (Scott, 1996) and Yellow Pages Analysis. Social Network Analysis (SNA) provides us with a snapshot of the interrelations and links of the network members. In turn, Yellow Pages Analysis (YPA) provides information about the distribution of the knowledge potential of each network member. Taken together, SNA and YPA are seen as means to map and analyse the interrelation of distributed knowledge potentials at a given point in time. However, although these approaches may help to explain how network members are linked and how their knowledge potentials are interrelated, they cannot address the question of how people interact and how they network. In fact, they tend to lead the researcher to a rather static, object and structure oriented understanding of organisational knowledge and its dissemination. Hence, in order to enrich these ways of data collection, this paper proposes that more qualitative evaluation methods should be used, in order to better understand the dynamic and social nature of knowledge dissemination. Building on the theoretical assumption that knowledge is socially constructed (Gergen, 1994) and rooted in social practices, the paper suggests the analysis of the stories and narratives through which people make sense of the network and their role (i.e. hub, gatekeeper, pulsetaker) as a complementary alternative to SNA and YPA. In conclusion this paper will aim to explore and discuss to what extent a combination of methods could be fruitful to enrich our understanding of knowledge processes in organisational networks. Keywords: Knowledge Networks; Evaluation; Social Network Analysis; Narratives Thorsten Roser Organisational Research Social Psychology Department London School of Economics and Political Science Houghton Street London WC2A 2AE Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6215 Fax: +44 (0)20 7955 7565 E-mail: [log in to unmask] URL:http://www.psych.lse.ac.uk/kode/ _____________________________________________________________________ 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.