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Dear Thor,
we are in the mid of preparing a paper for a session on qualitative
network analysis method at the Munic Conference of the German
Association for Sociology in October this year . The paper by my
colleagues, Dr. Andreas Wald and Karola Franke, will deal with our use
of SNA + expert interviews on network strategy and network capacity of
research groups in selected subdisciplines in Germany. The project aims
at the analysis of the driving forces of knowledge/ research network
evolution over time, i.e. network strategies and behaviour which can be
more or less aware to the actors. Next, we try to catch the effects of
various reforms in universities and research organizations in Germany
and different governance structures on network capacity and resarch
You might be interested in visiting our homepage with more information
about the network project and some papers, also in English,  for download.
See for the network
project and for the
larger research group.


Thor Roser schrieb:

> *****  To join INSNA, visit  *****
> 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:
> or
> 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:
> If you´re interested in Knowledge Networks per se you might want to
> join our informal yahoo group as well, see:
> 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:
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Prof. Dr. Dorothea Jansen
Lehrstuhl für Soziologie der Organisation
Deutsche Hochschule für Verwaltungswissenschaften
Postfach 1409
D-67324 Speyer

Tel. 06232/654-364 oder -359 (Sekretariat)
Fax: 06232/654-418 oder -306

SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.