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Glen Murphy wrote:

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>
>Hi all,
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>I'm stuck on the precise measures to use when identifying brokers in
>resource exchange networks when adopting a structural holes approach.
>Burt (2003) advises using a Constraint index when looking at brokers of
>innovation and "good ideas" and this seems possible when essentially the
>discussion centres around idea diffusion.  However, I'm interested in
>identifying brokers of essential resources within organisations (e.g.
>advice, support, material) and in this scenario the constraint measure
>on its own appears to be more of a dependence measure - which may be
>useful to identify "peripheral" or highly dependant actors but own it's
>own doesn't help to identify brokers highly regarded due to their
>ability to span "structural holes".
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>The redundancy measure (or network efficiency) is particularly
>attractive as few other measures (e.g. flow-betweenness, degree,
>Bonacich's power) appear to acknowledge this point.  However, it seems
>limiting to use Efficiency on its own as the definition of a structural
>hole incorporates (among others) both Constraint and Redundancy.  I am
>trying to identify a measure capable of being used for hypothesis
>testing (e.g. actors change acceptance is dependant on the change
>affecting their brokerage positions) so a single index would be useful
>to say the least.  So, two questions.
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>1.         Is there a mechanism available that provides a single index
>for the identification of those occupying brokerage roles by spanning
>structural holes (i.e. a   combination of constraint, redundancy,
>hierarchy, density etc.)
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>2.         Has anyone used single index indicators (e.g. Redundancy on
>its own) to identify brokers in a resource exchange scenario and how
>successful was it ?
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>
Dear Glen:
You are absolutely right in specifying the different sensitivities of
the indices.  While reduncency captures binary relations, network
constraint is a proxy for two-step resource dependence, and is sensitive
to (1) transaction spread over trade partners, and to (2) the degree to
which alters are connected.     You may use also local density, as this
may be only moderately negatively associated with contact efficiency
(see a comparison of these measures and the associated theories in the
context of resources exchange network in I. Talmud and G. Mesch, "Market
embeddedness and corporate instability: The ecology of inter-industrial
networks" Social Science Research 26, 1997).
I hope this would help.

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>Thanks all, hopefully I've clearly explained my thinking !
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>Cheers, Glen.
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>Glen D. Murphy
>
>PhD Candidate
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>Work Effectiveness Research Program
>
>School of  Management
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>Faculty Of Business
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>Queensland University of Technology
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>
>
>Ph.  07 3314 8061
>
>Mob. 0403 001 623
>
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