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I am seeking help on some data "organization" question that I have. Generally, I am trying to distinguish whether the data I have can be used to take a measure of structural holes using the constraint score described by Burt (1992).

For several years, I have studied the way that nonprofits' (and their self-identified community) networks change after interventions.  The research focuses on the changing structure of structural holes and evaluates whether this intervention can be identified as the cause of these changes.

I am however, unsure of the "level" of data that is required to do this.  I am uncertain whether I have gathered the appropriate data to measure structural holes.  Here's what I mean:

Level 1:  I first asked each nonprofit (ego) to identify the organizations most important to their organizational mission.  Then, I asked 14 questions about the relationship with each (level of contact, sharing of clients, funding network, trust, etc...)

Level 2:  I then asked each organization that the ego identified to respond to the same 14 questions and to list important partners in their network (Level 3).

I stopped at this level because of time and cost constraints (each network at this point has between 80-150 nodes).

Finally, I went back to the original egos and asked them to comment on their connections with Level 3 organizations.

With this network data, I was hoping to take a constraint score on each network and compare the scores pre- and post-intervention.  After really thinking this through though, I am concerned that I would have had to gather one more level of network connections.

Could anyone advise me on this question?

I can provide an imagine it that would help explain this, but didn't want to attach it to this group email.

Many thanks in advance!

Kind regards,


Danielle M Vogenbeck

University of Colorado, Denver Graduate School of Public Affairs

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