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Hi Ken,

I'm not sure what kind of data you are planning to collect or have
collected, but another idea you may want to consider to understand the
extent to which actors across these different groups converge or diverge on
how they think about the problems or issues they work on is to map actors'
semantic similarities and examine the structural configurations that take
shape amongst actors' understandings of "the issue" in question.

To do this, you would obviously need content data, which could come from
formal materials they publish or simply "how they talk about the issue or
problem".  With this data transcribed in some format, you could then use
centering resonance analysis (CRA) to map the discursive structure of each
acto's conceptualization, yielding a semantic (word x word sentence
co-occurrence)  matrix for each actor.  You can use the software  "Crawdad"
to do this.  Using this program you can construct a semantic similarity
matrix amongst all the texts (or individuals behind the texts).  The values
then correspond to the conceptual similarity between actors.  Then, using
correspondence analysis you can map the similarity network onto a single
conceptual space along with the influential words used to describe the
issue.  Here the distance between actors would represent the degree to
which they share a common interpretation of the issue, distance between
words represent the degree to which they are perceived as conceptually
similar, and the distances between words and actors who represent the
degree to which the actors construct their understanding based on those
words.

Obviously this won't show an actual learning process, unless you can
collect this sort of data over time. However, you may be able to get a
sense for different groups' framing similarities.

For an article that shows this in practice, see Kuhn & Corman (2003) in
Communication Monographs, titled "The emergence of homogeneity and
heterogeneity in knowledge structures during a planned organizational
change."

Best,
Lindsay

On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 1:47 PM, Ken Vance-Borland <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
> My colleagues and I are using SNA to investigate whether natural
> resources scientists and managers in the Forest Service and other
> agencies are embedded in a network that fosters learning and complex
> problem solving. For example, we want to determine the extent to which
> scientists and managers are engaged in interactions (including
> bi-directional exchanges of information) across disciplinary
> boundaries.
>
> We are considering a number of different measures (density,
> cross-boundary exchange [relations within/between groups], centrality). We
> would like to learn more
> about other measures that you would recommend.
>
> Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
>
> Ken Vance-Borland, Executive Director
> The Conservation Planning Institute
> "To protect and restore biological diversity through innovative
> conservation planning
> that is focused on effective implementation"
> Tel:(541)231-7949 Email: [log in to unmask] Skype: ken.vance.borland
> http://www.conservationplanninginstitute.org/
> CPI is an IUCN member organization http://www.iucn.org/
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-- 
Lindsay Young
Doctoral Student
Northwestern University
Communication Studies
Media, Technology & Society Program

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