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***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** 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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