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Some interesting discussion about tie strength and we have been giving this some thought to tie strength in the context of project based organisations here at UCL.  My view is that tie strength is transient and not necessarily reciprocal.  I have difficulty with the notion that family is a strong tie, any more than marriage or other forms of contracts create strong ties.  In fact tie strength, like beauty, is ‘in the eye of the beholder’.  We all have our own value systems that we apply to tie strength measurement.

 

My father, as part of his business activity, called at an address in London one day; a man of approximately the same age answered the door;  during the brief conversation that ensued the two men established that they were brothers.  They had made no contact for 30-40 years.  Once their business was completed they shook hands and wished each other well.  And never saw each other again!  Nothing malicious here; no dispute over inheritances.  Just a very weak tie!!  [large family; very wide age range amongst siblings; lots of relocation caused by WW2; natural tendency not to maintain family ties etc]

 

So I think as academics we need to do a lot more work on tie strength; it is transient and therefore needing maintenance; related to actor characteristics and the environment in which the networks function; it is also possible to have several different tie strengths present between actors concurrently, based on  a variety of network functions.

 

Thoughts of others welcome

 

 

Stephen

UCL

 

 

 

From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John McCreery
Sent: 14 August 2013 00:37
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What is an old/dormant strong tie?

 

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Another old, strong tie is family. Family members may scatter to the four corners of the earth and have little to do with one another. Then a central, usually senior, member dies, and the clan reassembles for the funeral. The need to cooperate in disposing of legacies may bring brothers together, who usually have little to do with each other. Quarrels over inheritances may remind us of Simmel's observation that hostility is a social tie. 

 

While attending INSNA 2013 in Xi'an I was struck by the difference between the ideas of participants from Europe or the US and those from China. The former expounded theories grounded in the mathematics of random graphs, which ideologically speaking, coincide with market fundamentalism — autonomous actors bumping into each other and engaging in transactions. In contrast, when the Chinese talked about guanxi, they constantly made reference to pre-established ties created by kin or classmate relations and assumed that hierarchy and emotion are essential aspects of networks and not just outcomes of dyadic transactions.

 

John

 

On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 6:04 AM, Joe Labianca <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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Hi Valdis,

I'd look at Daniel Levin's work:
Levin, D. Z., Walter, J., & Murnighan, J. K. (2011).
Dormant Ties: The Value of Reconnecting.” Organization Science, 22(4), 923-939.

Levin, D. Z., Walter, J., & Murnighan, J. K. (2011).
The Power of Reconnection — How Dormant Ties Can Surprise You.” MIT Sloan Management Review, 52(3), 45-50.

Joe


Giuseppe (Joe) Labianca

Gatton Endowed Professor of Management

Gatton College of Business & Economics

LINKS Center for Social Network Analysis

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY 40506

859-257-3741 (office)

404-428-4878 (mobile)

 

 

On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 3:24 PM, Kenny Joseph <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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While not directly referring to the concept of an "old strong tie", Caroline Haythornthwaite provides the very useful concept of a latent tie.  If I recall correctly, the term is used to distinguish social ties that may develop when a new media is introduced into a social system.

 

Haythornthwaite, Caroline. 2002. “Strong, Weak, and Latent Ties and the Impact of New Media.” The Information Society 18 (5): 385=401.


Kenny Joseph

 

 

On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 3:15 PM, Valdis Krebs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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John,

 

Yeah, for the first iTunes phone (ROKR), design by committee (across boundaries between Apple and  Motorola) probably included many weak ties.  After that failure, for the iPhone, Jobs went back to his strong ties, especially Jonathon Ive, to whom he trusted many key Apple designs.  Ive in turn had his own strong ties within team/company to execute the design.

 

The iPod was also designed by strong ties within Apple and outside of Apple... an "old strong tie" came to call on Apple -- "Hey, I have an idea."

 

Hey Academics... what is an "old strong tie"??? 

 

Old strong tie is where A and B worked together at Company X, but now A works at Company Y and B at Company Z (and naturally they interact less now) and they re-connect to collaborate (re-animating their prior tie) for a new product at Company Z.  Is an old strong tie, even an inactive/dormant strong tie, still a "strong tie"?  Or does it become a "weak tie" while in it's dormant phase???

 

Would love to hear many viewpoints on this!

 

Valdis Krebs

 

 

 

On Aug 13, 2013, at 2:34 PM, John T. Maloney wrote:



Apple rejected the "design by committee" approach that had yielded the Motorola ROKR E1, a largely unsuccessful collaboration with Motorola.

 

 

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