Hi Arun and Luca,

Much of the most important social network theory and empirical studies on business organizations and on industries and markets have been historical studies, including the work of John Padgett and colleagues, including Paul McLean, Christopher Ansell, and William Powell.  See Padget and Powell (2012):


Also see Katherine Stovel's work, like Stovel and Savage (2006) and Fountain and Stovel (2014) for a study of contemporary business.

I also recommend David Stark's work, including his book The Sense of Dissonance(2009) and his articles with Balazs Vedres.

Good literature reviews for more contemporary network studies of businesses and markets can be found in Chapter 4 of Carruthers and Babb (2012):


in Kadushin (2011):


and in methods texts like Wasserman and Faust (1994) and De Nooy, Mrvar, and Batagelj (2011).

You mention Ronald Burt, but other key network researchers of contemporary organizations and markets include Brian Uzzi, Wayne Baker, Mark Granovetter, Yanjie Bian (1997), and Martin Ruef.  Robert Faulkner's (1983) Music on Demand:  Composers and Careers in the Hollywood Film Industry is a classic social network study of the conditions of freelance employment, which is relevant to many fields today.

The business literature includes lots of network studies of social capital in organizations for which Ronald Burt and Nan Lin can be guides.

Although not a network scholar per se, relational sociologist Andrew Abbott is a fellow traveler whose work remains important, especially The System of Professions (1988) and "Linked Ecologies" (2005).

In terms of government, consider David Knoke on political and policy networks and William Domhoff's (1990) The Power Elite and the State:  How Policy is Made in America. for whom social network theories and methods are important.

This is still a partial list, of course, and goes beyond your specific request.



From: Social Networks Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Luca De Benedictis <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2015 12:53 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SOCNET] looking for examples of the use of network analysis in "old-economy" industries
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Let me join Arun in his request. I also would be interested in any studies that apply network analysis to industrial sectors.
All the best,


Luca De Benedictis, PhD

Università degli Studi di Macerata
DED - Dipartimento di Economia e Diritto
Via Crescimbeni 20, 62100 - Macerata - I

Phone:+39 (0)7332583234
Fax: +39 (0)7332583205

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Il giorno 14/mag/2015, alle ore 15:38, Arun Sundararajan <[log in to unmask]> ha scritto:

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Most of the business examples (with the exception of those from Ron
Burt's work on power, brokerage and social capital) I use in my
networks-related classes relate to marketing, and typically deal with
some subset of online advertising, a platform like Facebook, Twitter,
Google, or Reddit, and the adoption of Internet-based or mobile

Many of my students (especially those in the executive education
classes) express interest in knowing about how more companies like
automobiles, consumer packaged goods, energy, healthcare, banking,
insurance, construction, real estate, chemicals, semiconductors,
business software -- as well as government agencies (city, state,
federal) -- use network analyses, and also, how these are used in
contexts that transcend marketing.

I'd be really interested in any studies (academic or industry) that
have analyses that are situated in these industries or contexts. I'd
be happy to share any slides I develop.

cheers, Arun.

@digitalarun |  http://oz.stern.nyu.edu/
"Be the change you want to see in the world." (Gandhi)

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