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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2020

Yujia Han, Nigel David Caldwell and Abhijeet Ghadge

Social network analysis (SNA) seeks to manage the connections between entities through investigating and understanding behaviours and relationships. This study…

Abstract

Purpose

Social network analysis (SNA) seeks to manage the connections between entities through investigating and understanding behaviours and relationships. This study demonstrates the increasing relevance of social network approaches to solving contemporary and looming operations management (OM) and supply chain management (SCM) problems; including the coordination operations challenges raised by increased connectivity.

Design/methodology/approach

The systematic literature review approach adopted here examines 63 papers in OM and SCM published between 2000 and 2019. To-date OM reviews on SNA have focussed on discussing archetypal supply chains, what differentiates this study is the focus on how value was created in other forms of chains and operations.

Findings

This study reveals that current SNA adoption in OM is dominated by a manufacturing style focus on linear, sequential value creation, with a resulting focus only on sequential interdependence. SNA studies on reciprocally co-ordinated value creation (e.g. many service and network operations) are shown to have been neglected and are linked to a new agenda on contemporary management issues.

Research limitations/implications

Beyond encouraging the use of SNA, this study seeks to re-orient SNA approaches towards how contemporary services and networks create value.

Originality/value

Through adopting a unique combination of approaches and frameworks, this study challenges extant work to offer a substantially revised agenda for SNA use in Operations and Supply Chain Management.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2020

Yu-Sheng Su, Chien-Linag Lin, Shih-Yeh Chen and Chin-Feng Lai

The purpose of this paper is to use bibliometric analysis to identify the current state of the academic literature regarding social network analysis (SNA) and analyze its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use bibliometric analysis to identify the current state of the academic literature regarding social network analysis (SNA) and analyze its knowledge base such as research authors, research countries, document type, keyword analysis and subject areas.

Design/methodology/approach

Bibliometric analysis is used and furthermore, Lotka’s and Bradford’s law is applied to perform author productivity analyses in this field during 1999 and 2018, respectively, in turn, discovering historical vein and research tendency in the future.

Findings

It appears that the research on SNA has been very popular and still in the highly mature period. So far, the USA takes the lead among the published paper. The top 2 subject areas are “Computer Science” and “Business Economics.” The primary journal that SNA articles were published is Computers in Human Behavior. SNA has been related to many research areas, such as “Social network analysis,” “Computer-mediated communication,” “Online learning,” “Social Network” and “Community of inquiry.” Finally, Kolmogorov–Smirnov (K-S) test proved that the frequency indexes of author productivity distribution certainly followed Lotka’s law.

Research limitations/implications

First, the productivity distribution may inform researchers and scholars of current issues and development of SNA. Second, the study proposed a theoretical model, based on Lotka’s law, for author productivity analysis of SNA, which can serve as reference for different areas of study in the evaluation of author productivity models. Also, in order to allow researchers to gain in-depth insights, this study aimed to report the most published institutions and keep track of the growth and trend of author productivity, by which scholars in related fields are provided with more opportunities for academic communication and technological cooperation.

Originality/value

This research on the productivity distribution of SNA may inform researchers and scholars of current issues and development of SNA. The findings report the major publication outlets and related discussion issues about SNA. Such information would be valuable for related authors, who are writing the manuscript on SNA, and also for practitioners, who may be interested in applying the theory or ideas of SNA.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Barbara K. Wichmann and Lutz Kaufmann

The purpose of this paper is to investigate when and how to best use social network analysis (SNA) in the supply chain management (SCM) discipline. In doing so, the study…

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3146

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate when and how to best use social network analysis (SNA) in the supply chain management (SCM) discipline. In doing so, the study identifies SCM phenomena that have been examined from a social network perspective (SNA approach) in the SCM literature and highlights additional SCM phenomena that would be worth investigating using social network research. Then, the study critically investigates the application of SNA as a methodology (SNA method), with the goal of assessing and mitigating methodological risks in future studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This study carries out a systematic literature review of articles published in 11 top-tier SCM journals over a 20-year period.

Findings

First, while social network research has gained momentum especially since 2010, scholars are not yet entirely aware of the many possibilities the SNA approach offers to the SCM field. Second, expanded possibilities also hold for the development of SNA as a method.

Originality/value

The paper guides future SCM research by investigating when SNA is the right approach to use and how SNA as a method should be performed. Theoretically richer and practically more relevant research should result.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 46 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Agnieszka Sitko‐Lutek, Supakij Chuancharoen, Arkhom Sukpitikul and Kongkiti Phusavat

The paper aims to examine existing information flows formally and informally within a customer complaint handling process, and to identify possible improvement areas to…

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3238

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine existing information flows formally and informally within a customer complaint handling process, and to identify possible improvement areas to strengthen the effectiveness of this process in the workplace. These objectives are derived from the fact more than 80 percent of complaints have taken longer than the targeted timeframe during the past two years at the plant under study. The study is part of the plant's overall efforts in improving quality and customer satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology involves document reviews (i.e. a customer complaint handling procedure), discussion groups and interviews, and the use of the UCInet software for the social network analysis or SNA formulation. Key features such as connection strength, point connectivity, and degree centrality are examined.

Findings

The SNA shows that everybody associated with this process is connected. For a potential downside, customer service and quality assurance engineers appear to be critical. Their roles and responsibilities imply that, in addition to becoming technical experts, they have to be responsive and active in disseminating information to other staffs. Furthermore, if an engineer in charge of process engineering is absent or does not pass along information, at least four staffs will be disconnected from the network. Process engineering leader is also viewed as critical. He should actively participate and constantly engage in resolving a customer complaint.

Research limitations/implications

The SNA can compliment process improvement by focusing on the roles and the importance of key persons within a process. The reason is that an improvement should focus on both a procedure (i.e. step‐by‐step activities and tasks) and persons (e.g. connectivity, interaction, and information bottleneck position). In other words, the paper underlines potential applications of the SNA on strengthening a quality management system (i.e. ISO 9001:2008). Therefore, the SNA, given its flexible applications, can emerge as an important management tool in the areas of quality management.

Practical implications

All top executives from the quality and reliability, and manufacturing functions view the SNA positively. The findings help them visualize the current practices at all levels when dealing with a customer complaint and identify the areas in which more attentions have to be made for a more effective process on complaint handling. For example, customer service engineer should be in the contact with all persons dealing with the complaint handling process. Process engineer leader needs to become more proactive in sharing a complaint and in checking its status more constantly.

Originality/value

The case study highlights the importance of the SNA when attempting to improve an operational process that requires two or more functions working together.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 110 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2013

Louise Cooke and Hazel Hall

This paper aims to review the value of social network analysis (SNA) as a method appropriate to LIS research. SNA is used to investigate the effectiveness of a framework…

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1323

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the value of social network analysis (SNA) as a method appropriate to LIS research. SNA is used to investigate the effectiveness of a framework of methods adopted by the DREaM project to develop researcher-practitioner networks.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a review of the literature on SNA, the paper reports longitudinal research from a whole population sample of the DREaM cadre of LIS researchers. Data were collected using a questionnaire at the start of the first DREaM project workshop, and at the final workshop. Data were analysed using Ucinet 6 software, and network diagrams were visualised using the Netdraw package.

Findings

Findings demonstrate that the combination of linked workshops and use of social media throughout the DREaM project was successful in increasing the density of the researcher networks, forging new connections among participants. SNA was found to be a useful technique in investigating network development.

Research limitations/implications

There is scope for further longitudinal research to investigate the sustainability and strength of the new network links forged.

Originality/value

The use of SNA in the context of the development of researcher networks is novel in LIS research. The findings from this project indicate the potential of the DREaM methodology as a replicable framework for developing further research networks in other contexts. This paper represents a unique contribution in demonstrating through the use of SNA the extent of the extension of research networks afforded by the DREaM methodology.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 69 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2019

Zhasmina Tacheva and Natalie Simpson

The purpose of this paper is to promote social network analysis (SNA) methodology within the humanitarian research community, surveying its current state of the art and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to promote social network analysis (SNA) methodology within the humanitarian research community, surveying its current state of the art and demonstrating its utility in analyzing humanitarian operations.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive survey of the related literature motivates a proposed agenda for interested researchers. Analysis of two humanitarian networks in Afghanistan demonstrates the use and utility of SNA, based on secondary data. In the second case study, the use of random graphs to detect network motifs is demonstrated using Monte Carlo simulation to create the benchmark null sets.

Findings

SNA is an adaptable and highly useful methodology in humanitarian research, quantifying patterns of community structure and collaboration among humanitarian organizations. Network motifs suggesting distinct affinity between particular agencies within humanitarian clusters are observed.

Research limitations/implications

The authors summarize common challenges of using SNA in humanitarian research and discuss ways to alleviate them.

Practical implications

Practitioners can use SNA as readily as researchers, to visualize existing networks, identify areas of concern and better communicate observations.

Social implications

By making SNA more accessible to a humanitarian research audience, the authors hope its ability to capture complex, dynamic relationships will advance understanding of effective humanitarian relief systems.

Originality/value

To the best of knowledge, it is the first study to conduct a systematic analysis of the application of SNA in empirical humanitarian research and outline a concrete SNA-based research agenda. This is also a currently rare instance of a humanitarian study using random graphs to assess observed SNA measures.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2021

Nandun Madhusanka Hewa Welege, Wei Pan and Mohan Kumaraswamy

Applications of social network analysis (SNA) are evidently popular amongst scholars for mapping stakeholder and other relational networks in improving the sustainability…

Abstract

Purpose

Applications of social network analysis (SNA) are evidently popular amongst scholars for mapping stakeholder and other relational networks in improving the sustainability of construction activities and the resulting built environment. Nevertheless, the literature reveals a lack of thorough understanding of optimal SNA applications in this field. Therefore, this paper aims to convey a comprehensive critical review of past applications of SNA in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

95 relevant journal papers were initially identified from the “Web of Science” database and a bibliometric analysis was carried out using the “VOS Viewer” software. The subsequent in-depth review of the SNA methods, focussed on 24 specifically relevant papers selected from these aforesaid 95 papers.

Findings

A significant growth of publications in this field was identified after 2014, especially related to topics on stakeholder management. “Journal of Cleaner Production”, “International Journal of Project Management” and “Sustainability” were identified as the most productive sources in this field, with the majority of publications from China. Interviews and questionnaires were the popular data collection methods while SNA “Centrality” measures were utilised in over 70% of the studies. Furthermore, potential areas were noted, to improve the mapping and thereby provide useful information to managers who could influence relevant networks and consequentially better sustainability outcomes, including those enhanced by collaborative networks.

Originality/value

Closer collaboration has been found to help enhance sustainability in construction and built environment, hence attracting research interest amongst scholars on how best to enable this. SNA is established as a significant methodological approach to analysing interrelationships and collaborative potential in general. In a pioneering application here, this paper initiates the drawing together of findings from relevant literature to provide useful insights for future researchers to comprehensively identify, compare and contrast the applications of SNA techniques in construction and built environment management from a sustainability viewpoint.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2019

Pedro Pablo Cardoso Castro and Angela Espinosa

The purpose of this is to explore the potential of the combined use of the viable system model (VSM) and social network analysis (SNA) to identify organizational pathologies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this is to explore the potential of the combined use of the viable system model (VSM) and social network analysis (SNA) to identify organizational pathologies.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a well-documented case study based on an academic consultancy intervention and Action Research Project, participative methods for the diagnostic of the VSM and questionnaires for the collection of connectivity data for the SNA were used to develop a heuristic to integrate these two tools and identify organizational pathologies.

Findings

This study provides empirical evidence of the benefits of the combined use of SNA to enhance the identification of organizational pathologies in VSM interventions, by providing an additional qualitative and quantitative framework for the interpretation of findings coming from VSM organizational diagnostics.

Research limitations/implications

This work explores some analytic routines of SNA frequently used in management. The validation is constrained to the nature of the data set from a case study. The document invites to a discussion of further and more advanced applications on the integration of the VSM and SNA.

Practical implications

The enhanced identification of organizational pathologies can contribute to the emerging new interest in applications of the VSM in management, providing robustness to the structural analysis of organizations.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a guideline to exploit the potential of the combined use of SNA and VSM. It opens new avenues for the study of organizational pathologies.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2009

Andrea Kasztler and Karl‐Heinz Leitner

Within the context of intellectual capital (IC) reporting, social network analysis (SNA) is applied to identify driving factors, which allows it to control the development…

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1882

Abstract

Purpose

Within the context of intellectual capital (IC) reporting, social network analysis (SNA) is applied to identify driving factors, which allows it to control the development of intellectual capital. Hence, the aim of the paper is to address an important weakness of established methods for IC management, i.e. their inability to cope with interdependencies between different elements.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes the method of SNA and its ability to identify IC value drivers. Thereby, the relationships between different key success factors and organisational results are represented as a graph and their interactions are analysed by specific SNA indicators with the aim of identifying appropriate IC control factors. The experience with the proposed new method gained within a vocational education and training centre in Austria during the implementation of an intellectual capital report is presented to illustrate the new method.

Findings

The newly introduced approach delivers new kinds of information for management control in an organisation and leads to different selection of indicators than only applying the classical sensitivity model.

Practical implications

The paper introduces a new management method for practitioners. Compared to traditional methods such as strategy maps, managers are able to consider interdependencies systematic and indirect effects between factors when selecting control measures.

Originality/value

To the authors' knowledge it is the first time that the SNA technique has been used for selecting management control factors based on identified cause‐effect relationships.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Juhwan Kim, Sunghae Jun, Dong-Sik Jang and Sangsung Park

Patent contains vast information on developed technologies because of the patent system. So, it is important to analyze patent data for understanding technologies. Most…

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1086

Abstract

Purpose

Patent contains vast information on developed technologies because of the patent system. So, it is important to analyze patent data for understanding technologies. Most previous studies on patent analysis were focused on the technology itself. Their research results lacked the consideration of products. But the patent analysis based on products is crucial for company because a company grows by sales of competitive products. The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel methodology of patent analysis for product-based technology. This study contributes to the product development strategy of a company.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary goal for developing technology is to release a new product. So it is important to analyze the technology based on the product. In this study, the authors analyze Apple’s technologies based in iPod, iPhone, and iPad. In addition, the authors propose a new methodology to analyze product-based technology. The authors call this an integrated social network mining (ISNM). In the ISNM, the authors carry out a social network analysis (SNA) according to each product of Apple, and integrate all SNA results of iPod, iPhone, and iPad using the technological keywords.

Findings

In this case study, the authors analyze Apple’s technologies according to Apple’s innovative products, such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. From the ISNM results of Apple’s technology, the authors can find which technological detail is more important in overall structure of Apple’s technologies.

Practical implications

This study contributes to the management of technology including new product development, technological innovation, and research and development planning. To know the technological relationship between whole technologies based on products can be the source of intensification of technological competitiveness.

Originality/value

Most of studies on technology analysis were focused on patent technology itself. Though one of their research goals was to develop new product, they had their limits considering the products because they did not use the technology information in the technology analysis. The originality of this research is to use the product information in technology analysis using the proposed ISNM.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 117 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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