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The purpose of this paper is to review the post‐1996 literature of information science and other disciplines for the application of social network theory and social network…
The purpose of this paper is to review the post‐1996 literature of information science and other disciplines for the application of social network theory and social network analysis to research that provides an understanding of information environments.
The literature review involved a content analysis of 373 articles retrieved from five electronic journal databases offering broad disciplinary coverage, and a selection of nine peer‐reviewed electronic access journals in information science. Each database was limited to academic or peer reviewed journals and searched using two query phrases: social network theory (SNT) and social network analysis (SNA).
The paper demonstrates the growth of interest by information science and other disciplines in research that applies social network theory and utilizes social network analysis, indicating what research approaches and major focus trends differentiate the disciplines.
The search phrases overlook articles using social networks as the only key phrase for indexing. However, the intention was to examine the application of a theoretical concept and specific methodology, so the terms used were appropriate for this purpose.
The paper identifies opportunities to apply social network theory and social network analysis to the study of the exchange of information resources.
The paper demonstrates that information science could advance valuable contributions to an understanding of information behavior using social network theory and social network analysis as a vehicle to connect with a significant body of existing research in other disciplines.
This chapter analyzes the ways that individuals develop person-to-group ties. The chapter reviews the development and evidentiary basis of the theory of relational…
This chapter analyzes the ways that individuals develop person-to-group ties. The chapter reviews the development and evidentiary basis of the theory of relational cohesion, the affect theory of social exchange, and the theory of social commitments.
We survey twenty-five years of published literature on these theories, and review unpublished theoretical tests and extensions that are currently in progress.
The research program has grown substantially over the past twenty-five years to encompass more varied and diverse phenomena. The findings indicate that structural interdependencies, repeated exchanges, and a sense of shared responsibility are key conditions for people to develop affective ties to groups, organizations, and even nation-states.
The research implies that if people are engaged in joint tasks, they attribute positive or negative feelings from those tasks to their local groups (teams, departments) and/or to larger organizations (companies, communities). To date, empirical tests have focused on microlevel processes.
Our work has practical implications for how managers or supervisors organize tasks and work routines in a way to maximize group or organizational commitment.
This research helps to understand problems of fragmentation that are faced by decentralized organizations and also how these can be overcome.
Originality/Value of the Chapter
The chapter represents the most complete and comprehensive review of the theory of relational cohesion, the affect theory of social exchange, and the theory of social commitments to date.
Is social network analysis just measures and methods with no theory? We attempt to clarify some confusions, address some previous critiques and controversies surrounding…
Is social network analysis just measures and methods with no theory? We attempt to clarify some confusions, address some previous critiques and controversies surrounding the issues of structure, human agency, endogeneity, tie content, network change, and context, and add a few critiques of our own. We use these issues as an opportunity to discuss the fundamental characteristics of network theory and to provide our thoughts on opportunities for future research in social network analysis.
The research community currently employs four very different versions of the social network concept: A social network is seen as a set of socially constructed role…
The research community currently employs four very different versions of the social network concept: A social network is seen as a set of socially constructed role relations (e.g., friends, business partners), a set of interpersonal sentiments (e.g., liking, trust), a pattern of behavioral social interaction (e.g., conversations, citations), or an opportunity structure for exchange. Researchers conventionally assume these conceptualizations are interchangeable as social ties, and some employ composite measures that aim to capture more than one dimension. Even so, important discrepancies often appear for non-ties (as dyads where a specific role relation or sentiment is not reported, a specific form of interaction is not observed, or exchange is not possible).
Investigating the interplay across the four definitions is a step toward developing scope conditions for generalization and application of theory across these domains.
This step is timely because emerging tools of computational social science – wearable sensors, logs of telecommunication, online exchange, or other interaction – now allow us to observe the fine-grained dynamics of interaction over time. Combined with cutting-edge methods for analysis, these lenses allow us to move beyond reified notions of social ties (and non-ties) and instead directly observe and analyze the dynamic and structural interdependencies of social interaction behavior.
Originality/Value of the Paper
This unprecedented opportunity invites us to refashion dynamic structural theories of exchange that advance “beyond networks” to unify previously disjoint research streams on relationships, interaction, and opportunity structures.
This paper works at the intersections of affect control theory, expectation states theory, and social influence network theory. First, we introduce social influence network…
This paper works at the intersections of affect control theory, expectation states theory, and social influence network theory. First, we introduce social influence network theory into affect control theory. We show how an influence network may emerge from the pattern of interpersonal sentiments in a group and how the fundamental sentiments that are at the core of affect control theory (dealing with the evaluation, potency, and activity of self and others) may be modified by interpersonal influences. Second, we bring affect control theory and social influence network theory to bear on expectation states theory. In a task-oriented group, where persons’ performance expectations may be a major basis of their interpersonal influence, we argue that persons’ fundamental sentiments may mediate effects of status characteristics on group members’ performance expectations. Based on the linkage of fundamental sentiments and interpersonal influence, we develop an account of the formation of influence networks in groups that is applicable to both status homogeneous and status heterogeneous groups of any size, whether or not they are completely connected, and that is not restricted in scope to task-oriented groups.
Drawing on the literature regarding the social network and stock investment, this paper aims to focus on the use of the social network on stock ownership decisions at…
Drawing on the literature regarding the social network and stock investment, this paper aims to focus on the use of the social network on stock ownership decisions at individual levels. This paper also attempts to shed light on potential mediators of the relationship between the social network and stock ownership.
To determine the relationship between stock ownership and using the social network, logistic regression was used. In order to isolate the effect of using hs on stock ownership, a decomposing method was adopted.
The findings provide evidence of the positive contribution of the use of social networks in stock ownership. Personal characteristics, such as household net worth, homeownership, education level and risk tolerance, may play a vital role in influencing individuals' decisions regarding stock investment. In addition, this study contributes to our understanding of income's mediating role in stock investment decisions.
First, the authors contribute theoretically by drawing from the assumptions of social networking contagion theory, social influence theory, and social capital theory. Second, we explored potential mediators of the relationship between the social network and stock ownership. Third, this study complements the literature in incorporating the social network in business, financial professionals to be exact.
To advance knowledge about the relationship between small firm networks and social capital by considering the network experiences of women business owners. To engage in…
To advance knowledge about the relationship between small firm networks and social capital by considering the network experiences of women business owners. To engage in such research, the paper proposes a conceptual model of business owner networking which is informed by social support theory.
To develop a conceptual model of business owner networking the paper reviews extant small business network research and argues that, while network theory can provide an understanding of the impact which social capital may have on the entrepreneurial process, a concentration on quantitative methodologies has restricted understanding of this. To address the gender bias in small firm network research the paper integrates social support theory into a conceptual model of business owner networks.
The conceptual model proposed recognises the interplay between network structures, interactions and contents and argues that consideration of these three network dimensions may provide insights into the impact of gender on business owner networks, social capital and experiences of business ownership. The paper also discusses the methodological implications of this model and proposes a research agenda for future business owner network research.
The paper addresses a recognised gap in extant small business network research and proposes a conceptual model of business owner networking which may be better suited to and more reflective of women business owners' networking experiences.
The purpose of this paper is to advocate that case study research needs to renew itself and employ its full potential as an innovative theory‐generating methodology in…
The purpose of this paper is to advocate that case study research needs to renew itself and employ its full potential as an innovative theory‐generating methodology in management disciplines; and to propose that a viable strategy for such renewal is to exploit the power of case study research and network theory as supplementary methodologies.
The paper is a reflective and synthesising comparative study.
If one steps down from the tip of the iceberg and inspects the underwater properties of case study research and network theory a common core is found: the recognition of complexity. The methodologies supplement each other, case study research primarily using verbal language and qualitative data, while network theory uses a nodes‐and‐links language that opens up for verbal, graphic and mathematical treatment. Case study research is primarily associated with qualitative research in social sciences and network theory with quantitative research in both social and natural sciences. By abolishing the unfortunate categories of qualitative/quantitative and natural sciences/social sciences that have been set against each other, and letting them join forces for a common goal – to learn about life – people open up for methodological creativity.
By comparing case study research with network theory on a fundamental level, the paper offers a novel perspective on research. It is a contribution to an overriding desire to improve the understanding of management and society.
Social networks provide the architecture to facilitate important socio-emotional and task related exchanges within groups. However, researchers have just begun to explore…
Social networks provide the architecture to facilitate important socio-emotional and task related exchanges within groups. However, researchers have just begun to explore how relationships form in groups comprised of individuals who differ on one or more dimensions. This paper investigates the role of social categorization and social network theories on the formation of social networks within diverse groups. We suggest that each perspective offers an alternative, but incomplete, understanding of how relationships may arise in diverse groups. Specifically, we integrate these two perspectives to provide a more complete understanding of how different types of diversity impact tie formation and allow individuals in diverse groups to achieve their socio-emotional and task-related objectives.