R, Scientometrics, Knowledge Management, and Social Network Analysis

What can social networks identify?

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What can be expected from doing a social network analysis within an organization? What can be identified by analyzing the social networks?  According to The Leadership Alliance, here are some:

  • Bottlenecks in key business processes;
  • What would happen to a team if key members left;
  • Sources of informal influence;
  • Employees who connect to the far reaches of the organisation;
  • A good candidate for managing a key department or a new department;
  • Boundary spanners between contiguous network structures i.e. ‘silos of expertise’;
  • Degree of employee collaboration and interactivity;
  • “High Potentials”; and
  • Opinion leaders

Social Networks Analysis can also provide indicators for monitoring:

  • The informal leadership of specific groups;
  • Influencers on products/processes/services;
  • Product/process experts (‘hubs’ and ‘authorities’);
  • Fragmentation and ‘structural holes’; and
  • The ‘reach’ of people (their influence)

Note: A social network analysis can be effectively done for a network group size between 25-300 (according to Andrew Parker – the co-author of The Hidden Power of Social Networks). If we do it for a network group with size of more than 300, it can be to time consuming especially for the person who have big personal network and if we do it for a network group size of less than 25, the group would have already known the result of analysis anyway.


Written by Mat

March 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm

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