Social Network Analysis

Social Network Analysis

Peter Busch (Macquarie University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-501-6.ch007
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Abstract

If one seeks to measure (knowledge) flows amongst individuals, then the means of doing so are limited. Observation is one technique but is hindered by certain constraints. The first constraint is that the researcher cannot always place him or herself in the organisation for political or managerial reasons, especially if management is concerned that the work being conducted is confidential or “cutting edge” in nature. Secondly, people are known to modify their behaviour if being observed. Finally even if permission were to be given to observe workers and staff supposedly did not modify their behaviour, the nature of ICT work is largely desk or meeting-bound such that observation is not likely to reveal what it might in say occupations that were more “physical” or active in character. To that end, Social Network Analysis becomes a serious contender in seeking to examine knowledge flows between staff based on the relationships they have with one another.

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