Social Network Analysis and Leadership Networks

Bruce Hoppe, Claire Reinelt, Website, Mar 24, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The focus on 'leadership' networks bothers me, because networks are used by everyone, not just leaders. But this quibble set aside, I found this paper to be interesting and engaging. Following a typology of some different types of networks (peer, organizational, field-policy, collective) the authors offer an extended discussion regarding the evaluation of these networks. The conclusion - that there are no standards for evaluation - emerges easily, but the issues touched along the way are fascinating. For example, the authors show how network diagrams can mislead people (see especially the work on network equivalence and network density). And some criteria for connecting people - 'works with', 'friends' - might be vacuous. An excellent paper overall. Via Bruce Hoppe.
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