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The study of networks has been characterized by a dualism of methods. Researchers either use interpretive methods to explore the quality of social relations, or quantitative methods to assess the formal structure of network connectivity. However, because relational and structural characteristics of networks are interdependent, we present a method for Situational Organizational Network Analysis to overcome this dualism. In sequencing and integrating qualitative, quantitative and action research techniques, SONA is designed to help unveil authentic understand-ings of socially meaningful structure in compliance with research ethics. Drawing on a decade of research experience we describe the workings of this integrative method and elaborate on its valued-added compared to single methods. Building on selected applications, we demonstrate how the tailored use of SONA enhances cross-validation , supports original theory-building, and empowers reflexive transformative research.
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... While VNA is a recent term, there are numerous related approaches that seek to combine the strengths of structuralist and relationist network traditions. Quali-quantitative approaches such as network ethnography (Berthod et al. 2017), qualitative structural analysis (Herz et al. 2014) and situational organizational network analysis (Glückler et al. 2020) triangulate between narratives, visual, and quantitative relational information (see Jaspersen and Stein 2019). ...
... In the same way that environmental science alters the landscapes we study (Law 2018), the effects of creating and analyzing networks can have real-world impacts on the people and institutions they represent. For example, the conceptualization of structural holes led to a change in the way businesses manage their personnel (Glückler et al. 2020), and scientometric techniques are regularly misused by neoliberal university administrations and publishers in the political economy of academic rankings and impact evaluation (Gingras 2016;Stengers and Muecke 2018). In acknowledging this reality, CPG scholars should pay particularly close attention to the "small-p" politics involved in the conceptualization of our own and others' networks, as what is defined as a node and a tie can have major implications for the resulting network patterns (Gibadullina et al. 2021). ...
Critical physical geography (CPG) calls for integrative research on material landscapes and the socio-political dynamics of scientific knowledge production. Network analysis, a rich tradition of tools and approaches for analyzing relational information, has seen little use in the CPG literature to date. This represents a fruitful opportunity, as many of CPG's core interests—knowledge politics, histories of scientific concepts, and ecosocial relations—can be effectively analyzed using network techniques. In this article, I argue for adapting network approaches to CPG. First, I provide an overview of various network concepts, approaches, and their origins. I then discuss bibliometric network techniques for “science mapping” including co-word, co-authorship, and citation analyses. Next, I describe discourse network analysis, a recent mixed-method approach from political science. Finally, I discuss overlaps with emerging approaches from qualitative and visual network analysis. In each section, I provide existing and hypothetical examples, as well as software and visualization techniques, that demonstrate how network approaches could add new insights to CPG and related scholarship. Linking CPG with the diverse traditions of network analysis has the potential to produce new empirical understandings and bring the field into conversation with a growing body of research that spans the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities.
... Vorab kann bereits festgehalten werden, dass ein besonderer Vorteil von SONA darin besteht, das Forschungsdesign flexibel an die jeweiligen Durchführungsbedingungen anpassen zu können (vgl. Glückler et al. 2020). Die Grundlage von SONA bildet eine relationale Methodologie "that aims not only (i) to capture the structure of connectivity, but also (ii) to grasp the contextuality of the networks as well as the meanings embedded in network interactions, and (iii) to engage with the field and its actors to support reflexive transformation" (Glückler et al. 2020, S. 122 [e]specially in small-scale applications, even a few in-depth interviews will prove valuable for capturing the context and diversity of meanings" (Glückler et al. 2020, S. 130). ...
... In einem fünften Schritt werden die Ergebnisse der einzelnen Analyseschritte mit den Netzwerkmitgliedern diskutiert, woran sich follow-up Interviews mit ausgewählten Netzwerkakteuren anschließen können. Der sechste und letzte Analyseschritt besteht in der Beratung bei der Implementierung von Änderungen (vgl.Glückler et al. 2020, S. 123-125).Allerdings bemerkenGlückler et al. (2020) selbst, dass die Implementierung der SONA Methode "comes with considerable costs in time and effort"(Glückler et al. 2020, S. 130). Die erhöhten Kosten der Analyse werden jedoch dadurch aufgewogen "that it [i.e. ...
Der Beitrag stellt die konzeptionelle Ausarbeitung eines sich in Planung befindenden Forschungsprojekts am Seminar für Genossenschaftswesen der Universität zu Köln dar. Im Rahmen dieses Projektes soll untersucht werden, welche Bedarfe in ländlichen Regionen bestehen und in welcher Hinsicht und in welchem Maße Genossenschaftsbanken als Netzwerkakteure im Rahmen endogener Entwicklungsstrategien zu Problemlösungen in unterschiedichen Bereichen der Regionalentwicklung beitragen.
... Despite its potential, the use of mixedmethods has been an exception rather than a rule in network research within human geography over the last decades. Combining qualitative and quantitative network analysis in mixed-method designs is still an emerging field (Crossley, 2010;Crossley and Edwards, 2016;Domínguez and Hollstein, 2014;Edwards, 2010;Glückler et al., 2020;González Canché, 2019;Nooraie et al., 2018). Recent approaches range from network ethnographies (Berthod et al., 2017), cultural network approaches (Edelmann, 2018), and the use of participant observation in formal network analysis (Conti and Doreian, 2010) to the 'quantitization' of qualitative content (Williams and Shepherd, 2017). ...
... Second, in a bifocal approach (Coviello, 2005), scholars rely on qualitative methods during data collection to capture the differential meanings of social relations, whereas they mix quantitative and qualitative methods only at the stage of data analysis. Third, qualitative and quantitative methods are used at both the stage of data collection and the stage of analysis to attain the full benefits from triangulation, a strategy adopted, for instance, in the 'Situative Organizational Network Analysis' approach (Glückler et al., 2020). Whereas this typology refers to different types of sequencing and mixing of qualitative and quantitative methods, we would like to highlight three strategies for trading-off the tension between structure and meaning and for ensuring internal validity and potential transferability of research findings on meaningful social structure. ...
Social network analysis has become a popular methodology in human geography. This article develops three propositions – connectivity, contextuality, and reflexivity – for relational analysis to overcome the dualism between universalist network science on the one hand and idiosyncratic network stories on the other. Building on a detailed meta-analysis of over 300 network studies published between 1990 and 2018, we offer a sympathetic critique of the actual use of network methods in human geography. To unleash further potential of network research, we propose several research strategies for more inclusive relational analysis, including informed pre-specification, triangulation, and communicative validation.
... In concluding this, however, we should not sacrifice the value of a detailed micro-relational analysis of the social process and the structural dynamics that these practices create. At their best, researchers conducting studies on civic organization and their practices should consider mixed-method designs that combine the best of both worlds (Small, 2011;Glückler, Panitz, & Hammer, 2020). In any case, it is worthwhile and necessary to explore the empirical nature and dynamics of social practices in civic organizations more deeply, rather than limiting the debate to normative accounts of their potential virtues and liabilities. ...
Time banks have become a popular type of civic organization constructed to facilitate egalitarian economic exchange through a community-bounded currency. Especially after the recent economic crises in Europe, the rise in the number of time banks has been accompanied by relative transience and sometimes short lifespans. We adopt a relational perspective to explore the dynamics of decline in the civic engagement of a time bank in southern Germany. Using methods of longitudinal social network analysis, we analyze the relational processes and individual trajectories of members within the emerging transaction network over a period of eight years. Rather than explaining why, we have found how relational trajectories of members through a structure of core and periphery have led to creeping decline in activity and membership. Given the repeated observation that time banks and other types of alternative economic practices are often characterized by considerable volatility and potential collapse, relational thinking and network analysis are especially suited to unpacking the underlying relational mechanisms that shape these outcomes of volatility and demise.
... Given the qualitative nature of the study, the early preliminary results improved the later research. For example, the preliminary results were discussed in online-meetings and workshops (see Glückler and Panitz, 2020). The research was complemented by comprehensive internet and media research. ...
Big Tech is driving a digital techno-economic paradigm, which has already profoundly changed parts of the world of work. This new paradigm has been characterized as 'digital Taylorism'. Our contribution speaks to the impact of Big Tech beyond its country of origin (USA), using the example of Amazon in Germany. In Germany, trade unions, works councils and associated employee-oriented organizations are involved in the production of social knowledge. We examine how this labour-oriented knowledge is generated and how it influences Amazon's power to shape the ‘human-technology configuration’.
... Its governance structure typifies shared governance with a jointly operated NAO (Provan & Kenis, 2008). I researched both organized networks according to the research procedure SONA-situational organizational network analysis (Glückler & Hammer, 2015;Glückler, Panitz, & Hammer, 2020)-and evaluated them for an extended period. SONA includes qualitative observation during personal and group interviews as well as quantitative data gathered with a standardized network survey and evaluated with methods of social network analysis. ...
The author of this article goes beyond acknowledging networks as a governance mode to elaborate on the actual forms of governance that convey legitimate and acceptable coordination. He advances the concept of lateral network governance in the empirical context of organized networks, in which organizations pool resources and join their interests in the pursuit of common goals. To solve the puzzle of having independent equals commit themselves to coordinating their actions, the author aims to overcome the traditional dualism between formal and informal mechanisms of governance. Instead, he conceives lateral network governance as a structure for the legitimate delegation of decision-making. He develops a social network analytic approach to assessing the relational distribution of legitimacy. With his empirical analysis of two case studies of inter-firm network organizations, he illustrates the degree to which the actual legitimacy distribution diverges from formal governance authority. Lateral network governance has practical implications for inter-organizational networks and network managers.
... We adopted a qualitative case study approach [84,85] as well as elements of the relational method of "situational organizational network analysis" (SONA) . We collected data during two stages of fieldwork in 2018 and 2019, covering five political-administrative regions of Chile. ...
We examine decision-making, shared authority, and pluralism as key characteristics for the effective co-management of natural resources. Drawing on the concept of network governance, we complement this approach by studying localized practices of governance that support existing and compensate for missing aspects in the regulation. The regime of territorial use rights for fisheries (TURF) in Chile is a recognized example of large-scale co-management that has given rise to local organizations that manage and exploit benthic resources. Based on multi-sited qualitative fieldwork across five regions, we analyze practices with respect to two governance objects: the deterrence of illegal fishing and the periodic assessment of the fisheries' biology fields. Our analysis shows that local fisher organizations have institutionalized informal practices of surveillance and monitoring to fill in the gaps of existing regulations. Although fisher organizations and consultants-the so-called management and exploitation areas for benthic resources (AMERB)-have managed to operate the TURF regime, they depend on the government to enforce regulations and receive public subsidies to cover the costs of delegated governance tasks. We suggest that governance effectiveness could benefit from delegating additional authority to the local level. This would enhance the supervision of productive areas and better adaptation of national co-management regulations to the specific geographical context.
This paper suggests that it is a timely task to aim at building better methods in economic geography. While economic geography is a vibrant field, it is characterized by methodological divides and fragmentations. In presenting a collection of five papers, we address these problems by suggesting to move forward in at least five directions: bridging the qualitative/quantitative divide, clarifying causality, selecting appropriate data, improving rigor, and ensuring high ethical standards.
This open access book focuses on theoretical and empirical intersections between governance, knowledge and space from an interdisciplinary perspective. The contributions elucidate how knowledge is a prerequisite as well as a driver of governance efficacy, and conversely, how governance affects the creation and use of knowledge and innovation in geographical context. Scholars from the fields of anthropology, economics, geography, public administration, political science, sociology, and organization studies provide original theoretical discussions along these interdependencies. Moreover, a variety of empirical chapters on governance issues, ranging from regional and national to global scales and covering case studies in Australia, Europe, Latina America, North America and South Africa demonstrate that geography and space are not only important contexts for governance that affect the contingent outcomes of governance blueprints. Governance also creates spaces. It affects the geographical confines as well as the quality of opportunities and constraints that actors enjoy to establish legitimate and sustainable ways of social and environmental co-existence.
Bridging the social networks, field methods and ethics literatures, I make the case that the process of reporting research findings is an ethical issue, and recommend elevating it in the research design. I draw on a reflective account of three research experiences with settings in, respectively, online health communities, economic organizations, and the mainstream media. I proceed in steps, discussing release of personal network results to individual participants, of whole network results to the researched community, and finally of general results to wider audiences, under a unifying idea that a reciprocity obligation underlies the reporting process. I claim that communication should follow an iterative rather than a linear approach to reach all relevant stakeholders, thereby mitigating the vulnerabilities that arise from research.
This article introduces the Culturally Meaningful Networks (CMN) approach. Following a pragmatist perspective of social mechanisms more broadly, it develops and demonstrates an approach to understanding networks that incorporates both structure and meaning and that leverages time to understand how these aspects influence each other. I apply this approach to investigate a longstanding puzzle about why some of those who leave military service for civilian life fare well, and others badly. In a mixed-methods analysis, I follow a sample of individuals moving through the transition from military to civilian life in the contemporary United Kingdom. I find that the higher the proportion of alters (i.e., “contacts”) with a military background in the networks of leavers before discharge, the worse they fare after discharge. The CMN approach helps me locate a specific structural embedding that explains the presence or absence of durable cultural frames that set the context for the actual experience of the transition and cause problems during it. Attention to the temporal unfolding of network structure and social meaning is essential to bringing out this finding. By re-embedding networks within people’s experiences over time, the CMN approach helps grasp the distinctions by which leavers understand their interactions. I conclude by arguing that the CMN approach has implications for network sociology and cultural sociology that go beyond this substantive case.
This is an account on peripherality, dissociation, and outsiders. It is, however, not a story about a marginal backwater region whose fate is sealed by geography and history; and it does not resonate with the standard narrative of regional suffering imposed by a lack of centrality. In this account, peripherality does not feature as destiny, but as the result of a deliberate choice to shield creativity and dissenting ideas from the mimetic pressures of the mainstream. Moreover, rather than as a static dualism, periphery and center are regarded as relationally constituted and functionally interdependent both with regard to the generation of novelty as well as to the valuation of creativity. This account demonstrates how self-chosen peripherality was leveraged to instigate an architectural movement that elevated outsiders to world-fame as Baukünstler, and that transformed a provincial Austrian region into an international center of architectural creativity.
Although social network analysis has gained popularity in economic geography over the last decade, most of these applications focused on analyzing the characteristics of and opportunities for single actors or regions within networks. Yet, many contemporary research challenges in economic geography center on questions regarding structural dynamics and their implications in entire networks for the collective outcomes involving
social actors. This special issue portrays three areas of structural methods for the analysis of entire networks: positional analysis and generalized blockmodeling, network evolution and dominant path analysis and multi-level network analysis. Moreover, these methods offer new ways of theorizing the organization and evolution of the space economy so as to enhance relational thinking in this field. Finally, we suggest there is
value in having more intensive exchanges, collaboration and cross-fertilization between economic geography and social network studies.
We use a new panel dataset to study the network of formal firm linkages within and across 52 aerospace clusters in North America and Europe. Our theoretical framework, built upon the knowledge-based cluster and global value chains literature, suggests that a reduction in spatial transaction costs has induced clusters to specialize in increasingly fine-grained value chain stages. This should cause the overall network to evolve from a geographically localized structure to a trans-local hierarchical structure that is stratified along value chain stages. Applying community structure detection techniques and organizing sub-networks by linkage type, we find empirical evidence in support of this proposition.
There is consensus among scholars and policy makers that knowledge is one of the key drivers of long-run economic growth. It is also clear from the literature that not all knowledge has the same value. However, too often in economic geography and cognate fields we have been obsessed with counting knowledge inputs and outputs rather than assessing the quality of knowledge produced. In this article we measure the complexity of knowledge, we map the distribution and the evolution of knowledge complexity in US cities, and we explore how the spatial diffusion of knowledge is linked to complexity. Our knowledge complexity index rests on the bimodal network models of Hidalgo and Hausmann. Analysis is based on more than two million patent records from the US Patent and Trademark Office that identify the technological structure of US metropolitan areas in terms of the patent classes in which they are most active between 1975 and 2010. We find that knowledge complexity is unevenly distributed across the United States and that cities with the most complex technological structures are not necessarily those with the highest rates of patenting. Citation data indicate that more complex patents are less likely to be cited than less complex patents when citing and cited patents are located in different metropolitan areas.
During the advent of digital technology, the market for stock photography has undergone radical transformations that have disrupted incumbent businesses and produced new divisions of labor. Picture agencies have responded to this challenge with a veritable proliferation of inter-firm alliances. In the attempt to understand this network boom, this paper develops a theoretical link between the concept of regular equivalence and its capacity to detect intra-industry divisions of labor. Based on a network survey of picture agencies in Germany, a prespecified generalized blockmodel yields a valid representation of an increasing functional specialization of new value stages that translates into an extended social and spatial division of labor in ways that challenge a dualist theory of the division of creative labor.
In this paper we make a methodological case for mixed method social network analysis (MMSNA). We begin by both challenging the idea, prevalent in some quarters, that mixing methods means combining incompatible epistemological or theoretical assumptions and by positing an ontological argument in favour of mixed methods. We then suggest a methodological framework for MMSNA and argue for the importance of 'mechanisms' in relational-sociological research. Finally, we discuss two examples of MMSNA from our own research, using them to illustrate arguments from the paper.
A general interest in the study of social practices has been spreading across a diversity of disciplines in organization and management research, relying mostly on rich ethnographic accounts of units or teams. What is often called the practice-turn, however, has not reached research on interorganizational networks. This is mainly due to methodological issues that call, in the end, for a mixed-method approach. This article addresses this issue by proposing a research design that balances well-established social network analysis with a set of techniques of organizational ethnography that fit with the specifics of interorganizational networks. In what we call network ethnography, qualitative and quantitative data are collected and analyzed in a parallel fashion. Ultimately, the design implies convergence during data interpretation, hereby offering platforms of reflection for each method toward new data collection and analysis. We discuss implications for mixed-method literature, research on interorganizational networks, and organizational ethnography.
Grundlage der Entwicklung von Lösungsansätzen für das Management organisierter Netzwerke sind einerseits ein angemessenes und gemeinsames Zielverständnis der Mitglieder, andererseits eine empirisch fundierte Bewertung der Rahmenbedingungen des Netzwerks sowie der potenziellen und realisierten Interaktionen zwischen den Unternehmen. Neben der Analyse formaler Aspekte der Netzwerkarchitektur (s. Kap. 3 und 4) erfordert ein zielführendes Netzwerkmanagement eine profunde Analyse der Netzwerkstruktur, d. h. der tatsächlichen Interaktionen in wirtschaftlichen Beziehungen und der Governance des Netzwerks. Nur aus der Kenntnis der tatsächlichen Beziehungen lässt sich eine Zahl von Unternehmen als Netzwerk erkennen und entsprechend bewerten. Und erst die Kenntnis der tatsächlichen Kooperationsstrukturen ermöglicht es, angemessene Konzepte und Maßnahmen zur Verbesserung der Zusammenarbeit und der Koordination der Interaktionen zu entwickeln. In diesem Kapitel diskutieren wir einige zentrale methodische Herausforderungen in der empirischen Analyse organisierter Netzwerke und entwickeln das spezifische Untersuchungsverfahren SONA
– situative organisatorische Netzwerkanalyse
(Glückler und Hammer 2011) – als Netzwerkzeug
(Sydow und Lerch 2011) für die empirische Analyse in Netzwerkfallstudien (s. Kap. 6, 8 und 17).
This article outlines a mixed method approach to social network analysis combining techniques of organizational history development, inductive data structuring, and content analysis to offer a novel approach for network data construction and analysis. This approach provides researchers with a number of benefits over traditional sociometric or other interpersonal methodologies including the ability to investigate networks of greater scope, broader access to diverse social actors, reduced informant bias, and increased capability for longitudinal designs. After detailing this approach, we apply the method on a sample of 143 new ventures and suggest opportunities for general application in entrepreneurship, strategic management, and organizational behavior research.
How can a firm increase its competitiveness? We would like to answer this question from a relational perspective that understands innovation as the result of collective effort and thus suggests the concept of the organised network. We argue that the purposeful development of organised networks enhances the individual entrepreneurial achievement and creates opportunities for collective innovation. In particular, we will try to explain which form of cooperation promises to be especially successful in order to enhance the competitiveness both of the individual members as well as the overall inter-firm network.
This report considers recent developments and ongoing debates around relational economic geography, and a growing body of work that has focused on economic practices as a means better to understand production processes and economic development. In particular, it examines the critical reaction to relational thinking within the subdiscipline, and the nature of the debate about the degree to which relational work is - and needs to be - regarded as distinct from more traditional approaches to economic geography. It then considers how relational economic geography has become inflected towards an epistemological and methodological focus on practice. It argues that this engagement with economic practices provides the basis to respond to some of the limitations identified with earlier work, and opens up fruitful new potential for theorizing the nature of agency in the space economy.
The increasing global extension of the division of creative labour challenges remote firms to develop the market intelligence necessary to satisfy demand preferences of spatially distant customers. We distinguish four socio-material situations of learning where each situation implies a specific combination of three basic social communication technologies: observation (Beobachtung), encounter (Begegnung), and relationship (Beziehung). This paper assesses the empirical importance of these communication technologies for the acquisition of market intelligence in stock photography, a sector of the creative industries. Our analysis is based on a unique global survey of the stock photo market as well as interviews with picture agencies conducted at several international congresses. Our findings demonstrate that picture agencies develop market intelligence predominantly through observation and relationships over distance rather than through temporary encounter. Although congresses and trade fairs have grown in number and size over the last decades, their primary function can be defined as a social relay: During congresses, picture agencies organize innumerable appointments to rewire their global partnerships which then, after being set in practice, become sources of relational market intelligence.
The importance of network structures for the transmission of knowledge and the diffusion of technological change has been recently emphasized in economic geography. Since network structures drive the innovative and economic performance of actors in regional contexts, it is crucial to explain how networks form and evolve over time and how they facilitate inter-organizational learning and knowledge transfer. The analysis of relational dependent variables, however, requires specific statistical procedures. In this paper, we discuss four different models that have been used in economic geography to explain the spatial context of network structures and their dynamics. First, we review gravity models and their recent extensions and modifications to deal with the specific characteristics of networked (individual level) relations. Second, we discuss the quadratic assignment procedure that has been developed in mathematical sociology for diminishing the bias induced by network dependencies. Third, we present exponential random graph models that not only allow dependence between observations, but also model such network dependencies explicitly. Finally, we deal with dynamic networks, by introducing stochastic actor-oriented models. Strengths and weaknesses of the different approach are discussed together with domains of applicability the geography of innovation studies.
Conflicting perspectives appear when thinking about the emergence of a cohesive transnational corporate network in Latin America. On the one hand, regional political integration, foreign investment growth, increased cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and cultural and linguistic homogeneity may have fostered transnational networks among Latin America's corporate elites. On the other hand, domestic-based business groups, family control and trade orientation to the USA may have hindered the emergence of a cohesive transnational corporate network in Latin America. Based on a network analysis of interlocking directorates among the 300 largest corporations in Latin America, I ask whether the region's corporate elites interconnect at the transnational level and form a cohesive transnational corporate network. I found few transnational interlocks, a lack of cohesion in the transnational corporate network and no regional leaders. Corporate elites in Latin America are not transnationally interconnected and so a cohesive transnational corporate network has not emerged. I discuss implications and avenues of future research.
This chapter contributes to the understanding of the adoption of controversial innovations in the context of organizational change. In situations of controversy, organizational change is likely to be resisted. The authors argue that the management-induced diffusion of new conventions and behaviors related to communication and cooperation in an organization depends on informal and lateral rather than formal and hierarchical networks of communication. In their empirical study on corporate change from technology to market-orientation in a medium-sized ophthalmological engineering company in southern Germany, the degree of convergence toward market-orientation depends on the social proximity to the promoters of innovation in an informal knowledge network. They find that social proximity to promoters in the formal network has no effect. Hence, in situations of controversy innovations are more likely to diffuse through informal relations of conviction than through formal relations of command
This article builds elements of a theory of peripheral innovation in transnational corporations. Although subsidiaries at the geographical periphery of the
global economy and at the organizational periphery of their headquarters often
contribute a negligible amount to the corporate global revenues, this article provides
evidence on the role of these peripheries in knowledge creation and in enforcing
controversial innovations. Based on an embedded and mixed-method case study of the
Argentinean subsidiary of the chemical corporation BASF that uses qualitative
interviews and a social network survey of knowledge sharing among employees,
this article develops three sets of propositions about contextual and network
opportunities for creating and enforcing innovations in the periphery of transnational
Social network analysis attracts increasing attention in economic geography. We claim social network analysis is a promising tool for empirically investigating the structure and evolution of inter-organizational interaction and knowledge flows within and across regions. However, the potential of the application of network methodology to regional issues is far from exhausted. The aim of our paper is twofold. The first objective is to shed light on the untapped potential of social network analysis techniques in economic geography: we set out some theoretical challenges concerning the static and dynamic analysis of networks in geography. Basically, we claim that network analysis has a huge potential to enrich the literature on clusters, regional innovation systems and knowledge spillovers. The second objective is to describe how these challenges can be met through the application of network analysis techniques, using primary (survey) and secondary (patent) data. We argue that the choice between these two types of data has strong implications for the type of research questions that can be dealt with in economic geography, such as the feasibility of dynamic network analysis.
In this paper, we study the formation of network ties between firms along the life cycle of a creative industry. We focus on three drivers of network formation: i) network endogeneity which stresses a path-dependent change originating from previous network structures, ii) five forms of proximity (e.g. geographical proximity) which ascribe tie formation to the similarity of actors' attributes; and (iii) individual characteristics which refer to the heterogeneity in actors capabilities to exploit external knowledge. The paper employs a stochastic actor-oriented model to estimate the - changing - effects of these drivers on inter-firm network formation in the global video game industry from 1987 to 2007. Our findings indicate that the effects of the drivers of network formation change with the degree of maturity of the industry. To an increasing extent, video game firms tend to partner over shorter distances and with more cognitively similar firms as the industry evolves.
We investigate the micro-connectivity drivers of network change in an underperforming industrial cluster in Argentina. Our analysis is based on data collected in two consecutive surveys, conducted in 2005 and 2012, of entrepreneurs in the electronics cluster in Córdoba. We find that social and institutional factors influence micro-connectivity choices at the local level, while firms that are more open to non-local knowledge have the tendency to behave like external stars, potentially limiting the flow of non-locally generated knowledge into the cluster network as it grows. We interpret these results using the intuitions from strain theory and suggest that strain may engender an 'everyone for themselves' mentality in the most open cluster firms as they seek to escape from a condition of underperformance. We posit, also, that local social and institutional ties are relevant for most cluster firms to survive, but are not sufficient for the cluster to thrive.
Wie können Netzwerke organisiert werden, um sowohl den einzelnen Mitgliedern Kooperationsgewinne zu ermöglichen als auch dauerhaften Wert und Zusammenhalt auf der Netzwerkebene zu schaffen? Das Buch richtet eine neue Perspektive auf die multilaterale Zusammenarbeit in organisierten Netzwerken. Anstelle das Netzwerk nur aus der Sicht des einzelnen Unternehmens zu betrachten, widmet sich dieses Buch insbesondere der Ebene des Netzwerks als Organisationsform. Das Autorenteam aus Wissenschaftlern, Unternehmens- und Rechtsberatern entwickelt und diskutiert neue Konzepte, um das Design und die Governance von Netzwerken erfolgreich zu gestalten und die Innovativität organisierter Netzwerke zu fördern. Im Mittelpunkt stehen die Konzepte des Netzwerkguts, der lateralen Governance und der Mikropolitik sowie Herausforderungen bei der Wahl der Rechtsform, der Koordinations- und Controllinginstrumente oder der Einführung von Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien in die Netzwerkarbeit. Auf der Grundlage der in diesem Buch entwickelten Methode der situativen organisatorischen Netzwerkanalyse analysiert das Buch in konkreten Fallstudien Netzwerke kleiner und mittlerer Unternehmen in Deutschland auf drei Ebenen: der Ebene der formellen Netzwerkarchitektur, der Ebene tatsächlicher Kooperationsstrukturen und der Ebene der Netzwerkakteure. Im Zuge mehrjähriger Forschungsbegleitung und Netzwerkberatung werden Erfahrungen und erprobte Konzepte in konkreten Projekten vorgestellt, um Unternehmensnetzwerke in ihrer Professionalisierung zu unterstützen. Das Buch nutzt interdisziplinäre Konzepte aus den Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften sowie der Informatik und entwickelt eine relationale Perspektive zur Analyse, zum Design und zur Steuerung von Unternehmensnetzwerken, die neue Ansätze für ein situatives und effektives Netzwerkmanagement anbieten.
This chapter discusses the nature of relational research designs that aim to overcome separations between different disciplinary perspectives within economic geography and create linkages to other academic fields. The relational approach is a comprehensive research perspective grounded in three principles of relationality of economic action: contextuality, path dependence, and contingency. Using the cases of manufacturing versus professional services clusters, it is shown that the relational approach does not proclaim a meta-theory of economic organization in space but provides a framework for contextual theorization, adjusted to the specific sectoral and technological contexts under investigation. Relational research designs across academic fields agree (i) that social relations between people and organizations are key to understanding the contemporary economy, (ii) that economic processes rest on the spatial and temporal interplay between regional and global networks, and (iii) that innovation and learning depend on simultaneous inter-firm, intra-organizational and community-based interactions and relations.
- This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
How are firms, networks of firms, and production systems organized and how does this organization vary from place to place? What are the new geographies emerging from the need to create, access, and share knowledge, and sustain competitiveness? In what ways are local clusters and global exchange relations intertwined and co-constituted? What are the impacts of global changes in technology, demand, and competition on the organization of production, and how do these effects vary between communities, regions, and nations? This book synthesizes theories from across the social sciences with empirical research and case studies in order to answer these questions and to demonstrate how people and firms organize economic action and interaction across local, national, and global flows of knowledge and innovation. It is structured in four clear parts. The first part looks at foundations of relational thinking. The next part is about relational clusters of knowledge. The third part looks at knowledge circulation across territories. The final part considers whether there is a relational economic policy. The book employs a relational framework, which recognizes values, interpretative frameworks, and decision-making practices as subject to the contextuality of the social institutions that characterize the relationships between the human agents.
This article takes a geographical interest in the upgrading of countries by adopting a micro-perspective of firms and inter-firm networks. We propose the concept of relational upgrading as complementary to the traditional upgrading of activities such as products, processes or functions. Based on a core–periphery model, we argue that countries may reap additional benefits when moving from peripheral to more central market positions. Drawing on methods of generalized blockmodeling, we demonstrate how formerly peripheral countries in the trade of stock photography have successfully upgraded their market positions over a period of 12 years through increasing integration of their firms in the global value network. The analysis contributes to a relational and comprehensive understanding of upgrading, which suggests combining the upgrading of both, activities and relational positions in global networks to reap additional benefits.
Digital technologies have enabled the geographical expansion of production and the distribution of creative goods and communication. Simultaneously, the number of trade fairs and congresses has increased. This rise of temporary encounters has led to theorizations of events as marketplaces, learning sites and field-configuring practices. This article elaborates on the metaphor of rewiring to propose and empirically demonstrate a further role of industry events for global business. Drawing on the case of the global stock photo trade, we use a unique survey to map the global network of sales partnerships as well as interviews conducted at international lead congresses to demonstrate how these events are enacted as social relays. Our findings demonstrate how temporary face-to-face contact facilitates long distance relationships between
organizations and how it dynamically shapes the global industry network. Thus, we contribute to closing the gap between social action at the micro level, organizational linkages at the meso level and the structure of global industry networks at the macro level.
One of the most powerful aspects of social network data is the fact that they can reproduce social relationships in a formal and comparable way. Relational matrices abstract from the hustle and bustle of everyday interaction, and systematise information in terms of presence or absence of ties expressing them in a directed or undirected, binary or valued form. While the formal approach represents an advantage of social network analysis, as it allows bracketing off the idiosyncratic and subjective content of social structures, the mathematization of the complex nature of social relationships has also been criticised for the lack of engagement with the subjective meaning and context of relationships. Such stream of critique has called for an increase of use of qualitative methods in social network research. The first goal of the paper is to address these critiques by rebalancing the argument and showing how social network analysis has always engaged with both formal and contextual aspects of social structures. The paper reviews some theoretical perspectives that discuss and systematise a mixed method approach, and explores the methodological advantages of using network visualizations together with qualitative interviews in the collection, analysis and interpretation of personal networks. The advantages of adopting a mixed method approach are illustrated over some examples of friendship networks of 23 single male and female people collected in Milan, Italy, in 2005. A classic name generator is used to reconstruct their egonets of friends, and the visualization is adopted as the input for in-depth interviews with specific attention devoted to the meaning of friendship relationships, the kind of resources they offer, the conflicts and constrains they entail, and how they have developed and evolved over time. By comparing information obtained respectively with name generators and in-depth interviews, the paper shows how the mix of data improves and specify the understanding of personal networks.
Introduction: The Problem of EmbeddednessOver-and Undersocialized Conceptions of Human Action in Sociology and EconomicsEmbeddedness, Trust, and Malfeasance in Economic LifeThe Problem of Markets and Hierarchies
The “performativity thesis” is the claim that parts of contemporary economics and finance, when carried out into the world by professionals and popularizers, reformat and reorganize the phenomena they purport to describe, in ways that bring the world into line with theory. Practical technologies, calculative devices and portable algorithms give actors tools to implement particular models of action. I argue that social network analysis is performative in the same sense as the cases studied in this literature. Social network analysis and finance theory are similar in key aspects of their development and effects. For the case of economics, evidence for weaker versions of the performativity thesis is quite good, and the strong formulation is circumstantially supported. Network theory easily meets the evidential threshold for the weaker versions. I offer empirical examples that support the strong (or “Barnesian”) formulation. Whether these parallels are a mark in favor of the thesis or a strike against it is an open question. I argue that the social network technologies and models now being “performed” build out systems of generalized reciprocity, connectivity, and commons-based production. This is in contrast both to an earlier network imagery that emphasized self-interest and entrepreneurial exploitation of structural opportunities, and to the model of action typically considered to be performed by economic technologies.
There are growing calls for social network analysis methods to be more extensively deployed in environmental governance practice. A key claim is that social network analysis can generate knowledge to build trust, enable consensus, and facilitate the dissemination of information necessary to make environmental protection ‘successful’. By bringing social network analysis into dialogue with heterodox social theories relevant to human geographers and cognate social scientists, this article destabilizes such claims. It is argued that the current application of social network analysis enacts a particular moral and political emphasis on resilience and participation, which readily works with the grain of hegemonic environmental governance.
Using grounded theory as an example, this paper examines three methodological questions that are generally applicable to all qualitative methods. How should the usual scientific canons be reinterpreted for qualitative research? How should researchers report the procedures and canons used in their research? What evaluative criteria should be used in judging the research products? The basic argument we propose is that the criteria should be adapted to fit the procedures of the method. We demonstrate how we have done this with grounded theory and suggest criteria for evaluating studies done in this mode. We suggest that other qualitative researchers might be similarly specific about their procedures and evaluative criteria.
In this article, based on a critical reading of the literature, as well as recent data that I have obtained by revisiting
a number of Turkish firms whose original case studies were published a few years ago, I make the claim that the concept of
upgrading, as conventionally conceived by the students of the apparel industry, has serious limitations. And then in considering
where we can go from here, I point to the potential of simply understanding and measuring the different capacities of profit
making and capital accumulation among firms—quite independently of whether they upgrade or not.
Social network research is widely considered atheoretical. In contrast, in this article I argue that network analysis often mixes two distinct theoretical frameworks, creating a logically inconsistent foundation. Relationalism rejects essentialism and a priori categories and insists upon the intersubjectivity of experience and meaning as well as the importance of the content of interactions and their historical setting. Formalism is based on a structuralist interpretation of the theoretical works of Georg Simmel. Simmel laid out a neo-Kantian program of identifying a priori categories of relational types and patterns that operate independently of cultural content or historical setting. Formalism and relationalism are internally consistent theoretical perspectives, but there are tensions between them. To pave the way for stronger middle-range theoretical development, I disaggregate the two approaches and highlight the contradictions that must be addressed or resolved for the construction of any general and inclusive theory.
In recent years there has been a growing interest in research approaches that can better inform policy and practice and lend to social action. This article describes four models of action-oriented research: action, participatory, empowerment, and feminist research. The historical roots, epistemological assumptions, agendas, and methodological strategies of each are discussed. Common features and distinguishing characteristics are examined. The article concludes by discussing implications derived from action-oriented research for family researchers and other social scientists interested in making their work more relevant to practice, policy, and social action.
In this article, I reassess the undeserved reputation of Inditex’s Zara as a ‘home-sewn exception to globalization’ for supposedly keeping manufacturing at home despite larger trends; and I use the occasion to make a case for rigorous, evidentially strong single-firm case studies. In the process, I draw attention to the manner in which the value-adding qualities of scholarly work are being judged in economic geography; and argue that the prioritization of novelty over unenhanced readings of realities may encourage case studies to be presented as more unique and exceptional than they actually are.
The article argues that the lack of convincing empirical evidence for the global economy as being subject to ‘command and control’ results from that contention being a neo-Marxist myth. First, imagining the global economy as being subject to ‘highly concentrated command’ through the function of some major cities as ‘strategic sites’ for the production of ‘command and control’ is traced back through several neo-Marxist authors to narrate its genesis, and to argue that the lack of evidence for that proposition is a consequence of those antecedents envisioning capitalism as a totalizing structure, thus making the assumption that it is subject to control and coordination from a distance. Second, Taylor's interlocking world city network model is forensically examined to explain that it is fallacious because it is a structuralism that, bedevilled by a sorites paradox, contains the further problem of containing no credible evidence for the existence of ‘command centres’. Finally, the article moves beyond neo-Marxism's key concepts by juxtaposing their assumptions with ethnographic results from social studies of finance, a manoeuvre which forges an understanding of cities as socio-technical assemblages and eventful multiplicities, beyond, inter alia, the baseless assumption that the global economy is subject to ‘command and control’.
Accepting that a given type of tie in a network may have multiple meanings, we propose that this heterogeneity of meaning leaves traces in the network's micro- and macrostructure. By analyzing the variegated structure of a historical network, along with multiple other ties connecting its participants, we infer how different available meanings of a given type of tie were dominant in different parts of the network and social space. In this way we make a methodological and empirical contribution to recent debates linking network structure and cultural meaning. Meaning diversity arises from actors’ differential exposure to distinctive social contexts, or “netdoms,” and differential embeddedness of their ties in other networks within a multiple-network social ecology. We illustrate our argument using a directed-tie network of 3590 personal loans involving 2223 actors in Renaissance Florence. Within the network, we find a strong component marked by complex microstructures of reciprocation and triangulation and actors’ frequent participation in business and civic administration. Outside the strong component, lending was sparser, unreciprocated, and frequently conducted within family, apparently according to traditional lending norms. We suggest ways in which our methodological approach to discerning variety in relational meaning using multiple-networks can be generalized to other cases.
Editor's Note. Three years ago, I invited Robert (Bob) Gephart to write a "From the Editors" column designed to help authors improve their chances of success when submitting qualitative research to AMJ. Judging from the increasing number of quali- tative studies that have been accepted and pub- lished in AMJ since that time, I would like to think that his article, "Qualitative Research and the Academy of Management Journal," has had a pos- itive impact. Continuing in this tradition, I asked Roy Sud- daby—an excellent reviewer (and author) of quali- tative research—to tackle another "big issue" that the editorial team has noticed with respect to qual- itative submissions to AMJ: overly generic use of the term "grounded theory" and confusion regard- ing alternative epistemological approaches to qual- itative research. Like Bob before him, Roy has, I believe, produced an analysis that will greatly ben- efit those who are relatively new to qualitative re- search or who have not yet had much success in getting their qualitative research published. Hope- fully, Roy's analysis will help even more authors to succeed, thus allowing AMJ and other journals to continue to increase the quality of insights pro- vided by rich qualitative studies of individual, or- ganizational, and institutional phenomena. Sara L. Rynes