Learning Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, 6960 Readings

Posts Tagged ‘social networks

Time-Dependent Complex Networks

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We develop a new approach to the study of  the dynamics of link utilization in complex networks using data of empirical social networks. Counter to the perspective that nodes have particular roles, we find roles change dramatically from day to day. “Local hubs” have a power law degree distribution over time, with no characteristic degree value. We further study the dynamics of local motif structure in time-dependent networks, and find recurrent patterns that might provide empirical evidence for cycles of social interaction. Our results imply a significant reinterpretation of the concept of node centrality and network local structure in complex networks, and among other conclusions suggest that interventions targeting hubs will have significantly less effect than previously thought.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

February 26, 2015 at 10:00 am

Building a Network Theory of Social Capital

This paper’s purpose is to review social capital as discussed in the literature, identify controversies and debates, consider some critical issues, and propose conceptual and research strategies in building a theory. I will argue that such a theory and the research enterprise must be based on the fundamental understanding that social capital is captured from embedded resources in social networks . Deviations from this understanding in conceptualization and measurement lead to confusion in analyzing causal mechanisms in the macro- and micro-processes. It is precisely these mechanisms and processes, essential for an interactive theory about structure and action, to which social capital promises to make contributions . By considering social capital as assets in networks, the paper will discuss some issues in conceptualizations, measurements, and causal mechanisms (the factors leading to inequality of social capital and the returns following investments in social capital) . A proposed model will follow . The paper will conclude by calling attention to the rise of a new form of social capital, cybernetworks, and briefly suggesting how research on this topic promises to make important contributions to the research enterprise .

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

February 23, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Knowledge Sharing over Social Networking Systems

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Previous research has focused heavily on community communications as they occur in e.g.
communities of practice. Still, as indicated by the concept of networked individualism, contacts are becoming more networked in nature and group membership is transient. The research presented here yields to the call of Garton et al to move away from the study of communication taking place only in groups and to also investigate the potential of computer-mediated communication to support interaction in unbound and sparsely-knit social networks. As a consequence, in chapters 5 and 6, I’ve adopted a research method which takes the relationship between people as the basic unit of analysis. In conclusion, as work practice in Western economies is evolving towards knowledge work, and knowledge work rests heavily on knowledge sharing, the combination of networked individualism and knowledge sharing seems a relevant subject of study.

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Innovation in Socio-Cultural Context

Innovation – the process of obtaining, understanding, applying, transforming, managing and transferring knowledge – is a result of human collaboration, but it has become an increasingly complex process, with a growing number of interacting parties involved. Lack of innovation is not necessarily caused by lack of technology or lack of will to innovate, but often by social and cultural forces that jeopardize the cognitive processes and prevent potential innovation. This book focuses on the rule of social capital in the process of innovation: the social networks and the norms; values and attitudes (such as trust) of the actors; social capital as both bonding and bridging links between actors; and social capital as a feature at all spatial levels, from the single inventor to the transnational corporation. Contributors from a wide variety of countries and disciplines explore the cultural framework of innovation through empirics, case studies and examination of conceptual and methodological dilemmas.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

February 12, 2015 at 11:55 am

Emotional Contagion through Social Networks

Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory experiments, with people transferring positive and negative emotions to others. Data from a large real-world social network, collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks, although the results are controversial. In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others’ positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

June 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Empowerment and Online Social Networking

The purpose of this chapter is to apply new theoretical constructions to the unique situation of online social networks by investigating the issue of personal and collective empowerment. To better illustrate the applicability of the new theoretical constructions, ideas of identity, false consciousness, and collective intelligence are addressed to demonstrate the tensions in and among the realities of online social networks and their ability to empower individuals and collectivities or to delude those same people into thinking that online social networks enable empowerment.

Social networking is no doubt an important component in empowering individuals, collectivities, and communities – but, while social networks constitute an interesting wedge by which to examine notions of personal or collective power, we need to see that this type of empowerment can only take place if supported by multiple agents in the process of change. Contemporary theories like web theory, network theory, and systems theory all help us understand the relationships between and among human users and technologies – particularly when examined from perspectives of architecture and control (including control by corporations, governments, and other institutions), but the empowerment of the individual is analogous to the power of digital communication, conveying a temporary or ephemeral way of knowing, unless the larger cybernetic system is constantly reinforced by multiple lenses of interpretation. Only then, over time, can we attempt to know or evaluate whether our consciousness has been changed by or through empowerment – or whether we fall into a false consciousness that eludes and deludes our true understanding of meaning.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

May 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Growth of Collective Intelligence by Linking Knowledge Workers through Social Media

Collective intelligence can be defined, very broadly, as groups of individuals that do things collectively, and that seem to be intelligent. Collective intelligence has existed for ages. Families, tribes, companies, countries, etc., are all groups of individuals doing things collectively, and that seem to be intelligent. However, over the past two decades, the rise of the Internet has given upturn to new types of collective intelligence. Companies can take advantage from the so-called Web enabled collective intelligence. Web-enabled collective intelligence is based on linking knowledge workers through social media. That means that companies can hire geographically dispersed knowledge workers and create so-called virtual teams of these knowledge workers (members of the virtual teams are connected only via the Internet and do not meet face to face). By providing an online social network, the companies can achieve significant growth of collective intelligence. But to create and use an online social network within a company in a really efficient way, the managers need to have a deep understanding of how such a system works.Thusthe purpose of this paper is to share the knowledge about effective use of social networks in organizations. The main objectives of this paper are as follows: to introduce some good practices of the use of social media in organizations, to analyze these practices and to generalize recommendations for a successful introduction and use of social media to increase collective intelligence of a company.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

April 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm

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