Professor of Strategy
Organizational network research is a field of study that examines how relationships between actors—individuals or organizations—affect important performance outcomes. The performance outcomes range from career success and creativity for individuals, to market share, financial performance, or the diffusion of practices in organizations. Network research also examines the factors that affect stability and change in individual relationships as well as of whole networks. Sociology is the greatest contributor to this field, while the other contributing disciplines include anthropology, social psychology, economics, and, most recently, physics and biology. Perhaps the biggest contribution of this field to our understanding of economics and society is the notion of “social capital”—the benefits that accrue to individuals or organizations as a result of their social relationships.