Six types of networks
In an extension of the ideas of social network analysis, Karen Stephenson's Quantum Theory of Trust, an article from Strategy+Business (4th Quarter, 2002), includes a list of six different types of networks. See page 11 for more explanation of each of these (Note: May need to sign up for free registration.)
- Work network: With whom do you exchange information as part of your daily work routines?
- Social network: With whom do you "check in," inside and outside the office, to find out what is going on?
- Innovation network: With whom do you collaborate or kick around new ideas?
- Expert knowledge network: To whom do you turn for expertise or advice?
- Career network: Whom do you go to for advice about the future?
- Learning network: Whom do you work with to improve existing processes or methods? [This seems a little odd - it is very much couched in terms of the workplace, rather than the people with whom I work to advance my own knowledge.]
Differentiating on each of these dimensions is an additional level of social network analysis, but it can yield useful information with respect to how the organization operates. And of course, the most value comes with being able to see how people network, as compared to the ideal. Once a gap is identified this way, then the organization can identify specific corrective actions.
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