Social Capital

Social Capital

An Introduction to Managing Networks

Kenneth W. Koput

This volume teaches how to understand and manage social capital to facilitate individual and organizational learning and goal attainment. Coverage includes both orchestrating relationships of others and navigating one’s own social interactions. Written at an introductory level and accessible to those without background in network analysis or graph theory, this text combines both comprehensive analysis and concrete concepts to emphasize how critical a role social capital’s applications play on the foundations of business as we know it today.

Chapter 7: Handling Data II: Visualizations

Kenneth W. Koput

Subjects: business and management, human resource management


We are almost ready to begin analyzing network data. The first step in processing the data will be to get the network visualization, or map. In order to both draw and read such a map, we need some more terminology. 7.1 Terminology A graph is a visual representation of the members of a group and the relations between them. When dealing with social relations, this is referred to as a sociograph or, in early work, sociogram. A graph represents each person as a point, also called a node or vertex. Each relation that exists, or tie, is represented as a line (also called a link or edge). Lines can correspond to any type of social relation. Lines can be undirected or directed, binary or valued. An undirected line exists when the tie has no direction, that is, the relationship is mutual and reciprocal. Directed lines occur when one party has a relation to a second, but the second need not have the same relation to the first. A directed line might occur, for instance, if a trainee asks a mentor for help. The existence of the trainee’s tie to the mentor does not require, or expect, the mentor to ask the trainee for help in the same way. The mentor has an advice-giving tie to the trainee, which is different than the advice-seeking tie the trainee has to the mentor. Binary lines simply indicate the existence of a relationship, whereas valued lines indicate the strength, volume, intensity, or frequency, for...

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