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Professor Göktuğ Morçöl and Dr Sohee Kim

In this chapter we discuss and illustrate how network text analysis and social network analysis can be used to investigate complex governance networks. After briefly defining and describing ‘governance networks,’ we discuss the importance of investigating their complex structural properties and the roles actors play in them. Then we describe and illustrate how AutoMap (network text analysis software) and ORA (dynamic network analysis software) can be used in such investigations with two applications in the cases of an urban governance network and that of a statewide policymaking processes. We also discuss the general problems in using archival data sources in network analyses, specific problems and strengths in using AutoMap in network extraction from archival data. We present the protocol we developed for the applications of AutoMap and ORA in the appendix of the chapter.

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Céline Rojon

In this chapter, I reflect on my experience of undertaking literature reviews, focusing in particular on systematic review methodology, which is getting more and more traction in Business and Management research. Aside from outlining the main principles of systematic review methodology, I also explain perceived advantages and disadvantages.

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Dr Kurt A. Richardson and Andrew Tait

Understanding the structure of complex networks and uncovering the properties of their constituents has been for many decades at the center of study of several fundamental sciences, especially in the fields of biological and social networks. Given the large scale and interconnected nature of these types of networks, there is a need for tools that enable us to make sense of these structures. This chapter explores how, for a given network, there are a range of emergent dynamic structures that support the different behaviors exhibited by the network’s various state space attractors. We use a selected Boolean Network, calculate a variety of structural and dynamic parameters, explore the various dynamic structures that are associated with it and consider the activities associated with each of the network’s nodes when in certain modes/attractors. This work is a follow-up to past work aiming to develop robust complexity-informed tools with particular emphasis on network dynamics.

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Marian Baird

This chapter provides an account of doing organisational-based research as engaged scholars and feminists. It covers two phases, a decade apart, of research in the one organisation; an organisation with a highly masculine culture and work processes. Lessons learnt include recognising the significance of context, the need to scope projects well and to provide timely and useful feedback to the client. Although sometimes difficult, especially if results challenge the organisation culture and management expectations, building and maintaining a relationship with the client is critical – but takes time and a sense of humour.

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Professor James K. Hazy and Professor Peter R. Wolenski

The chapter presents a general mathematical framework to study discontinuous change in human interaction dynamics. There are two complementary perspectives: macro and micro. Regarding the macro context, the chapter proposes that levels of ordered structure in complex human organizing can be represented by a category theoretic representation that reflects informational influence acting on individual agents from sources external to the population and those internal to the population. These independent influences interact to change the set of interaction rules that are enacted locally. Regarding micro context, the authors position contagion as the mechanism whereby a common organizing state is adopted across multiple agents. They show that as a general matter, the ordered structure that emerges within a population can be indexed as the number of active degrees of freedom embedded in local rules of interaction that are guiding groups of agents. Category theoretic mathematical approaches should be more used in social science research to suggest deductive hypotheses that can be tested empirically with definitive results.

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Wojciech Marek Kwiatkowski

On a research project concerned with depth of understanding rather than theory-building, I sought to collect all data from a single organisation. This vignette tells the story of access granted, access ignored, access declined, before access finally begins.

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Hugh T.J. Bainbridge

Take a breath. This vignette describes the painful process of forgetting to take a breath before sending an email to colleagues but hitting the ‘reply all’ button. Hence, the conference organiser now knows my views. Take a breath. Don’t reply immediately.

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Edited by Eve Mitleton-Kelly, Alexandros Paraskevas and Christopher Day

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Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Julia Carins and Christiane Stock

Most research projects require a plan which establishes expectations for colleagues working in the project to ensure that reports on milestones and deliverables are clearly communicated to all research stakeholders. So what happens when plans fail? We all know that the very best plans can and do fail, and this chapter shares some of our stories of failure but rolling with the punches to keep moving forward.

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Colin Hughes

Gaining access to respondents can be a significant challenge and a source of frustration for many researchers. When seeking access, researchers often waste time speaking to non-decision makers and fail to sell the value of their research. This short vignette highlights the importance of sales skills for researchers.