Social Capital
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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.
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Chapter 10: Social Networks and Social Capital in Action, Revisited

Kenneth W. Koput


We have now covered enough material to be able to conduct a meaningful social network analysis in a formal organization, putting both the methods and the concepts into practice. Let’s review the ‘knows’ in doing a network analysis project. 10.1 Know the group or organization The first thing you need to do is to introduce yourself to the group. Discuss why you are working with this group. Learn who the members are and ask them to describe each person’s role in the group. Do they work closely as a team, or do they work independently of one another? Also describe the overall activities of the group. The group can be a work organization, such as a business or nonprofit, or a social organization, such as a fraternity, club, sports team, church, or any other well-defined group, such as students in a class. So it’s important to really understand what they are trying to accomplish. Keep in mind that you need to have access to the group and they must be willing to answer questions about their social relations, in terms of taskrelated activities such as communication, advice, and trust. They need to know about you, as well, in order to gain credibility. You should also find out some things about the members themselves. Obtain some attribute and affiliation data on the members of the group. Consider attributes such as age, gender, ethnicity, education (highest level of schooling completed), tenure (how long they have been in the organization), and position. Affiliations...

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