Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation
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Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation

Edited by Albert N. Link and Nicholas S. Vonortas

As this volume demonstrates, a wide variety of methodologies exist to evaluate particularly the objectives and outcomes of research and development programs. These include surveys, statistical and econometric estimations, patent analyses, bibliometrics, scientometrics, network analyses, case studies, and historical tracings. Contributors divide these and other methods and applications into four categories – economic, non-economic, hybrid and data-driven – in order to discuss the many factors that affect the utility of each technique and how that impacts the technological, economic and societal forecasts of the programs in question.
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Chapter 8: Social network methodology

Nicholas S. Vonortas


This chapter introduces the social network methodology as a tool for evaluating important aspects of research and development (R & D) programmes. Instead of surveying the literature broadly, we have chosen to expand on a few recent examples of actual application of the methodology for evaluative purposes and through them observe some of the standard (as well as non-standard) graph theory concepts at work. Consequently, the coverage is selective and for some issues spotty. For much broader coverage of theoretical concepts and empirical analysis, the interested reader should consult specialized volumes for social network method application such as Malerba and Vonortas (2009), books surveying the literature on social networks such as Grabher and Powell (2004), survey articles on strategic partnerships such as Hagedoorn et al. (2000) and Vonortas and Zirulia (2010), and volumes dealing with business strategy and policy regarding R & D collaboration and knowledge flows such as Nooteboom (1999), Vonortas (1997) and Caloghirou et al. (2004).

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