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March 15, 2013

Network Analysis

The concepts of social networks as well as the dynamics of sociometry along with sociograms were first mentioned over 50 years ago. Barnes is credited with the coining the aspect of social networks. The wider aspects of network analysis are etched on the dynamic study regarding how the elemental social structure of ties or associates around an individual, organization, or group can influence behaviors or their individual or collective beliefs. That is why causal impacts are evident in social structures. In this way, network analysis is presented as dynamic approaches employed to detect as well quantify the size and intensity of these impacts. The base of each network approach is founded on the scope that reality need to be investigated from the perspective of the immediate properties allied to the relations allied to and within departments instead of the properties of these segments. It can thus be said to be a relational approach.

As observed in social communication studies, these units are fundamentally social units, societies, individuals, organizations or groups. Numerous studies have established that with network analysis communication involves interconnected persons or groups linked by well developed communication flows and patterns (Rapoport, 1999). This may explain with the realm of network analysis interpersonal ties generated through sharing of information within interpersonal communication is paramount. Within organizations, this scope is employed as a way of identifying how individuals involved relates either from individual level to corporate level. The diverse aspects allied to network analysis play an integral role in establishing healthy relational ties either in groups or societies. The principal objective is within the scope of handling people instead of their of their individual properties (Cranford, 2005).

Sometimes back I was involved in a retail shop. The business employed less than ten people but it had various employees who were contracted on casual basis. The business operated within a definite managerial structure which entailed that both the long term employees as well as those hired on short term basis operated as a definite team. Such configuration saw that the employees shared the burden of serving clients effectively as well as limiting the scope of employee’s resistance to changes which were being introduced gradually (Rheingold, 1993). Examining the scope of such dimension, it would be gauged with the parameters of network analysis, it can be construed that the employees relationship played a central role in reinforcing individual as well as group associations. This can be etched on the fact that each employee was more concerned with his personal relationship with others instead of what constitute a particular person.

The way we related in some constituted how on personal level each felt about each other, associations as well as group participation or sharing of diverse tangible commodities. Through these dynamics, network analysis can be employed to establish and equally map affiliations and as well uncover the emergent or informal communication prototypes in the organization. Thus using the dynamics of network analysis, the organization more often exploited both formal and informal communication structures. The divergent objectives of using these configurations are as a result of having a definite structure of examining the effects of emergent patterns among the employees and this was later used to explain on the way the phenomena shaped the organization as well as the employees. The positive scope of communication influenced even the way the employs interacted and executed their duties. Thus, as we worked within this organization, the dynamics of network analysis could be based on the workers perceived the wider objectives of open communications, and this influenced their perception of each other as well as the organization in whole. In regard to the elements of network analysis, as observed in this business, the employees had developed unique patterns which correlated with what the business needed in terms of employee’s engagement. On the other hand, it facilitated diverse relational aspects which allowed all employees to sustain contact as regards attitudes as well as behaviors allied to other group employees. This may help to explain why the group employees had diversified attitudes towards each other or some of the business activities. Likewise, some of the employees had developed diverse preferences towards certain business events and activities. There are those who had a higher affinity of acting as business sales people and others disliked being in the packing bay. All these behaviors reflect on the scope of contagion theory which is also allied to network analysis. Due to such observations the group communication structure is thus based on teamwork, each employee is perceived as a team member and no one is considered as being superior to others. The structure has seen the employees being more productive and has higher respect for each other. This can be allied to the dynamic aspects linked the organizations communication dynamics which are set to motivate and equally propagate internal, communication objections. In regard to the principals of net analysis, one of the foremost aspects of this approach as regards the said business is illustrated by the employee’s healthy communication patterns.

Due to the multiplicity of personality within the business structural settings, the scope of communication now and then shifted from corporate level to individualism. That is why the scope of network analysis is employed in this case to ascertain the motive behind the shift in regard to the communication scope as reflected within structural analysis. That is why due to such observations; the dynamics associated with network analysis calls for reevaluation of various elemental units of evaluation. This would help in establishing the parameters of analytical procedures employed. From this dimension, it is evident that the employees were involved in developing dynamic communication ties which were not based on kinship but on friendship or companionship levels in the organization. As demonstrated in the organization the scope of communication was anchored with definite patterns as regards individual to individual communication. This in some instances was as a result of age, experience, sex, attitude as well as ones income. Despite these aspects, from structural analysis of the organization, they defined who and how the employees interacted. However, they did not help to establish the degree or intensity of how the individuals bonds were transitive. That is why when evaluating this business using network analysis; it becomes important to evaluate the communication and structural ideals far beyond individual aspects. This is intended to examine the scope as well as the logical consistency of set engagements rules in the organization such as development of friendship, frequency of communication as well as circularity of management hierarchy (Granovetter, 1973).

Due to the scope of modern actors within organizational structures, the exploitation of network analysis theory has played a predominant role in setting the procedures of evaluation. This can be explained by the way diverse procedures have been employed to gauge the entire scope of networks in this group. It is through such analysis that it was found that the organization had various variables that fuelled the scope of interpersonal relationship among the employees as well as employees with the customers. Such variables were within the context of communication exchanges employed by the employees to sustain positive working environment as well as social relationships in the organization. Thus, it can be construed that the fundamentals of network analysis were etched with the expansive process of sharing information, giving emotional support, including providing companionship as well as discussing work related issues.

With the wider concept of network analysis, the element of relationship plays a pivotal role. As noted in the organization, the communicated effectively where the relations were more characterized by direction, strength as well as content. In this case it can be argued that the content of the employees relations are allied to the resources in the organization. This may explain why the organization had employees who embraced various forms of communication and equally share definite information with certain employees or clients. This covered personal organizational or as well work related and social concerns in the business. Thus, where the communication involved sending or receiving information, the employees had peculiar ways of handling incoming or outgoing information. This may help to measure the scope of transparency among the employees, the communication objectives as per the employees participation was within the perimeters of trust. Thus as depicted in the scope of network analysis relation can fall within the context of directed or as well undirected dimension. Since the organization has diverse aspects regarding individual concerns as well as communicational links, the elements of support are thus well articulated in the organization. This also explains why some of the employees share explicitly the values of undirected friendship and this improved the working atmosphere in the group.

As observe in this business, the fundamentals of structural evaluations indicate that a tie may connect a pair of employees through either one or more relations. Hence, these pairs may in one way or the other maintain definite ties which are anchored on a single relationship such as being a member of a specific teamgroup,or equally be based on the multiplex ties where the ties are etched on numerous relations, this may entail sharing of data, or as well financial support. As is with the examined business, it is evident that the ties do vary as per direction, content as well as strength. And this illustrates why numerous scholars often speaks of ties as either strong or weak.
Due to the nature of the business as well as its organizational structure, it has emerged from the employees that tied could be weak if they are not regularly checked, also where the employees had no shared work, friendship or tasks in the group.however, the scope of strong ties was found to be based on diverse personal aspects such as self disclosure, regular contacts, intimacy as well as provision of reciprocal services in the organization (Zhang, n.d). In this case it would be paramount to assert that both strong and weak ties in the organizational settings play an important role. This is due to the fact that they do facilitate the flow of information between the involved parties and this solidifies interpersonal communication. As noted in the organization, those employees with stronger ties had a higher chance of sharing information. However, this sharing can be restricted by what is flowing in to the business network.

Using network analysis theory, it is evident that the given relations in a tie, the greater the multiplex is the given tie. The network analysis have established that these multiplex ties tend to be more voluntary, intimate,durable as well as being supportive. However, the nature of business may restrict such benefits. As noted in this organization lack of counter balance in the ties diminished the scope of strong or specialized ties. This is also as a result of lack of adequate modern communication mediums such as the internet and the fax in the work place. What this constituted is a low and weak relation among the employees (Scott,1991). The wider scope of multiplex dynamics requires combination of various communicational elements so as to enhance the development of strong relations as well as well established ties among the various actors in the organization. In brief the dynamics of network analysis are paramount in as far the evaluation of various organizational as well as communication structures are concerned. The theory is instrumental when defining what constitutes proper communication patterns among the employees. As observed in the business given, the extent of analysis cannot ignore since it has played a predominant role in establishing if the business is anchored within healthy structures either within structural or communicational domain (McGrath, 2004).

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