The impact of intragroup social network topology on group performance: understanding intra-organizational knowledge transfer through a social capital framework

Wise, Sean Evan (2013) The impact of intragroup social network topology on group performance: understanding intra-organizational knowledge transfer through a social capital framework. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the effects of intragroup social network relations on group performance. Building on prior studies, it views social network topology along structural, relational and cognitive dimensions. Where previous research used a self-reporting questionnaire to gauge these dimensions, this research uses Social Network Analysis (SNA) software to measure e-mail communication logs between group members. The study was conducted in a national travel agency and focused on the social networks of 187 offices, each a subsidiary of the national travel agency. Each office group was tasked similarly and represented a unit of analysis. An analysis of more than 7 million emails was undertaken to generate social network measures for the firm wide network. Subgraphs representing the intraoffice social networks were then generated for each of the 187 travel offices in the greater firm-wide network. NodeXL® software was used to generate group measures representing the dimensions of each office’s social network topology. As in prior studies, Centrality, Structural Holes, and Tie Strength (all social network concepts) were used to measure and compare the dimensions of the intragroup social networks. This study contributes by helping to differentiate the concepts of social capital and social network. This research finds the use of email logs to generate SNA more efficient but as effective as prior survey techniques. The study also extends prior work by dynamically examining the tie formation amongst recently hired employees. The study confirms existing views of a curvilinear relationship between social network relations and firm performance. This study finds social network topology a valuable predictor of group performance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Social Network Topology, Social Capital, Intragroup Knowledge Transfer, Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School
Supervisor's Name: Paton, Prof. Robbie and MacIntosh, Dr. Robert
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Dr. Sean Evan Wise
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-3793
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2012 12:46
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2013 09:19
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/3793

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