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Mobilizing ideas in knowledge networks: a social network analysis of the human resource management community 1990-2005

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2009
JournalThe Learning Organization
Journal number6
Volume16
Number of pages17
Pages443-459
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show the role of social networks in mobilizing how actors both impact and are impacted on by their colleagues. It seeks to compare the human resource management (HRM) academic community with two other comparable communities, and to identify those groups that are seen to work closely together.

Design/methodology/approach – It is shown how social network analysis (SNA) can be utilized to analyse data in social networks, shedding light on the cliques and networks of people that work together over a period of time. This is based on an analysis of co-authored papers in the field of HRM between 1990 and 2005.

Findings – It is shown how the HRM community has developed over time utilizing various SNA metrics and this community of scholars is shown to be less “dense” than comparable academic networks, being made up of several weakly-linked subcomponents. The paper also identifies the “ego-nets” of individuals that are indicative of different publishing strategies.

Originality/value – The paper's contribution lies in the application of SNA to identify how groups interact over time, and how a large network can be systematically analysed to reveal the underlying structure.