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Sunbelt 2013 conference presentation Hamburg, Bas Reus
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Sunbelt 2013 conference presentation Hamburg, Bas Reus

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There is an advance in online collaboration tools, such as online collaboration platforms, in knowledge intensive organizations where people organize themselves to work towards a collective goal by ...

There is an advance in online collaboration tools, such as online collaboration platforms, in knowledge intensive organizations where people organize themselves to work towards a collective goal by means of online groups. We study the relationship between the structural position of ego in and between two online groups and the behavior ego exhibits in and between both groups. Using theories of structural holes, structural equivalence and structural cohesion, and Simmelian ties, we propose three structural positions of ego where two groups overlap that influences the role(s) that can be played by ego in and between both online groups. Being active in multiple online groups can foster the sharing of information between these groups, however, we argue that in certain circumstances it can work counterproductive. Social network analysis theory lacks theory on the effects of multiple group membership. In order to better understand the effect of multiple group membership on information sharing in organizational online environments, we focus on the role of ego as an active member of two online groups. We will use the term ‘bridging member’ for this scenario. We use communicative genres as organizing structures on online communities in order to determine the behavior ego plays in each group, and the effect when ego is and is not the only bridging member between the two groups. We find that the level of constrain for ego depends on the structural position of ego between two groups.

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  • We study the relationship between the structural position of ego between two groups and the behavior ego exhibits in each group. We identify three structural positions an actor can occupy as a member of two groups. Using theories of structural holes, structural equivalence, and Simmelian ties, we propose four structural positions of ego that influences the role(s) that can be played by ego in both groups.

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  • 1. Bas Reus: Multiple online group membershipMay 25th 2013 – Sunbelt 2013 Hamburg
  • 2. Introduction• “Multiple group membership and behavior on an online collaboration platform”– A story about posting behavior of bridging membersSNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 2
  • 3. Multiple group membership consequences• Individual – focus of this research– people being member of more than one group– people being able to take information from one group to other groups– people must share their available time (attention) between more groups– people form bridges between groups– people can exhibit different posting behavior in different groups• Group – focus for a next research– group have members that are member in other groups as well (bridges)– groups overlapping with other groups– groups have members that exhibit different posting behavior– …SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership
  • 4. What makes a bridging member?• Focus is on membership in both groups and what it means for the intercohesive position of ego• Different from classic brokerageSNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 4visual adopted fromVedres & Stark (2008)Structural hole broker Bridging member
  • 5. Online behavior, looking at form dimension• Form dimension refers to observable features of communication (message in online group)• Online forum message markers to determine behavior:– Text length– Asking questions– Replying to many others– Others replying to you– Viewing the thread– Start with “Hello” or “Hi”– Ending with regards– Including attachments– Using hyperlinksTitel 5
  • 6. ResearchQuestion• Background– Advance in online collaboration tools– Organizations make more use of these tools to work towards collective goals– People are active in (many) online groups– Employees are able to form groups with ‘strangers’ from different physical locations• RQ– What is the influence of the number of bridging members on the overlap of two online groupson their posting behavior in both groups?SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 6
  • 7. SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 7
  • 8. What makes a true bridging member?SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 8
  • 9. Setting• Dutch health insurance company• Online community for all 2400 employees– Employees work in different places across the country– Employees can be complete strangers to each other• Data used from start in June 2012 to April 2013• Analyzed posting behavior of messages in online groups• Some statistics from private groups:– 108 private groups– 3421 messages– 402 active actors– 115 bridging actors (active in at least 2 groups)SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 9
  • 10. Method of analysis• Classify posting behavior based on form dimension (Moser, Ganley & Groenewegen, 2013)– Identify markers of form dimension (e.g. length of message, number of questions)– Exploratory factor analysis to validate markers– Cluster analysis based on factor scores to classify each message• Binary logistic regression to test hypotheses– Test hypotheses 1 and 3 with control variables• IV: Number of bridging members (1, 3+)• DV: Ego plays same or different role (YES, NO)– Test hypotheses 2a and 2b with control variables• IV: Ego and alter are interacting in both groups (YES, NO)• DV: Ego and alter act similar (YES, NO)SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 10
  • 11. Factor analysis on message form markers• Total variance explained: 79%SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 11Rotated Component MatrixaComponentConnector Active Requestor FriendlyEgo replied to unique others in group .958Unique others replied to ego .930Number of messages of ego in group .955Number of views of ego in group .913Usage of question marks in message .851Length of message .766Starts message friendly .823Ends message friendly .721Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.a. Rotation converged in 5 iterations.
  • 12. Cluster analysis on message factor scores• For logistic regression analysis, removed cluster 3 messages, no clear behavior identified• Used all messages of all online groups to determine factorsSNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 12Final Cluster CentersCluster1 2 3 4 5Connectors 2.95372 -.16074 -.23195 -.32329 -.09498Actives -.14847 2.54876 -.31570 -.12269 -.08652Requestors .03139 -.19741 -.27260 2.67566 .02812Friendlies -.15830 -.12652 -.40649 -.20984 1.68565Number of Cases in eachClusterCluster1 505.0002 682.0003 4714.0004 511.0005 1299.000Valid 7711.000Missing .000
  • 13. Intermediary results roundup• Messages are classified into four factors (eight markers loaded on four factors)• Messages are clustered into five clusters, dropped messages of one cluster, remaining four:– Connectors (505 messages)– Actives (682 messages)– Requestors (511 messages)– Friendlies (1299 messages)• We can now run the binary logistic regressions to test the hypothesesTitel 13
  • 14. Descriptive stats all cases: Cross tabulation• BridgingMembers: Number of actors active both in group A and group B, sharing membership• SameCluster: Ego is showing similar behavior in group A and group BSNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 14BridgingMembers * SameCluster CrosstabulationSameCluster TotalNO YESBridgingMembers1Count 73 41 114% within BridgingMembers 64.0% 36.0% 100.0%2Count 63 54 117% within BridgingMembers 53.8% 46.2% 100.0%3+Count 92 160 252% within BridgingMembers 36.5% 63.5% 100.0%TotalCount 228 255 483% within BridgingMembers 47.2% 52.8% 100.0%
  • 15. Testing hypotheses 1 and 3: Logistic Regression• Number of bridging members (1, 2, 3+) is most important independent variable in prediction• Model can predict 71% correctly instead of 47% (step 0)• Model fits well according to 1. Hosmer and Lemeshow (.452) and 2. Nagelkerke (.298)SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 15B S.E. Sig. Exp(B) 95% C.I.for EXP(B)Lower UpperStep 1aBridging members .000Bridging members(1) .815 .316 .010 2.259 1.217 4.194Bridging members(2) 1.366 .292 .000 3.920 2.212 6.946Groups actor is active in -.063 .009 .000 .939 .923 .955Total messages in group 1 .005 .001 .000 1.005 1.002 1.008Total messages of actor in group 1 .020 .006 .001 1.020 1.008 1.033Constant -.326 .242 .179 .722
  • 16. Descriptive stats H2a and H2b: Cross tabulation• IsConnectedBoth: ego and alter interact with each other in both groups• SameRoles: ego and alter act similar in groupA and similar in group BSNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 16IsConnectedBoth * SameRoles CrosstabulationSameRoles TotalNO YESEgo interacts with alterin both groupsNOCount 63 7 70% within IsConnectedBoth 90.0% 10.0% 100.0%YESCount 41 19 60% within IsConnectedBoth 68.3% 31.7% 100.0%TotalCount 104 26 130% within IsConnectedBoth 80.0% 20.0% 100.0%
  • 17. Testing hypotheses 2a and 2b: Logistic Regression• Ego is connected to alter (YES, NO) is most important independent variable in prediction• Model can predict 87% correctly instead of 80% (step 0)• Model fits well according to 1. Hosmer and Lemeshow (.711) and 2. Nagelkerke (.540)SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 17B S.E. Sig. Exp(B) 95% C.I.for EXP(B)Lower UpperStep 1aEgo is connected to alter 2.549 1.017 .012 12.788 1.743 93.817Total messages in group1 -.020 .007 .002 .980 .968 .993Groups actor is active in .075 .029 .011 1.078 1.017 1.142Total messages of actor .042 .011 .000 1.042 1.020 1.065Constant -15.642 3.889 .000 .000
  • 18. Results• Hypotheses 1 and 3 supported– Ego can exhibit different postingbehavior when ego is the onlybridging member– Ego is constrained to exhibit thesame posting behavior due toSimmelian tied bridging members• Hypotheses 2a and 2b partially supported– Connectedness of ego and alter inboth online groups leads to moresimilar posting behavior– However 80% of total behavior isdifferent between ego and alter inall cases with two bridging membersSNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 18
  • 19. Implications and relevance• For theory– Multiple group membership: we only know impact on learning and productivity for individualand group, nothing on behavior of people, and not in an online setting– Can we can use network theories to explain behavior of bridging members in online groups?• Structural holes – not constrained in behavior• Structural equivalence – diverging (competitive) vs. converging (cooperative) role behavior• Simmelian ties – constrained in behavior• For practice (online groups and communities)– Understanding behavior as it happens (show position of actor in relation to other groups)– Making interventions (invite members to group or better not)SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 19
  • 20. Discussion• Qualitative text analysis can enhance results (knowledge transfer between online groups)– Who act as gatekeepers and representatives?• Usage of network measures as independent variables such as:– Betweenness of the bridging actors– Closure of overlapping clique– Tie strength within and outside of overlap• Study longitudinal change of ego behavior due to changing number of bridging members in time• Study overlap of more than two groups• Make step from multiple group membership to overlapping groups, and ultimately to group socialcapital and group effectiveness (original submitted abstract)SNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 20
  • 21. Thank you!• Q&A• Please leave your business-card for a copy of this presentation• Authors:– Bas Reus b.reus@vu.nlbas.reus@favelafabric.com– Christine Moser c.moser@vu.nl– Peter Groenewegen p.groenewegen@vu.nlSNA research Bas Reus: Multiple online group membership 21