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Multiplexity in social networks

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Multiplexity occurs in entrepreneurial networks when flows interact within and across relationships. It defines how these networks function and evolve and cannot be examined by studying network structure or flows separately. Despite the growing recognition of the importance of multiplexity, related research has remained limited and lacks an integrated approach to simultaneously examine structure and flows, thus restricting our understanding of entrepreneurial networks. We propose an integrated approach for conducting inductive studies into multiplexity, involving an adaptation of the “business networks” conceptual model, the configuration theory perspective, and the Q-analysis method.

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Multiplexity in social networks

  1. 1. MULTIPLEXITY IN SOCIAL NETWORKS Ian P. McCarthy Beedie School of Business Ian_mccarthy@sfu.ca
  2. 2. BASED ON THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH: Bliemel, M. J., McCarthy, I. P., & Maine, E. (2014). An Integrated Approach to Studying Multiplexity in Entrepreneurial Networks. Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 4(4), 367-402. Access the full paper here. Twitter: @Toffeemen68
  3. 3. MULTIPLEXITY • Multiplexity is the interaction of exchanges within and across relationships (Bliemel et al 2014) • A connection between two people is multiplex when those people interact in multiple different contexts (Bliemel et al 2014) A SIMPLEX Money Investor Entrepreneur A MULTIPLEX Money Advice Love Investor Entrepreneur
  4. 4. MULTIPLEXITY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP • Stelios Haji-Ioannou is an entrepreneur best known for setting up EasyJet. • One of his multiplex connections was with Loucas Haji-Ioannou, who was both his father and an investor who provided start-up funds for the EasyJet venture.
  5. 5. MULTIPLEXITY, PROFESSIONS AND LOVE • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie worked together and dated each other on the set of the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith. • Their interactions included being co-workers and lovers
  6. 6. MULTIPLEXITY, INNOVATION AND EMPLOYERS • Gatorade was formulated in 1965 by a team of researchers at the University of Florida for the university football team. • The relationships and interactions between the university and researchers included: employer, consumer, investor and IP owner.
  7. 7. SOME MULTIPLEXITY RESEARCH QUESTIONS? • How does multiplexity shape the structure and flows in networks? • Which is better (e.g., more valuable or more durable)? A multiplex based on a social interaction first, then followed by professional interactions? Or vice versa? • What are the economic, ethical and legal trade-offs associated with building and managing multiplex connections? • What are the implications of actor multiplexity (i.e., the who), resource multiplexity (i.e., the what) and activity multiplexity (i.e., the how)?
  8. 8. THINK MULTIPLEXITY Bliemel, M. J., McCarthy, I. P., & Maine, E. (2014). An Integrated Approach to Studying Multiplexity in Entrepreneurial Networks. Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 4(4), 367-402 ACTOR MULTIPLEXITY Who is in the network? RESOURCE MULTIPLEXITY What is exchanged and transformed in the network? ACTIVITY MULTIPLEXITY How are resources transformed and exchanged in the network? Actors control resources. Resources attract actors. Actors perform activities. Activities involve actors. NETWORK Activities transform or exchange resources. Resources enable or inhibit activities.

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