WINTER, 2013
– 1 –
Professor Adam M. Kleinbaum
Tuck 201
RTP: Social Networks in Organizations
– 2 –
Course Format and Objectives
• Each week, we will address one major topic in t...
RTP: Social Networks in Organizations
– 3 –
MODULE I: Social Capital and the Network Perspective
Week 1. Introduc...
RTP: Social Networks in Organizations
– 4 –
MODULE III: Consequences of Network Structure
Week 5. Network Analysis in Prac...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

Kleinbaum social networks in organizations syllabus (tuck school 2013)


Published on

Kleinbaum social networks in organizations syllabus (tuck school 2013)

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Kleinbaum social networks in organizations syllabus (tuck school 2013)

  1. 1. RESEARCH TO PRACTICE SEMINAR: SOCIAL NETWORKS IN ORGANIZATIONS WINTER, 2013 – 1 – Professor Adam M. Kleinbaum Tuck 201 603.646.6447 Academic Coordinator: Debbie Gibbs Byrne 204 603.646.3747 Course Overview “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” This old adage may be an overstatement, but few people who have worked in organizations need to be convinced that social relations are important for getting things done in large firms. And yet, beyond the basic intuition that networks matter, most of us give little thought to exactly how, why or to what ends networks matter. This seminar builds on the “Managing Your Career” module of the MBA leadership core curriculum to examine scholarly research about social networks in organizations. The research papers develop theory and empirical evidence to address questions such as: How are interactions structured in organizations? How can individuals proactively shape their networks? What factors influence a firm’s social structure? How can individuals use their networks to their advantage? How can firms influence their informal structure? How does a firm’s social structure affect its performance? The answers to these questions have important implications for individuals’ career development and for firms’ strategies. Tuck’s Research to Practice Seminars: Research to Practice Seminars are a relatively new element of Tuck’s second-year program, meant to give students intensive exposure to a Tuck professor and that professor’s research-based knowledge. Research to Practice Seminars are based on three beliefs: (1), that the world is increasing in complexity, with knowledge and understanding becoming increasingly difficult to attain; (2), that the most successful managers will have the intellectual ability to sort through the world’s complexity; and (3), that both the results and methods of academic research are extremely useful to students’ development of such intellectual ability. Every Research to Practice Seminar at Tuck has the following characteristics, although each Seminar will cover these in different ways:  An intense immersion – a “deep dive” – into a specific, managerially relevant topic  Reliance on research-based knowledge  A learning to learn objective – understanding the methods by which faculty search for answers and discover knowledge  Seminar format, small in size, with a focus on intense student involvement in the learning process
  2. 2. RTP: Social Networks in Organizations – 2 – Course Format and Objectives • Each week, we will address one major topic in the study of organizational social networks. The topic will generally be covered through three key papers in the space; some will be the “classics” that have defined the topic, others will be newer, including some unpublished working papers. • A typical week will be structured as follows: − I will briefly begin by introducing the topic and why it is important. − Two students will lead a discussion of the week’s papers. The discussion leaders should meet in advance to plan such issues as: sequencing the discussion; circulating some discussion questions for people to think through prior to class; dividing the time between understanding the papers, discussing them, and applying them to practice. Requirements • Leading, together with a colleague, the discussion for one week • Attendance is mandatory. If you absolutely must miss a class, you will be expected to make it up by writing a short response paper (2-3 pages, double-spaced) to the week’s readings in advance of the class you must miss and sending it both to me and to the week’s student discussion leaders • Preparation for and participation in discussions during each and every class session • Individual midterm homework and final group project Grading Because this course is a seminar, the class will be small and everyone will be expected to participate every week. This intense level of participation requires a greater level of preparation than a larger course and the grading policy is designed both to reward your efforts and to promote collaboration, rather than competition. Class participation (preparation, contribution to discussion, and leading discussion) will count for 60% of the course grade. • Preparation – for each class, you should have read each article and be prepared to discuss: the research question (what question did the authors set out to answer), the data and analysis used to address the question, the results and the authors’ conclusions. You should be prepared to critique the paper on grounds of both quality and relevance. You should draw connections between the papers, noting similarities, differences, contradictions, or different assumptions. And you should think about what the findings of the research imply for practice. • Contribution to discussion – participating in seminar discussions is essential. Because the class is small, each participant will have to shoulder a large share of the discussion. • Leading discussion – each week (beginning Week 2 of the course) two students will share responsibility for leading the discussion. Discussion leadership will influence the class participation grade. A midterm project will count for 10% of the course grade. • The project, which will be completed individually, is designed to give you a taste of what it is like to do network analysis. Details will be provided during the course. A final project will count for 30% of the course grade. Details will be made available later in the term. • You should work on the final project in groups of 2-3 students. Particularly ambitious projects may include a fourth member, with advance permission. • Your group will present the project to the class during the last week of the term. Final presentations should include a presentation and allow time for questions and answers.
  3. 3. RTP: Social Networks in Organizations – 3 – Schedule MODULE I: Social Capital and the Network Perspective Week 1. Introduction, Small Worlds, and the Social Structure of Economic Life Milgram, Stanley. 1967. “The Small World Problem.” Psychology Today 2:60-67. Activity: Spend a few minutes exploring the small world of Hollywood actors through The Oracle of Bacon ( Granovetter, Mark. 1985. “Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness.” American Journal of Sociology 91:481-510. Uzzi, Brian. 1997. “Social Structure and Competition in Interfirm Networks: The Paradox of Embeddedness.” Administrative Science Quarterly 42:35-67. MODULE II: Network Origins Week 2. Patterns of Tie Formation: Homophily and Propinquity Festinger, Leon, Stanley Schachter, and Kurt Back. 1950. Social Pressures in Informal Groups: A Study of Human Factors in Housing. New York: Harper. Chapters 2-3 and Figure 1 (from page 2). Blau, Peter Michael. 1979. “A Fable About Social Structure.” Social Forces 58:777-784. Kleinbaum, Adam M., Toby E. Stuart, and Michael L. Tushman. Forthcoming. “Discretion Within Constraint: Homophily and Structure in a Formal Organization.” Organization Science. Week 3. The Interplay of Formal and Informal Structure Gulati, Ranjay, and Phanish Puranam. 2009. “Renewal through Reorganization: The Value of Inconsistencies between Formal and Informal Organization.” Organization Science 20:422-440. Kleinbaum, Adam M. 2012. “Organizational Misfits and the Origins of Brokerage in Intrafirm Networks.” Administrative Science Quarterly 57(3):407-52. Singh, Jasjit, Morten T. Hansen, and Joel M. Podolny. 2010. “The World Is Not Small for Everyone: Inequity in Searching for Knowledge in Organizations.” Management Science 56:1415-1438. Week 4. Personality Antecedents of Network Structure Sasovova, Zuzana, Ajay Mehra, Stephen P. Borgatti, and Michaela C. Schippers. 2010. “Network Churn: The Effects of Self-Monitoring Personality on Brokerage Dynamics.” Administrative Science Quarterly 55(4):639-70. Kleinbaum, Adam M., Alexander H. Jordan, and Pino Audia. 2012. “Do You Read Me? How Perceptions of Empathy Shape Self-Monitors’ Brokerage in Social Networks.” Tuck Working Paper. Burt, Ronald S. 2012. “Network-Related Personality and the Agency Question: Multi-Role Evidence from a Virtual World.” American Journal of Sociology 118(3).
  4. 4. RTP: Social Networks in Organizations – 4 – MODULE III: Consequences of Network Structure Week 5. Network Analysis in Practice Cross, Rob, Tim Laseter, Andrew Parker, and Guillermo Velasquez. 2006. “Using Social Network Analysis to Improve Communities of Practice.” California Management Review 49(1):32-60. Notes: Nat Bulkley (Pfizer) will join us in class for a discussion of how Pfizer uses social network analysis to improve investment decision-making, enhance R&D productivity through communities of practice, and keep executive leadership informed about organizational issues. Midterm Project is due in class. Week 6. Networks, Social Capital and Performance Burt, Ronald S. 1992. Structural Holes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. (Intro and Chapter 1.) Coleman, James S. 1988. “Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital.” American Journal of Sociology 94:S95-S120. Podolny, Joel M., and James N. Baron. 1997. “Resources and Relationships: Social Networks and Mobility in the Workplace.” American Sociological Review 62:673-693. Week 7. Alternative Views of Brokerage Fernandez, Roberto M., and Roger V. Gould. 1994. “A Dilemma of State Power: Brokerage and Influence in the National Health Policy Domain.” American Journal of Sociology 99(6):1455-91. Obstfeld, David. 2005. “Social Networks, the Tertius Iungens Orientation, and Involvement in Innovation.” Administrative Science Quarterly 50:100-130. Vedres, Balázs, and David Stark. 2010. “Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups.” American Journal of Sociology 115(4):1150-90. Week 8. Social Status Podolny, Joel M. 1993. “A Status-Based Model of Market Competition.” American Journal of Sociology 98(4):829-872. Bothner, Matthew S., Young-Kyu Kim, and Edward Bishop Smith. 2012. “How Does Status Affect Performance? Status as an Asset vs. Status as a Liability in the PGA and NASCAR.” Organization Science 23(2):416-33. Cowen, Amanda P. 2012. “An Expanded Model of Status Dynamics: The Effects of Status Transfer and Interfirm Coordination.” Academy of Management Journal 55(5):1169-86. Week 9. Final Student Presentations