Network Theories

  • Created by: charlotte
  • Created on: 28-04-14 16:03

A Network Approach

Rogers and Kinaid (2009)

'A communications network comprises of interconnected individuals who are linked by patterned communication flows'

Thomas Valence (2010)

'Degree is the number of links to and from a person'

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Kite Network - David Krackhardt

Individual Actor = Node

Degree = Tie between Individuals

(See Mind Map for diagram)

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Asymmetric Degrees - Valence (2010)

'In-degree = Number of ties recieved'

'Out-degree = Number of ties sent'

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Social Network Analysis

Valdis Krebs (2000 - 2011)

'Is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, organisations, computers, URLs and other connected information/knowledge entities. The nodes in the network are the people and groups while the links show relationships or flows between nodes'

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Cliques =  Subgroups

Clusters = Areas in the network with strong connections

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Different Network Roles

  • Membership Role = Part of Network
  • Liaison Role = Link clusters together in network
  • Star Role = Individuals linked to large number of other individuals
  • Isolate Role = Individuals linked to few people
  • Boundary Spanning Role = Links network to the environment
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Ties: Yuval Kalish (2008)

  • Weak Ties = Acquaintances
  • Strong Ties = Friends where regular information flows
    • There may occur between people who have similar backgrounds and who share similar attitudes and activities
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Importance of Networks in Communications Planning

Windahl (2009)

'Group and network factors are often to blame when planned communications fails, but they may equally well explain why it succeeds'

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Stars Often Opinion Leaders - Valence (2010)

  • Central role helps them to access, assess and disseminate information
  • Opinion leaders
    • May lead behaviour
    • Tend to have slightly more education, higher incomes and are better read
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Leveraging Networks

  • Target those with wider networks
    • Stars and boundary-spanners
  • Importance of creating/contributing to talking points that will prompt networks to talk about a product/service: word of mouth
  • May need to identify isolates for particular types of campaigns
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Relevance of Networks

  • Relevant to employee communications as well as external communications
  • Provides sophisticated channels to spread communications
  • Potential to change attitudes with the network becoming a change agent
  • Information must be salient and transmittable within the network
  • Find the language of the network
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Social Capital - Bourdieu (1986)

'Defines social capital as a value of social obligations or of contacts formed through social networks'

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PR and Social Capital

  • PR practitioners have their own social capital
    • The value of the relationships they have
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