P207 (02 463P207)
Multilevel Network Perspectives in and around Organizations: Theory, Structure and Dynamics
Form of presentation:
A multilevel network study of sociability and governance of a common resource in Senegal
Tom Snijders | University of Groningen; University of Oxford | Netherlands
This study considers a group of seven villages in rural North-Western Senegal. The villages have a common water supply which is governed by the villagers themselves by means of a managing board. The inhabitants of the villages are from two ethnic groups, a distinction corresponding – although incompletely – to the difference between sedentary crop farmers and nomadic cattle breeders. Ethnicity and the associated different interests of crop farmers and cattle breeders constitute an important underlying division for the governance of the water supply. The combined sociological research questions for this presentation are about how ethnicity and the crop farming – cattle breeding contrast is related to sociability and social support; how these social configurations (sociability, ethnicity, type of agriculture) are associated with the selection of board members; and how these social configurations influence the patterns of advice between the board members.
The network structure of this data set has, next to being multivariate (sociability and advice), two kinds of complexity. First, the actor set has a nested structure, with individual inhabitants in houses in villages; there are a total of 7 villages. Second, the board members are a subset of the inhabitants, chosen by the inhabitants and therefore endogenous; the sociability relation is observed between all inhabitants, and the board-related advice relation is observed between board members. This is summarized only inadequately by the heading of ‘multilevel network analysis’. The methodological research question for this presentation is how to specify this network data structure for a longitudinal analysis using a stochastic actor-oriented model implemented in RSiena. s
The structure chosen for the Siena analysis is a multivariate dependent network, with separate within-village sociability, between-village sociability, and board advice relations; and with board membership as a dependent actor variable. The structure is further specified by blocks of structural zeros to distinguish the within-village and between village networks, and by special effects restricting the board advice relation to the set of board members.
A first set of specific questions are concerned with homophily (concerning relevant individual attributes) of the sociability relation, and how this homophily differs between within-village and between-village ties, and between cattle farmers (Fulani) and crop farmers (Wolof). A second set of questions are about the ways in which the power basis of the board members, as reflected in the membership itself and in the board advice relation, depends on their attributes and on their social capital.
Geographies of Knowledge of European Educational Research - A Social Network Analysis of Educational Research in the Framework Programme (1994-2013)
Marcelo Marques | University of Luxembourg | Luxembourg
Keywords: European Educational Research; Framework Programme; Organizational forms
European research policies have become increasingly visible since the 1980s. Its genesis can be traced back to the launch of the European Union Framework Programme (EUFPs) in 1984 and it got further momentum with the establishment of the so-called European Research Area (ERA) in 2000. The EUFPs have been the privileged instrument of the ERA to boost European research collaboration (Ackers, 2008; Heilbron, 2014) and to find common solutions for common problems or – in the context of evidence-based policy-making – to identify ‘what works’ (Biesta, 2007). By defining targets and research priorities for Member-States, the European Commission, as a supranational regulatory body, plays an important role in the development of a pluri-scalar governance of research (Dale 2007; Lingard & Rawolle, 2011). Educational research, among other social sciences disciplines, has been funded since 1994, although the structure of this constellation of knowledge producers is still unclear. The aim of this contribution is to analyze the geographies of knowledge production of European Educational Research through a social network analysis of the research organizations that participated in transnational research projects from 1994 to 2013 (FP4 to FP7). Through CORDIS databases, I collected educational research projects and identify the organizations that participated and collaborate in the EUFPs (857 organizations in 94 research projects).
Studies in Sociology of Science to the EUFPs often tend to focus either in micro or in macro analysis. At the micro level studies using bibliometric indicators show the influence of EUFPs on the reputation, career development and citation scores (Peters et al, 2010). Studies focusing on the macro level, often using social network analysis, have shown a correlation between the size of the national research systems with the participation and coordination in EUFPs (Kastrinos, 2010; Peter et al, 2010; Watson et al, 2010). Following the same argument presented by Lazega et al (2008) and Belloti (2012) I assume the need to focus my analysis on the meso-level – organisational level - in order to avoid deterministic explanations of the results. Preliminary results through the application of degree centrality measures using geographical attributes (country=research system size and European region) show that while there is correlation between the size of the research system and the number and weight of participation of organisations (UK, Germany and France), organisations from small or medium size research countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Greece) appear as more central in the network. These results pose new research questions on organisational studies to understand the role of the departments and universities as centres of internationalization despite the size of the research system (macro determinism), confirms previous studies on assuming that the position of an organization is still more important than the position of the individuals (Lazega et al, 2008) (micro determinism), and shows the potential of SNA to open new avenues for research.
Assessing the efficacy of self-organising project teams in a complex, research-intensive environment.
Fabian Held | The University of Sydney | Australia
Background: Complex societal problems often have no clear and obvious answer and their solution requires the joint collaborative efforts of experts form diverse disciplines and backgrounds. Traditional organisation of University research in Faculties and Disciplines can be an obstacle to such collaborative efforts. This presentation presents the case of an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Sydney that has been created to “ease the burden of chronic diseases, especially obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease”. This sets a single overarching mission, but does not constrain the paths to this end. The centre brings together more than 1100 researchers from all Faculties of the University, supporting new collaborations through several mechanisms including: 1) Co-location of more than 850 researchers a dedicated building with nearly 50,000 m2 of wet laboratories, dry laboratory areas, teaching spaces, core facilities as well as a clinic. 2) Internal projects as easy and attractive ways for individual researchers to engage. 3) Easy access to compatible expertise. 4) Allowing projects and collaborations to seek resources, grow, morph and die organically. We use social network analysis to assess the efficacy of two of these mechanisms, co-location and internal project opportunities, to create new collaborations.
Methods: Exponential-Family Random Graph models quantify and test the interacting effects of processes that are consistent with the structure of collaboration as evidenced by the joint authorship of peer-reviewed publications. Controlling for seniority, and Faculty affiliation, this analysis addresses the interacting effects of several forms mechanisms of engagement: Membership in research groups, participation in self-organised internal research projects, as well as physical co-location.
Results: To date there are 67 internal projects connecting more than 400 researchers. Preliminary analysis indicates that the collaboration network is established through a complex interplay of factors, and that there is substantial variation in the strength and significance of effects even within the same class of associations. There are significant activity effects for select faculties and research groups, as well as homophily effects for co-location, affiliation, and research group membership. Participation in internal research projects is found to have varying effects on the observed network of collaboration.
Conclusion: This investigation into the multilevel nature of collaboration in a research intensive organisation contributes to explaining the complex interactions of individuals and their various memberships in groups, projects, their affiliations and location. By controlling for various other relational effects, this analysis serves as a means to assess the efficacy of self-organised research projects and other mechanisms of engagement regarding their contribution to the overall network of collaboration. In the network under investigation multiple types of affiliations jointly shape collaborative research, thus determining the self-organising of organisational outcomes.