Theories of Communication Networks

Paperback | July 9, 2003

byPeter R. Monge, Noshir Contractor

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To date, most network research contains one or more of five major problems. First, it tends to be atheoretical, ignoring the various social theories that contain network implications. Second, it explores single levels of analysis rather than the multiple levels out of which most networks arecomprised. Third, network analysis has employed very little the insights from contemporary complex systems analysis and computer simulations. Foruth, it typically uses descriptive rather than inferential statistics, thus robbing it of the ability to make claims about the larger universe of networks.Finally, almost all the research is static and cross-sectional rather than dynamic. Theories of Communication Networks presents solutions to all five problems. The authors develop a multitheoretical model that relates different social science theories with different network properties. This model is multilevel, providing a network decomposition that applies the various socialtheories to all network levels: individuals, dyads, triples, groups, and the entire network. The book then establishes a model from the perspective of complex adaptive systems and demonstrates how to use Blanche, an agent-based network computer simulation environment, to generate and test networktheories and hypotheses. It presents recent developments in network statistical analysis, the p* family, which provides a basis for valid multilevel statistical inferences regarding networks. Finally, it shows how to relate communication networks to other networks, thus providing the basis inconjunction with computer simulations to study the emergence of dynamic organizational networks.

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To date, most network research contains one or more of five major problems. First, it tends to be atheoretical, ignoring the various social theories that contain network implications. Second, it explores single levels of analysis rather than the multiple levels out of which most networks arecomprised. Third, network analysis has employ...

Peter R. Monge is at University of Southern California. Noshir Contractor is at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 5.98 × 9.09 × 0.59 inPublished:July 9, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195160371

ISBN - 13:9780195160376

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Table of Contents

1. Networks and Flows in Organizational CommunicationPart I: The Multitheoretical, Multilevel Framework2. Network Concepts, Measures, and the Multitheoretical, Multilevel Analytical Framework3. Communication and Knowledge Networks as Complex Systems4. Computational Modeling of NetworksPart II: Social Theories for Studying Communication Networks5. Theories of Self-Interest and Collective Action6. Contagion, Semantic, and Cognitive Theories7. Exchange and Dependency Theories8. Homophily, Proximity, and Social Support Theories9. Evolutionary and Coevolutionary TheoriesPart III: Integration10. MultiTheoretical, Multilevel Models of Communication and Other Organizational NetworksAppendix: Data Sets Used in Chapter 2ReferencesAuthor IndexSubject Index