Method – Social network analysis

Description

A social network analysis is a way of mapping and measuring relationships and flows between people and organizations. The nodes in the network are the people and groups while the links show relationships or flows between the nodes. For information structured interviews and/or questionnaires are used1)Wasserman, Stanley, & Faust, Katherine, Social Networks Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1994.

Strengths

  • Gain insight into the boundary of stakeholder network;
  • the structure of the network;
  • identifies influential stakeholders and peripheral stakeholders

Weaknesses

  • very time-consuming;
  • questionnaire is a bit tedious for respondents;
  • need specialist in order to use this method.

Use in decision framework

Stakeholder analysis

Input

  • Earlier identified stakeholders
  • Knowledge on stakeholders, their relationships, etc.
  • Interviewer
  • Questionnaire
  • Software

 Outline

  • Earlier identified stakeholders
  • Design interview questions, e.g. interview protocol or a questionnaire,
  • Conducting interview by a skilled interviewer or the questionnaire
  • Training in the approach and how to do the analyses with the software that is needed here for.
  • Perform social network analysis.
  • The outcome shows the relations in the actor field.

Output

Identification of the network of stakeholders and the measured relational ties between stakeholders.

Experiences

Supportive social network analysis tools can be found at http://www.kdnuggets.com/2015/06/top-30-social-network-analysis-visualization-tools.html.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Wasserman, Stanley, & Faust, Katherine, Social Networks Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1994