Framework, Methods and Applications of Social Network Analysis in Research and Development
1 Introduction 1
.1 Goal Informal communication of knowledge is a critical factor for the success and failure of organizations. Recently, the importance of knowledge in organizational environments has been widely subject to research, strategies, solutions and discus- sions of what is known as “knowledge management”. With its initial emergence in the late 1980s, knowledge management has become a buzz phrase in the late 1990s. After the hype about knowledge management, the discussions have slowed down during the last years. Not only did the question arise, whether knowledge can be actually managed, but doubt has been cast on simplistic approaches, tech- nical solutions and the contribution of knowledge management to the return on investment. This slow down provides the opportunity to take a closer look at the role and processes of knowledge in organizations, to undertake a more detailed analysis, and to offer more complex and (hopefully) more suitable approaches to deal with them. In this work, a close focus is put on the processes of knowledge generation through knowledge communication within and between organizations. Studies into the informal structures within and between organizations from a network perspective are not a new invention. At the time the author started his re- search on methods and approaches to adopt social network analysis for knowledge management, literature and studies on this topic were rare, although discussed with other researchers and practitioners, publications on this subject were hardly to be found. Recently, social network analysis has become more widely recognized as a potential method to analyze,...
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