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Social Networks and Organizations

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0761969570
ISBN-10: 0761969578
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin Kilduff (PhD Cornell, 1988) is Professor of Organizational Behavior at University College London, former editor of Academy of Management Review (2006-08), and currently associate editor of Administrative Science Quarterly.  Prior to joining UCL he served as Diageo Professor of Management Studies at Cambridge University, and prior to that served on the faculties of University of Texas at Austin, Penn State, and Insead. His work focuses on social networks and includes the co-authored books Social Networks and Organizations (Sage: 2003); and Interpersonal networks in organizations: Cognition, personality, dynamics and culture (Cambridge University Press: 2008). His research relates personality to network structure (e.g., Journal of Applied Psychology, 2008; Administrative Science Quarterly, 2001), perceived networks to actual networks (e.g., Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2008; Academy of Management Journal, 1994), and proposes new theory concerning scientific innovation (e.g., Academy of Management Review, 2011). Current research continues many of these emphases including research on how bias affects perceptions of women's networks, how emotion distorts network perceptions, and how people's careers are boosted by ties from the past.

Wenpin Tsai is Professor of Business Administration in the Smeal College of Business at the Pennsylvania State University. He holds degrees from National Taiwan University (BBA), George Washington University (MBA), and London Business School (PhD). His current research interests include social capital, knowledge transfer, network evolution, and cooperative and competitive interactions inside and across organizations. His work has appeared in Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science and Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes. He has also published a book on social networks and organizations (co-author Martin Kilduff). Wenpin is currently on or has served on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and Strategic Management Journal. His contributions to the profession have also been recognized through several outstanding reviewer awards. In addition, he has been appointed as a Special Issue Editor (2004), member of advisory committee (2004-2007), and Associate Editor (2008-2010) of Academy of Management Journal.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd (September 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761969578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761969570
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Many books have been written about social networks. But few review the research on social networks in organizations.This book by Kilduff and Tsai is one that reviews a vasy body of literature about social networks in organization. Further, readers are gently exposed to key network concepts. Students who would like to learn the mechanics of network analysis and its usage in theory testing can refer to the appendices. For established researchers seeking potential new research questions, this book provides a wealth of interesting research questions. Most books on social networks are techical, hard to grasp and do not establish the relevance of social networks to organizational research. This book is an exception.
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I've just re-read "Social Networks and Organizations" by Professors Martin Kilduff and Wenpin Tsai. I like this book because it is an easy read, with enough detail to whet the appetite but not so much detail as to become a laborious slog. With 150 pages of succinct text it is possible to read and digest in a couple of sittings. The authors provide many examples throughout the book and point the reader to more advanced reading, but for the beginner Appendix 1 on "Getting Started on Data Analysis and Interpretation" is a must read.

As a doctoral candidate I appreciated the opening chapters which position network analysis in the research traditions, and provide some discussion on the underlying theories. Some readers might find these chapters boring, but I think there is something there for everyone. Take for example the discussion on theoretical foundations. The authors discuss graph theory without blinding the lay-person with incomprehensible mathematical formulas. They also talk about balance theory and other borrowings from psychology in simple terms. This is a constant throughout the book - the reader is gently exposed to key network concepts, debates in the literature, and possible new research directions.

The authors guide the reader through various units of analysis, ranging from the individual, to the team, and finally the organisation. Their interest in interpersonal networks within organisations is obvious. There is ample discussion on cognitive networks, knowledge transfer, and business unit networks. In each of these discussions key concepts such as dyads, triads and cliques are presented in layman's terms. All this serves to highlight the importance and centrality of networks in our daily life.

So all in all I think this book deserves a five-star rating, and should be on the shelf of any serious network analysis practitioner.

Regards, Graham
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It's a typical academic text. It's boring, gets bogged down in crazy little details, and difficult to keep your attention. But it's not the worst I've ever encountered. Not at all. It is what it is, though.
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