ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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Actor-level Dynamics of Longitudinal Communication Networks to Explore Organizational Crisis

Shahadat Uddin, Liaquat Hossain

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 11 - Law Building, Room 107
Date: 2012-07-11 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Last modified: 2012-06-15


Study of the dynamics of longitudinal networks has already attracted enormous research efforts. Although dynamics of networks can be captured both at network-level and actor-level, the latter has gained less attention in current ‘network science’ literature. By following a topological approach (i.e., static topology and dynamic topology), this paper first proposes a way to capture actor-level network dynamics for longitudinal networks. In static topology, SNA methods are applied to the aggregated network of entire observation period. Smaller segments of network data that are accumulated in less time compared to the entire network observation period are used in dynamic topology for analysis purpose. This study further examines actor-level dynamics for the email communication networks of an organization during its ‘normal’ and ‘crisis’ periods to explore changes in the behavior of actor-level dynamics at different times. Organizational crisis can be defined as a situation that threatens the goals of an organization, surprises the decision makers by its occurrences, put them under time pressure for appropriate responses and consequently engender high level of stress. This study finds that during the ‘crisis’ period of operational running of organizations, actors in the organizational email communication networks show higher level of actor-level dynamics compared to the ‘normal’ period.