Complexity

Static versus dynamic topology of complex communications network during organizational crisis

Journal Article

Abstract

The significance of temporal changes in the topology of organizational communication networks during a crisis is studied using static and dynamic social network analysis (SNA). In static SNA, the network of interactions made during an entire data collection period is studied. For dynamic SNA, shorter segments of network data are used in the analysis. Using measures of degree centrality and core‐periphery analysis, the prominence of actors is characterized and compared in the aggregate network (i.e., using static topology) and in daily networks (i.e., using dynamic topology) of a complex email network in a large organization during crisis. We show that while static typology cannot capture the network behavior completely, there are particular situations where the additional description provided by dynamic analysis is not significant. The limitations of dynamic topological SNA are discussed and we stress the importance of associating function with network structure in moving towards a more informative dynamical description. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity, 2011

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