The Social Network Perspective

Patrick Kenis and Leon Oerlemans

in The Oxford Handbook of Inter-Organizational Relations

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199282944
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 The Social Network Perspective

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  • Business and Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
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The social network perspective refers to a tradition in social science which focuses on the joint activities of, and continual exchanges between, participants in a social system. This perspective is characterized by an interest in the recurrent relationship patterns that connect the actors that make up a system's social structure. This article considers that the social network approach is the relationship among actors, be they individuals or groups such as whole organizations or parts of organizations. Rather than examining actors in isolation, the social network perspective sees actors as embedded within networks of interconnected relationships that provide opportunities for, as well as constraints on, behaviour. This article focuses on the interaction between actors rather than on the attributes of particular actors, their size for example.

Keywords: social network perspective; social science; social system; system's social structure; organizations

Article.  10656 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business Strategy

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