Method - Social network analysis

Description

A social network analysis is a way of mapping and measuring relationships and flows between people and organizations. The nodes in the network are the people and groups while the links show relationships or flows between the nodes. For information  structured interviews and/or questionnaires are used.

Purpose

Identify the network of stakeholders and to measure relational ties between stakeholders.

Guidance on performing this method

  • Earlier identified stakeholders
  • Design interview questions, e.g. interview protocol or a questionnaire,
  • Conducting interview by a skilled interviewer or the questionnaire
  • Training in the approach and how to do the analyses with the software that is needed here for.
  • Perform social network analysis.
  • The outcome shows the relations in the actor field.

Strengths

  • Gain insight into the boundary of stakeholder network;
  • the structure of the network;
  • identifies influential stakeholders and peripheral stakeholders

Weaknesses

  • very time-consuming;
  • questionnaire is a bit tedious for respondents;
  • need specialist in order to use this method.

Sources

References to be fully worked out (Tara)

Wasserman and Faust (1994)

Further reading

Supportive social network analysis tools can be found here: http://www.kdnuggets.com/2015/06/top-30-social-network-analysis-visualization-tools.html