Network Weaving

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shared vision & values in networks

One of the more interesting questions I get about social networks is the question of whether we find networks where everyone shares common vision or values.

This does happen in networks that are also communities where people naturally share vision and values. In the many networks that are not also communities, there can be as many versions of vision and values as people in the networks, even in dense networks where many net-members are regularly trading in ideas, influence, and assets.

The observation points to the reality that a network can thrive without common threads throughout the network. It can be a whole and dynamic fabric connected by transactions rather than shared dreams and priorities. Neighborhoods are networks in this way. They are for most people communities of shared place and as such networks where isolation, fragmentation, and cliques are characteristic of the networks.

As with religious communities and corporations, the appearance of shared vision and values don't necessarily guarantee network density, agility, or thivancy.

2 Comments:

  • I've measured networks where sub-communities and groups were revealed that could, with additional context, be understood to share a particular mission or other common attribute.

    Of course, what sometimes gets forgotten is that social network analysis always measures a "something" going through the network - an exchange, a type of relationship, a transaction - and what we choose to examine as the basis of connections among actors will definitely affect our ability to identify shared vision and values.

    By Anonymous Guy Hagen, at 2/04/2008 4:03 PM  

  • The book "Who Rules America" seems to aim at this topic of shared vision and values in a broad way by outlining the creation of a class of people, and the institutions they create, as patterns that form social cohesion. By creating overlapping communities (schools, sports, clubs, etc) members of seemingly different networks are socialized to value their network and the 'class' of people that share their values.

    By Blogger BWisdom, at 10/08/2008 8:49 PM  

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