Connecting the Corporate Dots: Social Networks Reveal How Employees and Companies Operate

The Wharton newsletter reports:

“With the recent disclosure of wiretapping by the National Security Agency and the booming success of sites like MySpace and Friendster, social networking is much in the news today. But serious interest in social networks can also be found among academics, consultants and corporations seeking to deepen their knowledge of how companies operate. While organizations have been aware of the power of social networks for some time now, researchers at Wharton note that mapping these connections can yield some potent insights, such as how board members interact within and among companies, and how employee relationships can be better understood to improve productivity and the dissemination of ideas.”

People are using SNA (social network analysis) in the sports world as well. Via Noor Ali-Hasan on the SOCNET mailing list, I saw a social network analysis of the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 final match between Italy and France. “It shows the passes from every player to those three team-mates he passes to most frequently. Strength of arcs displays the number of passes. Size of nodes displays the influence (flowbetweenness) of a player.”

Sadly, head-butting doesn’t show up in this chart.

UPDATE: Alan Reifman wrote to SOCNET:

The World Cup soccer passing diagrams are great, and I appreciate Dr.
Ali-Hasan for notifying the list. As some of you may know, I’ve done some similar mappings for U.S. college basketball in recent years (although not nearly as elegantly). Most recently, I presented a poster on this at the 2006 Network Science conference at Indiana University, and in 2005, I presented an earlier study at Sunbelt. For those interested, my research page on basketball passing can be accessed by clicking on: