11.4.5 Summary

SNA is a wide topic referring to the relationships and flows of information between people. It is a useful tool in order to reveal interactions in a group of people and flow of knowledge among them. In brief, SNA tools provide organisations with several graphical representations (networks profile) which when analysed with SNA software tools enable managers to identify the real social structures in their corporate environment rather than the planned communication structures (i.e. organisational charts). These representations (networks views) can then be used by managers to better address innovation problems related to corporate communication culture (quality of communication, frequency of communication, etc). If necessary, SNA can also be used to depict external networks as well. Every type of organisation can benefit by using SNA tools.

After reading this component you have a basic knowledge on social network analysis, a useful tool used to reveal interactions in a group of people and flow of knowledge among them. You are able to define what an SNA is and how it can support innovation. You learned the main steps for implementing a social network analysis including some useful and practical tips.